Did you know that clients can now open a bank account that automatically summarises income and expenditures, and is mooted to be Making Tax Digital ready, with automatic downloads to the client’s digital account with HMRC?
Are we about to witness the leaching of compliance activity, normally the remit of accountants and bookkeepers, into hybrid banking solutions?
Professionals are aware of the impact of rubbish in rubbish out when viewing tax payers attempts at analysis, and it will be interesting to be a fly on the wall when witnessing the analysis of the ins and outs of Coconut account holders.
It does seem to be the case that more and more routine analysis work is being automated, either by an accountant’s own software or third-party solutions. This being so, there does seem to be a case for selling advice rather than providing processing skills.
No doubt these changes will take time to unwind, but in the meantime there can be no time like the present for investing in the development of specialist skills where “automation” cannot contribute, at least not soon.
As an example, consider the requirement for all businesses to be GDPR compliant on or before 25 May 2018. If you take the time to review your practice systems that cover the management and security of personal data, why not offer these acquired skills to your clients?
Like all endangered species the future for the accountancy profession depends on its ability to adapt to changing environments. We will probably need to abandon activity offering minimal returns and concentrate on specialist advice. After all, a coconut has limited usefulness if its main purpose is to act as a glorified adding machine.