Aly & Andrews All Aussie Accounting Adventures

The Future of Accounting: Tech

June 13, 2024 Aly & Andrew Season 7 Episode 51
The Future of Accounting: Tech
Aly & Andrews All Aussie Accounting Adventures
More Info
Aly & Andrews All Aussie Accounting Adventures
The Future of Accounting: Tech
Jun 13, 2024 Season 7 Episode 51
Aly & Andrew

Is the future of tech an AI takeover or a collaborative paradise? Join Aly, Andrew, and our special guest Jeevan the GM from BGL as they dive into the next 10 to 20 years of accounting technology. 

 We'll discuss the transformative impact of AI on the accounting profession, envisioning a future where real-time data access and advanced algorithms revolutionise our roles. Imagine a world where industry professionals unite, pooling their knowledge to create innovative solutions that serve clients better than ever!

From AI and real-time data to the latest advancements, we explore what excites and scares us and the steps we need to take to thrive and of course Aly goes full-on nerd mode!  

So strap yourself into the flying automobile and join us on  the adventure!

AAAAA IS PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY OUR SPONSORS
BGL SMSF administration and ASIC company compliance management software solutions
Seamless SMSF  They do all things SMSF so you can take care of your clients
FuseSign Digital Signing, Done Simply. FuseSign is an affordable, intuitive and easy to use Digital Signing platform. Greater Control, Greater Flexibility, Greater Client Experience

FOLLOW US ON THE SOCIALS
www.accountingadventures.com.au
Accounting Adventures (@accadvpodcast) | Instagram
Accounting Adventures | Facebook
Accounting Adventures | LinkedIn
Aly & Andrews All Aussie Accounting Adventures (@accadvpodcast) | X
Email: podcast@accountingadventures.com.au

CHECK US OUT
ALL IN Advisory | Your squad of award-winning accountants, tax wizards, and business visionaries, perfectly tailored to elevate your biz. Let's soar together!
Illumin8 | Purpose-led cloud-driven accounting humans

MUSIC
ENTENTE (@ententemusic) | Instagram

PRODUCTION
David Easton (@davidjeasty) | Instagram

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Is the future of tech an AI takeover or a collaborative paradise? Join Aly, Andrew, and our special guest Jeevan the GM from BGL as they dive into the next 10 to 20 years of accounting technology. 

 We'll discuss the transformative impact of AI on the accounting profession, envisioning a future where real-time data access and advanced algorithms revolutionise our roles. Imagine a world where industry professionals unite, pooling their knowledge to create innovative solutions that serve clients better than ever!

From AI and real-time data to the latest advancements, we explore what excites and scares us and the steps we need to take to thrive and of course Aly goes full-on nerd mode!  

So strap yourself into the flying automobile and join us on  the adventure!

AAAAA IS PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY OUR SPONSORS
BGL SMSF administration and ASIC company compliance management software solutions
Seamless SMSF  They do all things SMSF so you can take care of your clients
FuseSign Digital Signing, Done Simply. FuseSign is an affordable, intuitive and easy to use Digital Signing platform. Greater Control, Greater Flexibility, Greater Client Experience

FOLLOW US ON THE SOCIALS
www.accountingadventures.com.au
Accounting Adventures (@accadvpodcast) | Instagram
Accounting Adventures | Facebook
Accounting Adventures | LinkedIn
Aly & Andrews All Aussie Accounting Adventures (@accadvpodcast) | X
Email: podcast@accountingadventures.com.au

CHECK US OUT
ALL IN Advisory | Your squad of award-winning accountants, tax wizards, and business visionaries, perfectly tailored to elevate your biz. Let's soar together!
Illumin8 | Purpose-led cloud-driven accounting humans

MUSIC
ENTENTE (@ententemusic) | Instagram

PRODUCTION
David Easton (@davidjeasty) | Instagram

Speaker 1:

Hey, Ellie.

Speaker 2:

Yes, Andrew.

Speaker 1:

Why can't you fart in an Apple store?

Speaker 2:

I think I know the answer, but it's not coming to mind.

Speaker 1:

Because they don't have windows.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's it I have heard that one before.

Speaker 1:

I don't know if I've actually said that one on the podcast, yet I don't know If I have. I do apologize, but it's the perfect joke for what we're talking about today, so I had to it sure is.

Speaker 2:

It sure is Because we're talking all things tech today.

Speaker 1:

The future of tech. We're talking 10, 15, 20 years into the future.

Speaker 2:

Super hot. We're like crystal balling it, like we're just going to throw stuff out in the wind, I think, because, who knows?

Speaker 1:

Who knows, it's going so fast. It could be anything.

Speaker 2:

It really could, but I'm excited about it. I love this type of convo. It's my jam, so let's just roll on in. Let's hit the theme tune and we'll come back and we'll talk about the future of technology. Who?

Speaker 1:

said, technology, technology, and we're back with technology. We're like on some cool USA podcast all of a sudden Meow meow, meow, meow.

Speaker 2:

We're the Aussie.

Speaker 1:

Sorry, mate.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we talk about technology. We've got to talk about tech mate. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Ellie, you are a bit of a crazy tech nerd.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I love a tech. I'm a bit of a tech head Absolutely. I get like super excited about it to the point where people are like whoa, chill man.

