Following on from my blog in May, it was pleasing to see Chris Ridd’s blog last week regarding Xero’s commitment to educating and assisting the accounting and bookkeeping industry.

87.5% of respondents to the question I raised regarding whether they felt Xero had a responsibility to take on this role answered Yes.

With so much change happening in our industry as a result of technology as well as our government’s commitment to reducing red tape and reducing the compliance burden the disruption that has already come is only just the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot more to come in my opinion.

Many accountants are starting to make the changes they need to remain successful in what is becoming a competitive industry but it is alarming to read that many are not. A recent article I read suggested that some practitioners had only just switched from lodging paper returns !! WOW !

With Xero now adding two leadership roles in Australia focusing on this education element many accountants and bookkeepers are going to be provided with the insight they need to be able to adapt and transform their businesses.

In my blog I talked about how the benefits will flow to not only clients and accountants but to the economy generally. Whilst nobody posed the question to me I will elaborate.

Very simply, if accountants are able to utilise their advisory skills then business owners will benefit. If business owners benefit by running more profitable and successful businesses they will either have more money to spend in the economy OR they will reinvest their profits into their business to grow it which will either result in more staff being employed and/or they pay more tax, both results benefiting the economy. With business owners having information at their finger tips and accountants being able to focus on being proactive one would hope that business failures would reduce and this reduces the cost of failures to the economy.

My comments above might appear to be somewhat simplistic but it really is just common sense and there does not need to be a magic formula behind it. If a business owner can have their accountant work with them to use real-time financial information to make decisions about their business and more importantly make the best decision on how to best use their scare resources then the economics of it is plain to see.

In closing, as noted in this months Acuity Magazine (the new monthly journal of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand) a research project conducted by the Grattan Institute concluded that the industry itself must take on the role of educating on the benefits of “the cloud” whereas the government must set the policy around its use. So Xero is now going to be leading the industry by appointing members in practice to these roles.

A win win for all.