Accountants are poised to transform themselves by becoming strategic advisors to the businesses they work with. They will achieve this through greater use of technology, partnerships with technology businesses such as Microsoft, extending their reach into other service areas such as law, building on the already strong relationships they have with CFO’s, and moving towards a greater productisation of their service offerings. This was the conclusion for me, having attending the excellent Alternative Accounting Strategic IT Summit.

“How long before accountancy businesses become technology businesses? … we have a huge technology partner community that can make the numbers sing and dance but they can’t tell anyone what to do with them.”

This was one of the fascinating thoughts from Robert Pope of Microsoft in one of the closing keynote presentations. Microsoft have a compelling set of tools to help the accountants in transforming their clients’ businesses and Robert shared details of their approach to AI and how firms can leverage this. Microsoft is offering to act as the hub and help connect up their technology implementation partners with their accounting partners to jointly help their shared clients achieve new insights. This makes so much sense given the key challenge to leveraging some of the transformative technology is access to quality sources of data.

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