Speaker 1:

I mean, I just showed you my new laptop.

Speaker 2:

Oh my gosh, how good is that laptop, and I wish we're sponsored by someone like this.

Speaker 1:

but we're not at all, but it's one of those dual screen laptops.

Speaker 2:

It's an Asus ZenBook and I was like I saw it and I was like frothing and I'm like Lee, I need this right now.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so if you're listening, just jump on. It's one of those laptops that has a removable keypad and then it actually has two screens.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And you can do crazy shit with it too. So you frothed over it. I was very excited and look.

Speaker 2:

a perfect example is yesterday I went out to lunch with a cool group of people and we were meant to be talking about people and HR and I was meant to be helping them through it and we got on the topic of AI and I literally just did that. We had a whole two hours of AI and last night I was trying to condense the conversation and I had like 20 apps that they could look at and I was like most probably too many, but I was so excited but like it just it floats my boat.

Speaker 1:

Why do you get so excited about the future of TechMate?

Speaker 2:

Look, I think it's just this internal thing for me. Like I remember, when I saw the cloud solutions and Xero, I was like, oh wow, this is a game changer.

Speaker 2:

My eyes opened up, my whole career changed. Like it's that type of thing for me, and I think I lamented with you a few years ago about, oh, I'm getting a bit boring, what's going to be the next thing? And for me it's AI, absolutely 100%. And so I'm on the AI choo-choo train Like I'm leaning into it, I'm listening to everything, I'm listening to the podcasts. I'm finding how can I do things differently, how can I overlay?

Speaker 3:

AI and everything.

Speaker 2:

So it's just exciting for me and I think I like the change aspect, Like I'm one of those weirdos that really actually likes change most probably too much, like my team always tells me to slow down.

Speaker 3:

Just chill out.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, like they get tech overwhelmed. So it's just this innate thing. For me, it's just something that floats my boat. What?

Speaker 1:

It's just this innate thing for me, it's just something that floats my boat. What about you? Yeah, I mean, I've always been big in tech.

Speaker 2:

I've always loved technology. Yeah, you've been such an early adopter.

Speaker 1:

I've always wanted to use the cool stuff and the fun stuff and the impactful stuff and the efficient stuff. Absolutely. It just makes your life better. It does. It is immensely challenging, right, and so I think, particularly when you're playing earlier in the space, you need to have the capacity to be able to do that too.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, true.

Speaker 1:

So I can recall when we were probably super fast in the adoption space. We were a small business, tiny you know and practically no team members.

Speaker 2:

It's so much easier. So nimble, yeah, yeah, it's so easy when you're small.

Speaker 1:

Totally, whereas nowadays, you know, with over 20 team members, now it's just like great, let's go use this piece of tech. Okay, cool, we actually need to fix these things over here first before we even worry about that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, see if it processes. And the other thing is, especially if you've been around for a while, you get that incumbent legacy software.

Speaker 1:

You do yep.

Speaker 2:

And then it's, whereas when you start up it's like free for all. It's so easy to kind of integrate everything together, and so that I guess also inhibits that innovation space.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

The longer you've been around, the bigger you become. Yep, you know, and it's for a myriad of reasons around change, management and processes and people and investment, but I still treat All In as a bit of a startup.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

But I do look at our tech stack and I'm like whoa baby and Lee's like seriously, I'll chill out. So now I just bring in stuff by stealth.

Speaker 1:

I think you've got to have, you've got to create a space for it too.

Speaker 1:

So like in a business of mine, it could be easy to be like, oh no, we just don't have time, we have to focus on all these other things, we're not going to worry about technology. Um, that's all well and good until, like, you stuff it up or you forget about something and you fall behind. So you can't. You can't be too far too fast, but you also can't be too far behind and too slow yeah, so anyway, but we're not talking about tech today, we're talking about tech in 10, 15, let's call it 20 years away so we're thinking what does the future look like with the tech?

Speaker 1:

and and I was talking to you before this I was like let's go back 20 years from today.

Speaker 3:

Xero wasn't here. There was no.

Speaker 1:

Xero. But 20 years from now AI would have been the oh.

Speaker 2:

20 years ago AI wasn't really here in the way that we would think of it.

Speaker 1:

So then in 20 years' time, if we think of Xero and cloud accounting and cloud apps now, it's just normal. 20 years in the future, AI and all that stuff is theoretically just going to be normal.

Speaker 2:

Well, we think.

Speaker 1:

What do you think it looks like in 20 years Within our industry? Let's not think about AI, haircuts and things like that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think it will have. I think there will be disruption, as they call it, but I think there will be a lot of opportunities for more efficiency, for more insights and I think the access to the data that we actually have will be able to utilise. So we sit on so much data as accountants that we find hard to actually delve into and pull those insights out unless we have time, and that's why we do a little bit of advisory, that type of thing. So I'm hopeful that what we'll see through the advancement of AI is the utilisation of the data and the insights that we can have from that and use from that to make it more efficient, to provide opportunity to provide benefit to ourselves and to our clients. And I also think there'll be an element of bots that do a lot of the work that potentially humans do, but also there'll still be an element for humans with that face-to-face.

