One can reasonably predict that there are inevitable

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Accounting Information Systems
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Chapter 1 / Exercise DQ1-6
Accounting Information Systems
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One can reasonably predict that there are inevitable changes ahead likely to have a considerable impact on the accounting profession. In the area of compliance work, changes are already occurring. As Nixon (2014, p. 3) observes, ... we have already seen a proliferation of “outsourcing” companies offering compliance services (off shore) on behalf of accounting firms. This trend will continue. With so much outsourcing going on is it feasible that the owner of a small business could get most of their compliance work done “direct” rather than going through an Accountant — the middle man? I think so. Further to the prediction in the CPA Australia (2007) report, later research has noted that clients are becoming smarter and more business savvy. They have fast and inexpensive access to information through the Internet. Nixon (2014, p. 4) comments that after surveying over 7,000 business people in Australia,
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Accounting Information Systems
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Chapter 1 / Exercise DQ1-6
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FUTURE PROOFING THE PROFESSION: PREPARING BUSINESS LEADERS AND FINANCE PROFESSIONALS FOR 2025 86 ... they have told us that they are looking for seven key service offerings over and above compliance. These include Growth: help with growth of revenue and wealth; Profit: help with understanding and improvement; Cash flow: help with understanding and managing; Asset protection: help to protect all assets; Succession: help with selling part or all of the business at some point; Tax minimization: help with legally reducing tax payable; and Retirement: help with financial retirement or full retirement. There is no doubt that progressive accounting firms can and should be offering these services if they are to survive into the future. Furthermore, as is evident from some of the issues discussed above, soft skills development will become increasingly important. As one of the interviewees quoted in the IMA and ACCA (2015) report observed, ‘...the biggest challenge we have in developing future CFOs are skills in communication, change management, influencing, and people management.’ (p. 10). It is arguably then only a matter of time before accounting schools will be forced to integrate much higher levels of communication and strategic management skills into their courses than they do at present. In the meantime, to protect their position in the market, accounting schools in Australian universities are increasingly relying on international students from developing countries that still have a great demand for accountants in the traditional mould. One opportunity is to develop relationships with good universities in countries such as China, India and Indonesia, so that students who have completed their degrees in their home countries can ‘top up’ with a foreign degree in Australia. Also, 3+1 and 2+2 programs are increasingly likely to develop. However, as the world becomes more connected through the impact of globalisation, offering traditional accounting courses is arguably only a stop-gap measure. More than ever before, business schools in Australian universities need to reinvent their accounting courses

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