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The accounting industry’s biggest challenges to growth at scale

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Accountancy firms, like any other sector, face operating challenges and growth obstacles. Others are special to the accountancy profession, while others become more prevalent as the discipline increases in size and sophistication.

As representatives and influential industry experts expose the major obstacles to development for accountancy firms as they expand, take a glance at a few of Australia’s mid-tier companies.

  • Efficiencies achieved by technology are dropped due to uncertainties.

Although technology is supposed to save time and money, it can also be a double-edged sword.

  • Cybersecurity threats are on the rise.

Accounting companies are “perfect targets” for malicious hackers, according to global cybersecurity company Crowd Strike, due to the abundance of financial and identification data they possess about their customers. The challenge was exacerbated by COVID-19, as the sector ordered employees to operate online.

Judicial, accounting, and administrative services are one of the five top sectors documenting data breaches, according to the OAIC, ahead of federal government agencies.

The challenge of maintaining data integrity becomes more difficult as more financial accounting becomes digital.

  • Owing to a lack of expertise, there are noticeable talent shortages.

Another long-standing problem for the sector is recruiting the accounting team, particularly senior specialists, which the disease outbreak has aggravated.

“We usually bring in secondees throughout our active audit season aim of providing additional space to Australian teams, and we send seconders to the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada throughout their busiest audit seasons.

“With almost no noises emanating in the last year, staff were under stress because they’re doing more.”

  • Changing to a decentralized work environment

Many accountancy firms have felt the effect of moving to online working because they are a more conventional business with centralized workforces.

In the meantime, workflow processing tools like Trello and other information technologies became important for keeping track of progress and efficiency. A switch to regular timesheet documentation aided this as well.

Changes in the regulatory system continue to be a concern for advisors.

“Generally speaking, the key concern is that we’ve been operating inside an obsolete and overly complicated tax system,”

  • The first half of the fight is gaining strong visibility.

These problems, far from being one-time occurrences, are continuing and will continue to change in the future.

It all simply comes down to visibility: issues can’t be fixed if they’re not noticed or acknowledged.

Accounting executives are advised to regularly review their activities to see how these problems are exhibited in their organization and then adopt management techniques as appropriate.

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