Speaker 1:

That's my gut feel is that we'll have a bit of a mix In 20 years' time half of what you said. I'm like, yeah, that's here in two years' time.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, possibly 20 years' time once you start talking about bots and those things.

Speaker 1:

That's where I'm like, that's where I think 20 years might be more relevant.

Speaker 2:

Do you think we'll? Just be'll just do it and we'll do nothing like. What are we like?

Speaker 1:

that changes society as a whole, will we have ai teammates, you know, will we have to pay them and give them superannuation?

Speaker 2:

and will they have?

Speaker 1:

like yeah will they have like employee rewards like here's an extra data chip you're right.

Speaker 2:

The token um possibly yeah right. Just like we treat outsourced at the moment like as as team members, potentially we bring AI in and treat them as team members.

Speaker 1:

I don't know if they'll be fully at that point in 20 years' time, maybe 50.

Speaker 2:

I don't know. 20 feels like a stretch that I'm literally treating a piece of technology like a human.

Speaker 2:

But the speed of advancement in technology it's just going to get faster and faster and faster. We've seen that in the last 10 to 20 years. The ability to develop tech, the ability of what's coming like if you look at the bots and the chat-shippy tees and all of those different things the speed of which that's coming at us is quite extraordinary and some of these things in relation to the usability will just literally infuse into our day-to-day lives that it won't actually be a massive advental change, It'll just be oh, it's there.

Speaker 1:

So it's not just you and I talking about the future of accounting. We've got one of our friends who's joined us. We do.

Speaker 2:

We've got Jeevan from BGL. Who's their techie guy? He's the guy and look, I have to tell you what BGL has done in the AI space is absolutely incredible and like what's currently in their SMSF product and their Invest360 and what they call paper to data. It's exciting. So I'm excited to get Jeevan to just give us a little bit of a hey. What do you think from your educated opinion?

Speaker 1:

Let's go to old mate Jeevan and see what he says.

Speaker 3:

What will the future of accounting look like with technology? Well, there's two areas I'd like to focus on here, and one being data and the other being AI. So, with data, obviously, accounting systems in the last 10 years have really improved by getting real-time access to things like bank data directly from banks. But what happens when these systems can get data from every single access point and data is made open by all providers? It obviously improves workflow, means no more waiting for clients and it means that items can be actioned real-time AI. So AI has come to the forefront of everyone's minds in the last 12 months with, obviously, the rise of ChatGPT.

Speaker 3:

Ai is used at the moment for things such as coding transactions or extracting data from PDFs in a lot of systems and obviously, as the name Microsoft's used suggests, it's a co-pilot, so it's used in assisting humans in performing tasks. But what happens when AI rises to a level that has a general intelligence of a human or surpasses that of a human? It could mean they act as an accountant. It could mean they could perform all the tasks of a accountant. You think of a scary thought of a senior accountant or a partner who has built years and years of knowledge and has the ability to make decisions or advise clients of situations based on their years and years of experience. What happens when you've got an algorithm that's an amalgamation of several practitioners, and I would say, thousands of practitioners years of knowledge? You've got some sort of superhuman intelligence that is very hard to replace.

Speaker 1:

Not bad hey.

Speaker 2:

I know Data data data. I hit it on the money. Data data data. Data Data insights. Data insights.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's crazy.

Speaker 2:

AI.

Speaker 1:

I just, I don't know like it. Just, I mean, it excites me. But also I think sometimes, when like there's some things that you can see into the future and I feel like I can, with relative comfort, predict what it's going to look like, and understand.

Speaker 2:

I don't think we can.

Speaker 1:

Technology. I think it's just way too hard with the pace now.

Speaker 2:

Do you know what I reckon? Go the Jetsons.

Speaker 1:

I reckon not with the flying cars showing your age there, man, oh man no, I'm not, did I?

Speaker 2:

but do you know what I mean? Like I think we most probably will have help around home. We most probably will have help at work. We most probably will have AI and some level of tech supporting us, and because there's still so many pain points in our lives, there's still so many repetitive, rote tasks.

Speaker 2:

There's still so many things that we don't necessarily need to be doing, and I think that that's where, if I see the opportunity and what excites me, it's all of the things that it can support us in and reducing the mental load, and it just I'm hopeful that it's the usability, functionality of helping us achieve day-to-day tasks.

Speaker 1:

Yep. I think what excites me about tech in our industry in 15, 20 years time is the enhancement of collaboration and community.

Speaker 3:

Oh how amazing would that be so if?

Speaker 1:

we think about what we understand of tech and AI and all this kind of stuff is there's data sets and there's knowledge and there's information, and then with that technology, I'm able to do cool stuff with.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

So in 5, 10, 15, 20 years' time. Imagine if, like a dozen accounting firms, got together and said hey, you know what? We should pool our collective knowledge because we feel like we've got a similar approach and value set. And rah, rah, rah, let's work with some really smart people and let's build something that we can actually use to service out to our client base and build our AI teammate based off our collective knowledge and doing that in collaboration.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, and what I like to call uncommon data. So the common data is outside on the web. The uncommon data is the stuff that you have in your own wheelhouse. And so building that uncommon data as a data set, the insights, the functionality, the opportunity, and then thinking bigger than that, what about a holistic approach? Lawyers, hr, marketers, we're all working together real time, simultaneously in that data set, like the power of being able to help individuals, businesses, society, communities with that knowledge and that information.

