The Hong Kong and global accountancy profession will be impacted significantly by 10 technology trends, claims an in-depth report from ACCA’s. The top 10 technologies with the potential to reshape the accountancy profession and business landscape considerably are
2. big data;
3. artificial intelligence and robotics;
4. cyber security;
7. virtual and augmented reality;
8. digital service delivery
10. payment systems
Looking at specific technologies, 84 per cent of respondents in Asia Pacific say that mobile technology will have a large impact on their business in the years ahead, compared with 95 per cent in Australia, the highest score in the world, and only 63 per cent of those in the Middle East.
When asked about the impact of big data on business, 76 per cent of Asia Pacific respondents say this will be influential, compared with 91 per cent of Australians and only 52 per cent of those in the UK. Asia Pacific respondents also said that big data would demand new skills, with 79 per cent saying that the profession will need to use tools to support data modelling and analysis, and require skills for data mining to help with business intelligence.
Only 56 per cent of Asia Pacific respondents are also concerned about the risks associated with cybercrime, compared with 74 per cent in Africa where concern is the highest. The least worried are Ireland at 35 per cent and 27 per cent in Central and Eastern Europe.
Chris Gentle, Partner and head of research at Deloitte, and member of ACCA’s Accountancy Futures Academy says, “Accounting and finance professionals must be open to the changes created by big data, cloud, mobile and social platforms, and face up to the demands of cybercrime, digital service delivery and artificial intelligence. The future will not be like the past and we will all need to adapt.”
Jane Cheng, head of ACCA Hong Kong, says, “Accounting and finance professionals in Hong Kong and the wider Asia Pacific region are influential agents of change. But they need to flex their influence more when it comes to their client’s prospects – only 63 per cent of accounting professionals say they influence the use of technology externally with their clients. They are more influential internally however, where 75 per cent say they can impact decisions in their workplace. The profession needs to shape their technological future rather than be shaped by it. The profession needs to be proactive; the changes ahead are an opportunity to redefine roles and the extent to which the profession is involved in short and long-term technology related decisions. They need to adapt to survive – hence the digital Darwinism title for this extensive report.”
The report offers many actions the profession needs to take to deal with the challenges of the top 10 technological developments. They need to develop and change management styles, to assess risks and address security issues; they will need to explore further the impact of automation and prepare for changing working patterns. But ultimately, they need to use technology to add value. There lies the real opportunity of technology.
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