For those that had some holiday reading time over the Christmas break, or even those that are looking at social media, there has been a lot of recent interest in continual improvements in time-saving devices, cloud and automation, as well as AI bots.
Somewhere through the noise there is substance to two important undisputable facts for Australian accountants:
- The future is very uncertain in terms of what compliance work will look like over the next decade
- The work we are doing now will not be the work we will be doing in a decade
If you wanted to add to this confusion there is a lot of changes in the Australian tax laws, which seem to be determined by whatever political party will be in power at that point in time. What seems to be a constant is that compliance work isn’t getting any simpler, nor is change going to be removed from the compliance system.
For Australian accounting compliance work, there are three main reasons to suggest that we are at peak jobs in Australia, and may even be approaching the end of some jobs in Australia.
Reason 1: You can now hire anyone from anywhere.
There has been a sharp rise in the implementation of communication technology coupled with improved global educational standards over the past decade. Australian universities, TAFES, colleges, schools and accounting bodies are now in many countries outside Australia. And the reality is that the offshore workforce are pushing hard to have a high standard of living. They are hungry for opportunity.
Reason 2: Software houses are pushing into AI and Automation.
We’ve seen the gradual decline of Australian manufacturing over the past 50 years, and there is now a constant push by Australian accounting software houses into AI and automation. This means that routine tasks will eventually be automated, and these tasks will cease to exist. For example, does anyone re-key a bank statement these days?
Reason 3: Everything is commoditized eventually
We’re already aware that Compliance work is a commodity. This is being presented continually mentioned to accountants. However, in this global age of worldwide internet, everything is commoditized. Traditional university degrees have become the norm rather than an exception. Any experience, service or goods are subject not only to commiditisation, but also disintermediation.
If we are at peak compliance in Australia, then there will be a continual move to compliance work heading overseas. Australian accounting firms need to seriously consider outsourcing to free up the owners from training and HR requirements, so they can move into new business streams.
Talk to Odyssey about how we can assist with your outsourced requirements today.