Speaker 1:

And I think there, as well as you look at that, I think sometimes when people hear the phrase real time, they're like hold on. Does that mean like literally, when a lawyer's thinking about something, I, the accountant, jumps in and has to help them at that point. But what if I'm in a meeting? What if I'm doing something right there? No, that's not what it is. The way I kind of look at that is like if I'm able to utilize technology to bring the knowledge that I and a collective of people have, that means in real time, when issues are happening, I'm theoretically servicing them despite actually not servicing them. And in that point, because I can build my data sets and I can build my advisory assumption, I can build that stuff out to get to the point um, and now I can fast track that stuff right so um, when a client's like, oh, how do I?

Speaker 1:

the answer is given the way that I would like it to be given. But I don't have to actually jump on the phone. Reply to the email. Um, you know, you look at things now in terms of, like AI predicting. How would you like to respond to this email?

Speaker 1:

oh, 100% you think of that yeah like, just think of like any time you get an email or a question about a certain thing and the AI is like I've seen that you've answered this a dozen times over. Is this the answer you'd like to give them? And you go three quarters done, happy days.

Speaker 2:

And look, the AI that I can overline my advisory at this point in time is extraordinary. So I can't even imagine where that's going to be in 10, 20 years.

Speaker 1:

Give me some of the insights. What are you doing now?

Speaker 2:

Well, you anonymize the data, Chuck it into ChatGBT and say give me feedback on the top five things that I need to talk to this client about. That you know, if you're looking at three years worth of data, that you're seeing that's a variance, or going up or down, and looking, get that in a spotlight, you know whatever, but it's actually really deep data. And then you can say to it well, okay, I know this about the client. What would you recommend? Boom, hello, you know, or even a transcription of an advisory meeting using iuseotterai. Right, you get the transcription. It's the power, it's the questions. You ask it after it. So, after each advisory, I'm like detail the actions, prepare a detailed file note, prepare an email to the client. That used to take me hours. It takes a couple of minutes.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think in that future, future state as well, we're not even going to ask it. It will just be done and it will be telling us what we need to be doing. It will be reversing the approach there.

Speaker 2:

It will be a support as well and so the power that I can see, even with writing blogs, for instance. It used to take me hours and hours and hours to write blogs, whereas now it literally takes me an hour and it can learn how you read, it can learn how you write and bring personality and all those different things. But and yes, you know, it's still in the early adoption phases. But I can see where this can go and I was even thinking the other day in the car you know what can AI help me with that? It isn't currently, and I'd love it for, like, let's say, a compliance job, right, getting the information in from the client is a pain in the butt. You've got to go backwards and forwards. Whatever else you know. Ai can over rely on that. Then you've got somebody preparing it or preparing the working papers or doing a first review, like if you teach AI, they can ultimately do all of that for you and I'd love, I'd love it to do like automatically analysing it.

Speaker 1:

Oh hey you're about to work on this client. We're just letting you know that there's some abnormalities with your clients in that industry and you don't even need to be working on it.

Speaker 2:

Like what if?

Speaker 1:

you just got. Every morning you just log into your computer and the AI has come and said hey, just overnight. I've just analysed some transactions over the last week on this industry and just analyzed some transactions over the last week on this industry and I'm just letting you know.

Speaker 2:

Here are three clients that are doing well, here are three clients that are not, and here's some reasons why see utilization of the data set that we already have, that we can't tap into right now because it takes too much time and we don't have enough right. And then you think about well, even with the visual stuff that's coming out, in ai right yeah like, yeah, there's deep fakes and we'll go on to the scary bit in a minute.

Speaker 2:

But you could give it an image. It can prepare a script, prepare a loom video without the other person having to do it. I mean, some of my people are scared to do that. I could just get the AI to do it. And then it's this real. There's an artificial element, but you're still overriding it. You're still looking at it, you're still guiding it. You're still overriding it, you're still looking at it, you're still guiding it. You're still being the gatekeeper, yep, and you have to know what you're doing in order to be a gatekeeper?

Speaker 2:

You do, but it eliminates so much of the rote process tasks that some people don't want to do. But also we're in a resourcing crisis. This actually might be one of the things that we can, a lever that we can pull to help.

Speaker 1:

I love pulling a good lever. I love it. Let's see what Olmate thinks what levers we could pull. What excites him about the future of technology in our space Awesome.

Speaker 3:

What excites me about the future of accounting with technology. So the first is probably every accountant's dream, and that's the ability for all pieces of their current tech stack and that's all technology solutions talking to each other and sharing data with each other. The other is really AI and its ability to unlock insights, or the ability to show things that may be hidden away in data that we may not be aware of. May be hidden away in data that we may not be aware of. Like always, the future will be bring across constant change. Human nature is sometimes to avoid change, but I guess the accounting firms that will be successful are those that embrace the changes in technology in the future.

