Recently our President Mark Edmondson sat down with Adam Grainger, Director of IT and Projects at Baker Tilly International, and picked his brains about how the latest accounting technology is transforming the industry.
You can watch the full conversation above, and here’s our pick of the highlights:
The changing role of accountants
One of the biggest transformations Adam sees the next generation of technology bringing to the industry is how it’s going to change the role of an accountant.
“You might not be doing the same thing for 30 years [like accountants used to]. I just don’t think that’s going to happen anymore”, Adam explains.
“I’m not saying everyone’s role is going to change”, he says. However, he believes technology is transforming the accounting industry – accountants are being valued for their advice more than ever, and their skillset and role is going to reflect this.
Geoff Woodhouse of Moore Stephens made a very similar point in our recent conversation, which suggests how some of the biggest firms are thinking about the future of accounting.
The two biggest benefits of the latest technology
Adam thinks the two biggest benefits of latest accounting technology are its timeliness and benchmarking capabilities.
Adam sees huge advantages in being able to pass your insight on to your clients in real time, while the benchmarking capabilities of the latest software can transform you into an invaluable business advisor for your clients as you have broader context than they do.
Adam’s advice for getting started with the latest accounting technology
Adam is a big advocate for accounting tech, but he understands getting started can be intimidating.
“You can worry about how far behind you are, how much you don’t know”, Adam says, “but the worst thing you can do is nothing”.
In fact, if you think your firm will “be okay in five years” without taking advantage of the latest tech, he says you’re taking a big risk.
Adam’s advice for any firm looking to benefit the latest advances in accounting technology and avoid behind left behind by its peers is to take “baby steps”.
“Get your hands dirty”, he urges firms, recommending that you put together a small team and a structure plan around trials of third-party tech.
In Adam’s opinion, this is the best way to understand what kind of tech is out there and how it can help solve your firm’s biggest headaches.
Watch the full conversation with Adam above to get an insight into the thought process of someone operating at the cutting-edge of accounting technology.