Thomson Reuters sponsored content: Leadership - WCOA Sydney 2018 | The Best Accounting Conference

International Convention Centre, Sydney Australia  |  5-8 November 2018

Life after the back office

Sponsored content: The financial landscape is changing drastically. The pace of globalisation and regulatory change, as well as increased focus on tax transparency, are challenging and putting more pressure than ever on tax professionals in terms of more detailed and frequent reporting.

In Australia, it is estimated that corporates spend over $40 billion on tax compliance reporting each year – which is driving a need for the adoption of technology.

However, the technology itself is also having a large impact on the function of the accounting profession.

According to a study by researchers at Oxford University and Deloitte, the likelihood chartered and certified accountants’ roles becoming automated is 95%.

As technology takes care of an increasing amount of data compilation and number crunching, accountants are emerging from the ‘back office’ to become more visible strategic business advisors.

Yesterday, Max Thomas, Head of Business Development, Professional Segment, Tax & Accounting, Thomson Reuters joined a panel to discuss what this means for companies and how they can use technology and their tax teams to their best advantage.

While studies such as Deloitte might indicate we should fear automation as a profession, in actual fact the introduction of technology is not intended to reduce headcount, but release existing headcount to do more value-adding activities: putting more focus on data analysis and less on data preparation.

Make no mistake, this is a turning point in the accounting profession, but one that if embraced, will see accountants hold a more visible, valued and proactive role in the operations of the business.

It is an opportunity for accountants to redefine themselves in the business, using the data at their fingertips to become strategic business advisors.

As the Congress comes to a close today, it is an opportunity for accountants to think about where they see their role in five years time and how they will get there. We know for sure technology will play a part.

This article brought to you by Thomson Reuters Tax and Accounting.

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