Speaker 2:

Thank you so much. I think that was pretty much in line with where we were going right.

Speaker 1:

Pretty much. I always find it fascinating when people who actually know about this stuff talk about it. Because I'd like to think that you and I have a relatively decent understanding as people who are using it Really generic understanding, but we're not the people who are using it Really generic understanding.

Speaker 1:

We're not the people who are building it. We're not the people who are seeing what's coming and can get an even better understanding of it, which is fantastic. Now we're about to move into what scares us, but before we do, we need a break for a second.

Speaker 2:

Oh wonderful sponsors we need to go to sponsors.

Speaker 1:

We need to thank some of our incredible sponsors.

Speaker 2:

The legends that they are.

Speaker 1:

So we'll have a listen to them.

Speaker 2:

Did you know that for over 30 years, bgl has been revolutionising the accounting industry? It all started in 1989 with the launch of Casdos, their pioneering company compliance software, and they've never looked back. Today, with over 10,000 clients and 215 employees across six countries, bgl is a global powerhouse delivering innovative cloud-based solutions that are second to none. So let's dive into what they do. First, we have Simple Fund 360, the ultimate SMSF administration solution, with AI-driven processing, analytical insights and accounting working papers. Managing SMSFs has never been easier, not to mention Simple Invest 360, the complete accounting, investment and tax software solution Keep track of CGT records for trusts, companies and individuals, create financial reports, lodge tax returns and so much more. Of course, there's CAS360, your complete company trust and email management solution. It's like having a personal assistant who keeps you and your clients on track with important dates and deadlines, plus BGL ID, the seamless client identity verification integrated within CAS360. No more manual processes, just fast, secure and automated verifications. And for those drowning in paperwork, bgl SmartDocs 360 is here to the rescue Transform financial documents like bank statements into smart digital data effortlessly, boosting productivity and ensuring secure storage. And it integrates directly with Xero. Last but not least, there's BGL SmartDocs 360 AI Studio, the all-in-one AI platform that can be integrated into any software solution and used by any business to transform any document into smart digital data. So, whether you're managing super funds, investments, compliance or data, bgl has an innovative solution backed by advanced technology, hundreds of integrations, business partners and unparalleled support. So why wait? Visit bglcorpcom today to discover how BGL can help you grow your business and take your team to new heights of efficiency.

Speaker 2:

Imagine a world where your self-managed super fund is handled so smoothly. You'd think it's magic. Well, that's what the team at Seamless SMSF is all about. Starting with just 300 SMSFs, they've skyrocketed to now audit 27,136 SMSF. Now, if that doesn't scream client love, I don't know what does. It's like the honeymoon phase that just doesn't end. Thanks to their top-notch services and some raving fans who can't stop referring their buddies. It's clear everyone wins with Seamless SMSF. So what's their secret sauce? Their amazing team that genuinely care about you and your clients. Seamless SMSF are an enthusiastic team who offer you full SMSF support, providing you with access to a live workflow portal so you have total transparency around where your funds are, at guaranteed turnaround times, exceptional quality service and share best practice strategies so you can continue to create efficiencies in your business whilst adding real value to your clients and growing your SMSF division. So why not outsource the stress to seamless SMSF and focus on what really matters, whether that's catching up on time with your team, spending quality moments with your family or deepening relationships with your clients? Let seamless SMSF take care of your SMSF needs so you can take care of living your best life.

Speaker 2:

I want to talk to you about one of my favorite software products, and it's something so beautiful and simple. It is Fusign, my friends, and that is digital signing done simply. It is affordable. And that is digital signing done simply. It is affordable, intuitive and it's easy to use, and I can assure you that that is what you need to build efficiencies in your practice. It's easy to use from the team's perspective, to build beautiful document packs that you can send out to clients. It's easy for the clients to use.

Speaker 2:

I've got an 85-year-old client who uses it and loves it. There is nobody that cannot use this product. It was made by an accountant for accountants and that is why it is so intuitive. Ever wanted to send documents to parties but you didn't want them to see all of the documents in the pack? Well, here you can actually select who sees it and who doesn't, who signs it and who doesn't. No more having to send five different signing packs. It is the absolute bomb. And also it integrates with some fantastic products. Think of the likes of FYI, bgl, and the list goes on and on and on. This is definitely an electronic signature platform that you want to get onto. So crack at it, peeps.

Speaker 1:

Good sponsors, hey, I know.

Speaker 2:

They're the best.

Speaker 1:

I'm always like it's kind of crazy. We're currently recording at Ali's house in Adelaide we're. Adelaide. Thank you, we're Adelaide. Sorry, Was it two, three, three years ago? Yeah, when we started. We were sitting here and we did our first.

Speaker 2:

That exact, I remember that.

Speaker 1:

Oh, the memories of flooding, I remember talking to a couple of people about what we're looking to do and and they were like we'd love to support you in that. I'm like what really? You actually you'd actually like to contribute to that, so, and we've been so yeah, it's, it's.

