• Andrew Bowden

How The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing SMEs and how advisors need to react

Tim Reed, CEO of MYOB, gave the keynote speech at the Accounting Business Expo today setting out what Accountants need to do in the face of rapid technological change.

The key take outs:

The role and influence of advisors is going to be much bigger

3 key themes:

1. Exponential growth in technical capability – pace of change; evolution of infrastructure; Moore’s Law; Kryder's Law, Butter’s Law, Nielsen's Law, Koomey’s Law

20.4 bn interconnected devices by 2020; 16% of MYOB revenue to be spent on R&D. With takeover of Reckon group this will increase

2. Cloud Computing – new innovations; cloud computing has risen to 96% due to anywhere, anytime access, tailored solutions (bank feeds), better collaboration; backed up data files (more secure)

3. Automation: data in – ATO, customers, tapping in to transaction

Data processing

Data interpretation – People will still give advice to people rather than machines (emotions first, logic second)

Changing expectation of your clients – Millenials have taken over from gen X as most numerous sector in the workforce

More entrepreneurial

67% want to start their own business compared to 13% who want to work in big corporate (Bentley University, USA)

They don’t have to be convinced about value of technology;

Haven’t grown up with a recession (in Australia)

Willing to work but feel it is only one component of their life

Want to be their own boss.

Critical accounting firm traits for advising millennials – respond to communication in timely manner, provide strategic insight and guidance for their business; be versatile and able to provide a wide range of accounting, tax and financial services ( survey)

So more communication; be an ally not a supplier, engage, get social, don’t forget why, offer a broad service offering

40% of work undertaken today will be automated in 10 years – CEDA

Pressure of change:

Technology is changing, clients are changing, your role is changing

Embrace a change mindset.

1. Be involved in transaction processing of your clients

2. Engage online – adopt new communication methods

3. Automate, automate, automate

4. Start engaging with your clients in more advisory roles

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