This year’s Good, Bad & Ugly Insight poll has recently been released. The 2017 poll generated data on rates and pricing across Australian Accounting firms, which paints a generally optimistic future of how Australian accountants see the year ahead.
The impacts on and challenges to the industry seem to be both evolving and staying the same. For the fourth consecutive year ‘changes in technology’ has been voted the number one impact on the profession. Technology is not just shaping the professional but also the world, revolutionizing industries globally. We can expect to see this theme stay consistent for years to come.
Outsourcing of work continues to feature as a priority impact on the Australian accounting profession. Firms are demanding efficiency and outsourcing is a straightforward method to achieve the value efficiency will bring. The outcome of this being the outsourcing industry will see continued demand for its services, particularly the larger well established outsourcing companies who have existing and trained resources, which when coupled with proven experience in the outsourcing industry prove a strong growth model.
Outsourcing presents itself as another solution to the second of the key challenges, ‘clients.’ With the rise of technology and the ease of competition, the need for strong professional relationships has never been more relevant. It is a welcome shift in attitude which humanizes the industry. Accountants today are dissatisfied with the limit on client facing work as their time is being consumed with bookkeeping and compliance. Outsourcing enables accountants to focus on their clients and the work they love to do.
Although it wasn’t specified as a top key challenge in the 2017 poll, ‘growth’ (general and revenue) will undoubtedly always be the underlying target in each firm. The report concluded an average of 5% revenue increase was common across Australian firms however it did vary greatly – between 4% and 170%. Not surprisingly, revenue growth was largely driven by an increase in firm charges. What perhaps is what is surprising, is a whopping 57% of firms are increasing fees every year. If we are to consider one of the key challenges to the industry being clients, these figures don’t seem particularly logical. Maybe it’s time the industry looks beyond the status quo for solutions to what is at hand. If fees to continue to climb, clients will become dissatisfied and rather than risk losing them altogether, accountants would be wise to start addressing resource issues now – namely engaging with outsourcing outlets.
It is reassuring to know that 93% of participants agree that overall state of the Australian accounting profession will either improve or stay consistent. Despite ongoing challenges and hurdles, industry professionals are adopting technology to stream line efficiency and continue in the direction of growth. Aligning with themselves with external resources, such as outsourcing outlets who have strong teams of trained industry professionals can guaranteed the Australian Accounting industry can look forward to a bright and progressive future.