Speaker 2:

Honestly, it's a bit humbling to know that there are people that really want to support us in the community in getting these conversations out there, because I think it's really important that we actually start to think about these things, right we do because that's one of the reasons why we actually started on this topic, because it freaked you out the future freaks me out.

Speaker 1:

Now I say I say they're a bit jokingly, but at the same time I say that with with a fair hint of reality is like like if we are not looking and thinking and talking about it and understanding it, we're not bringing the good and we're not getting an understanding.

Speaker 2:

So what will happen is we'll just sit in our mind and think and fear it and get afraid, and we need to come with an educated view and actually start to think about the things that we can and cannot do at this point, and I guess that leads us to our next. What are we scared of? I'm going to start with this.

Speaker 1:

Here's the deal. In 20 years time, uh, how many people will actually need an accountant a human accountant because of what AI and technology and the pace of advancement brings?

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

There are already so many people that are working on building technology that to some extent replaces a large chunk of what an accountant does in terms of the questions they are asked right. So they're building tech that says, if someone says, oh hey, can I? It says yes, you can. Or how do? I do this. It tells you how to do that. You know you think of the people that are training people how to use software, accounting software. Oh, how do I do this in Xero? Xero will have that built in.

Speaker 2:

Oh, 100% Quickly. It won't be in 20 years' time. It won't be you doing it, you'll just tell it what to do.

Speaker 1:

So there goes a revenue stream yeah. Then, all of a sudden, there's a bunch of people who go well, I use XYZ technology for my business advice now, it builds out forecasts for me, it gives me insights into what I need. I don't need an accountant now. So all of a sudden there goes a bunch of potential advisory or cfo or reporting work gone. Yeah, um. Then we look at uh, continuing the technology space and we look at real-time reporting. We look at the ato what they're asking for and all of a sudden, well, hold on, if all this stuff's getting done in real time, all of a sudden, do they need an accountant at the end of the year to do something?

Speaker 1:

like what, all of a sudden, we're cutting that down. So I think the fear that sits potentially here from a technology perspective is will it just continue to replace what has been done? Now? When we think back to the 20 year before, when I started, we talked about, you know, cloud accounting and zero what they brought in I think the fear was more the transactional side of what we were doing is being replaced, but what we saw immediately is it actually enhanced our ability as accountants to deliver better services?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Because we were now more available. We were more connected to the data and we were able to give them more advice. What we're suggesting here with technology is technology is now more connected to the data. Technology is more available, so why would they need me?

Speaker 2:

It's the human element and I think we saw it during COVID. People need people. They do and so I think there's always going to be an element of connection, of human connection, that is required, and a lot of what I do is connecting, building relationships, and a lot of what I do is connecting building relationships, helping people through feelings.

Speaker 1:

Big emotions change and I think from my limited understanding, I don't think the AI will be able to deliver that in a way that a human can. So I think what you're saying there is. There's this consistent change in what an accountant does yeah away from data, away from numbers and away from compliance to uh more human-based conversation, support, referral, connection and camaraderie Like it's like-.

Speaker 2:

What a massive shakeup to our industry.

Speaker 1:

And this has been happening forever. Like I remember, I was in the UK a few years ago and I remember talking to some guy about tech. I can't remember who he was. He was a bit of an older fellow. He would have been definitely older than you.

Speaker 2:

So young. He would have been so young, no, no.

Speaker 1:

I reckon he was about in his early 70s, um, uh, much, much, much older than you, um, but he said he's like yeah, I've heard all this before. I've heard all the talk about compliance and advisory. I've heard all the talk about technology. It's like I've been through it two or three times, with the various different revolutions of bits and pieces. I've seen it all there and I know that, like from my experience is that we will continue to be doing what we do as we go forward, but what technology is doing these days is very different.

Speaker 2:

Oh, absolutely it is.

Speaker 3:

It's not bringing efficiency.

Speaker 1:

theoretically it has a much greater potential of replacement.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's not efficiency, it's replacement, and I think you know we need to look at.

Speaker 1:

I mean, it is efficiency, but it's efficiency that gets to replacement.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I think you know I've heard that saying, and I think you've heard it too in relation to what will be. You know we won't be replaced, but potentially, the accountants that don't use AI might be replaced, or, you know, I think we also need to look at the value that we provide. If we're the gatekeepers, you still need to have this overarching understanding of exactly what you're doing, to be able to know whether what's being you know what is being spat out is actually correct and adding your value to that. So I think you know it might be that we move away from the day-to-day time sheets charge per hour, which is what we've been trying to do for a long time and move to more value-based billing. What value am I providing in that equation?

Speaker 2:

And we need to build our value propositions and be strong on those and not just assume that people have to come to us because we're the compliance part.

Speaker 1:

True, we obviously have an episode all about services and the future of services.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so we'll cover that a bit in there. True, we obviously have an episode all about services and the future of services. Yeah, good reference.

Speaker 1:

Here's a challenge though. You said the people who use AI versus the people who are not.

Speaker 3:

What if?

Speaker 1:

it's the people who start using AI are the ones that get replaced, Because the ones who don't use AI have a much more human approach to what it is and people are craving. I'm so sick and tired of all this technology bullshit. I don't want to talk to a computer. I don't want that, I want this and your experience feels too much chance epitaph. It feels too much technology, um, and and. As a result, I just and, and because I know like there would be your job to bring the human and the value yeah, but like without speaking too poorly of my industry.

