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    4 Principles for the Open World – What it means to the Accounting Industry

4 Principles for the Open World – What it means to the Accounting Industry

Don Tapscott on Ted talk (Four Principles for the Open World) puts forth a positive picture, arguing that the arc of history is towards openness. A few centuries ago, Guttenberg’s printing press gave man the access to recorded knowledge which paved the way for the creation of corporations, emergence of science and university and eventually the industrial revolution. No wonder that Martin Luther called the printing press “God’s highest act of grace” . The Internet has taken it to a new plane – from recorded knowledge to shared intelligence, accelerating the march towards openness. So here below are the 4 principles according to Tapscott and  a few thoughts on what it could mean to the professional services industry.

Principle #1 – Collaboration: The internet has gone from being a platform for content to becoming a platform for computation. This has ushered in tremendous energies for collaboration. The key factors driving such collaboration are:

First generation digital natives entering the workforce (Stated simply, if you are above 35, you are either a digital immigrant or an aspirant to become one)
The new global economic environment that is altering the boundaries of engagement. Virtual workflows that extend beyond national boundaries are the new reality.
The new paradigm on talent. Tapscott gives the example of a neigbour who after failing to strike gold with his geologist’s research data finally published all these data on the internet and invited the global network to help him find gold in exchange for a reward of half a million dollars. He did find gold that drove up his fortunes ten fold. Most interestingly, the best ideas came not from geologists, but a variety of domains – engineers, software analysts etc.

The question for the [...]

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    5 Reasons why Accounting and Bookkeeping professionals avoid Digitization and Virtualization

5 Reasons why Accounting and Bookkeeping professionals avoid Digitization and Virtualization

“Our survey tells us that 60% of the 77% of accountants who are not using cloud systems today will probably do so within the next two to three years. We are rapidly approaching a point where the use of cloud software to perform accounting services is ubiquitous – that’s a big shift in a few years. ” – CEO of Wolters Kluwer Asia Pacific, Russell Evans
We live in the age on Network Intelligence, thanks to the Internet. From its early days of sharing information globally, the internet is today a global computing system in which global talent can collaborate on virtualized workflows. This is the digital age where we are welcoming the first generation of digital natives – our children who take to this reality quite naturally, when many of us adults have moved in as digital immigrants. The Accounting profession could very well be on a burning platform and strongly persuaded to consider digitization and virtualization. Here are five reasons why the inertia is significant for some.

Lack of Awareness and a lack of time: There is enough work to keep everyone busy at present. There is so much noise about that need to change but how much is believable? Is it really worth the time?
Why tinker with an already working system? My sales team reports that a frequent response when they present the value proposition of virtual teams is “I have a system that works and am not looking to change it” (Read more about Virtual Teams)
Nervous about Security: A physical environment for infrastructure and teams is definitely reassuring and gives a greater sense of security. Mike Chisholm, CEO of CCH Collaborative Solutions says “Five or six [...]

The Accountant’s New Avatar!

Functions and roles change with time. Many of today’s jobs did not exist twenty years ago and our children are being trained for jobs that do not exist today! The role of the accountant perhaps has been one that has had a longer life cycle compared to most others. But even that is changing. According to the Lloyd Morgan Accounting Skills Index, “the once clichéd image of a bespectacled, grey-cardiganed bean-counter with calculator in hand has fast become a thing of the past.” In Australia, 17000 new accountants jobs from now until 2017, according to  Department of Employment figures.  So what ought to be the new avatars that these and even those that serve today should transform to?

Big Picture People – “Employers are looking for accountants to step outside the traditional finance function and be involved in ‘big picture’ business strategy,” says Hays Accountancy and Finance regional director Susan Drew . “Soft skills can be underestimated by candidates, but employers are increasingly looking for potential chief financial officers with leadership, management, and interpersonal skills – skills that can also determine the employee’s ability to fit into an existing team.”
Social Skills – The nerdy geek image requires a makeover. Both traditional networking as well as social media networking skills will find a way into the accountant’s personal development plans. Accountants will certainly have a thing or two to learn from Sales people and business coaches.
Understanding Information Technology :  IT ecosystems are becoming increasingly digitized and virtualized. How your accounting /bookkeeping firm adapts to this reality determines how much competitive advantage can be gained through increased efficiencies.
Process and Team Management – Pin heads and number crunchers may have been nerds at school and [...]