Speaker 1:

We are accountants and that is not historically a strength of ours.

Speaker 2:

No, but then we'll become the Kodaks and the blockbusters of the world. True. We can't be so indignant that we're so not replaceable. And that's the issue, I think, is, if we get to that point where we think we're not replaceable, we're not being innovative and we're not challenging and we're not changing, and I think that that is most probably something that we need to be aware of and that's, you know, something that scares me is that if we don't, but if you, I mean you look at the Kodak side of things, right.

Speaker 1:

So Kodak was physical film and processing and whatnot. So Kodak was physical film and processing and whatnot. And what they did is they didn't recognize and act fast enough that there's a digital element to this and that you could digitally process things.

Speaker 2:

So they're still doing the thing. And they also believed that it would never leave, it would never go away, it would never be replaced.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but they would still be the ones doing the thing, because it's Kodak, right? It's one gigantic entity, not thousands of tiny little entities. Right, video stores was an you know, Video stores maybe, but maybe that I think they were kind of stuck they didn't do anything about it, yeah, but for us it's not like oh no, you can still, still do accounting.

Speaker 1:

You're just going to do it digitally. Now what it is is oh no, we don't need you to do accounting anymore because we use the digital thing now. So it's it's different where it's it's film still might need to be processed digitally for its its filters. Hey, build your filters, do your thing. So what we're having to do is we're having to shift from delivering a service and using an expertise to building a product and being involved in commoditising it all.

Speaker 1:

So I think it's going to be really interesting. Is that how far it pushes and how far it goes, depending on government regulation, and where that all comes through.

Speaker 2:

And look you know real-time reporting oh, there's that word again to. And look, you know real-time reporting oh, there's that word again. But in relation to, you know it may get. That's where the ATO is pushing Yep To getting to that point where they're literally getting real-time information. So you know, where do we sit on that? Are we still the gatekeeper of that? Are we still the ones that make sure that everything's okay? Does that give us more work? Ones that make sure that everything's okay? Does that give us more work? You know like some people don't trust the government, for instance. You know there's.

Speaker 2:

I think there's always going to be that layer of people that don't want to change. We'll always have the face-to-face human but then there are those that won't, and I think, depending upon your personality type and what you want to do, you've just got to suss that out, but I think you have to at least think about what might come. And the other thing that really scares me in relation to this tech is the security. We're already struggling with cyber security and people don't change their passwords and people don't put two-factor authentication on, and even with ANZ recently, I've now got voice recognition and facial recognition plus two-factor. Like. You're just going to have to get to that. But there's going to be so much security because of all the deep fakes. And and then the deep fakes, you get to ethics, the ethics of AI, which is frightening. Right? We are building these models that at some point might surpass our intelligence. So where's the government regulation in that? Where is our responsibility in that?

Speaker 1:

And is that a bad thing if these things we're building are smarter than us?

Speaker 2:

I think from a human ego point of view, absolutely People won't be able to like imagine a computer being smarter than you.

Speaker 1:

A computer is smarter than you. Let's be honest. They normally are, but they still need us to direct it.

Speaker 2:

And so then I heard somebody say well, you know, the answer to that is we'll build microchips and put them in our brain so that we have the AI capabilities that they do and put them in our brains so that we have the AI capabilities that they do. I'm so glad I'm going to hopefully be dead by then.

Speaker 1:

I mean it sounds cool, it's all rad, but also like, oh man, it's frightening. I just want to chill the fuck out.

Speaker 2:

It's frightening and you can make AI do stuff. Ai tells me all the time I can't do that and I actually respond back no, of course you can.

Speaker 1:

And then it gives me what I want. It's like you're talking with a junior teacher. All right, think about it again. That's exactly how I do it. You know how to do this, buddy.

Speaker 2:

I treat it like a grad every time. The way that I talk to AI is how I would talk to a grad in relation to how I get a job. And if it doesn't come back the way that I want, to give it exactly the same instructions, then I say try harder or look this way, and every time the AI will come back and it will eventually give me the right answer. So you know, at the moment it's like a grad, but imagine when it's like a professor or it's like an equivalent of you or higher sitting next to you, telling you and giving you this information, you're like, oh, I wouldn't have thought of that.

Speaker 2:

I wouldn't have thought of that.

Speaker 1:

Like that's powerful stuff that kind of makes me nervous around. This is when we talk about regulation and the government side of things is what kind of government and bodies of power are in charge of the technology that we use. So you know people are already stressed about things like you know, facebook, meta and X and Elon Musk and all this kind of stuff.

Speaker 2:

But the power of persuasion with AI is intense, like I listened to a podcast and they were talking about they did this study on. They put people in a room without AI and they put people in a room with AI and they were trying to persuade them of particular topics and every time in the AI room, every single person was persuaded, even if they had a completely opposite view. And the power of persuasion and the ethics behind that and there's just nothing at the moment covering any of that. That's frightening and who is covering any of that? That's frightening.

Speaker 1:

And who is in control of the technology that's doing that?

Speaker 2:

That's right.

Speaker 1:

And then also what? So you go to that? So the large groups that are controlling whether they're controlling one piece of tech or things that sit within it, but then also the governments that are suggesting, pushing and forcing certain things because of regulation and that kind of stuff as well. I think that is a scary element.

Speaker 2:

Well, corporate, which is revenue-based, is currently driving.

Speaker 3:

AI yeah.

Speaker 2:

So think about that for a moment.

Speaker 3:

Frightening.

Speaker 2:

We need to find out what Jeevan thinks about.

Speaker 1:

Jeevan, please. What scares you about the future of accounting and technology? Yeah, so yeah, Frightened, but that means that's not a bad thing, though I think. No, there's a good element of that, recognizing what scares you and what frightens you and whatnot means you have knowledge of where you're starting from and you can prepare for it, and this is where you can put actions towards it. This is why you're good on a podcast.

Speaker 2:

You know where we're supposed to go right now.

Speaker 1:

That's right. We ago right now. You know that now we're moving into the final stage, and the final stage is take some bloody action, like what?

Speaker 2:

can we?

Speaker 1:

do today to be prepared for that day in the future.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I'm going to go with some E words here empowerment and education.

Speaker 2:

I think are the best things that you can do at this point in time. Educate yourself, empower yourself around what's coming around, what the future of tech might look like and that means listening to a podcast, sitting on a webinar, even if it's one you know or start to actually utilize AI tools that are currently available and how you you know. Start to question how might I overlay AI over this? And that's similar to what I used to do with cloud. How can I use cloud over this? How can I integrate this? How can I automate this? It's just another question to ask before you do something how can I overlay AI?

Speaker 1:

I'm going to use three E words as well. Oh, yes, e, I just made them up when I heard you say that.

Speaker 3:

Elephant Egg.

Speaker 2:

Ego Employment and Environment, oh my gosh, so good, so good, Thinking on your feet. Did you AI that? No, we are not using AI in this episode, by the way, human brain. We didn't even Google the answers to this through AI. We should have done that. I had a donut this morning.

Speaker 1:

Someone fuelled up, so it worked Ego. So, I think, to prepare ourself in the world of technology, particularly when there's fear based around we're going to lose our job and this kind of stuff is, we have to shed our ego, park the ego we have to park that. Thing down.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I like it.

Speaker 1:

And we have to be open to that. We don't know what we're facing right. What are we facing, what are we doing and what don't I know. So, like, let's shed the ego, let's not think that we're experts on things.

Speaker 3:

Oh, another.

Speaker 1:

E word oh my gosh, that's E. Employment was a second one. Get the people around you in your team that are good at this. Elevate them you more. Okay, now, this is good. You are more than likely not going to be that person that's leading it in your business If you are 40 and plus. Hey, hey, hey, I'm still 38.

Speaker 2:

I might be able to still lead this, if you are 38 and plus.

Speaker 1:

I'll put myself in that same boat. There are people that are 20 or 30 years younger than you. That will be more in tune with what this looks like. If you are not employing the right kind of people with the right kind of mindsets and the right kind of experience and connection to it, you will not be able to embrace the future of technology. I'm not even meaning this. And the last one that I said was environment. What environment are you finding yourself in? Are you filling yourself in a room with people that are open-minded, that are encouraging you to this stuff, or are you? Are you? Are you hiding from it? Are you putting yourself in a room with people that are, that are like just afraid and scared and not doing anything about it? So find out what environment you want to be in so that you're continually enveloping yourself within that.

Speaker 2:

There's so many E words. I so love it.

Speaker 1:

I like the fact that this went absolutely off the charts and we didn't even mean it. It's egg-cellent, egg-cellent.

Speaker 2:

Well, we need to hear from Jeevan as well, so let's just quickly go to him and see what he thinks.

Speaker 1:

One action you can take is he's got an E in his name as well, he does. One action you can take is he's got an e in his name as well. He's got two go for it, mate.

Speaker 3:

What actions can we take now for to prepare for the future of accounting? Well, I think first of all is be prepared for change. We know technology does not stand still and I guess a lot of a lot of people would rather avoid change because they feel uncomfortable with change or scared of the change. But things are going to continue to change. So, I guess, be prepared and embrace changes in the future. The next is something which is available now and that's learning about what technology is out there. So examples commonly around ChatGPT or no-code solutions like Zapier, for example, With ChatGPT, there's a lot of free courses out there in terms of what's called prompt engineering.

Speaker 3:

So that's how to actually ask questions to ChatGPT. So a lot of people out there know that you can ask specific questions through to ChatGPT's engine and it'll give you a response. Well, what everyone's still learning is how to actually ask the right question and get the right answer. So again, that's important. Like all things, there's a lot of free courses out there but not a lot of time. So you've still got to commit and find the time to actually prepare for that learning. Next option is learning how to interact with technology. So how will that fit within your firm. How is that going to actually change your procedures? How is that going to change your day-to-day lives? And the last one on the list is again cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is not standing still, so it's a constant learning circle about how to protect your business, how to protect your clients. What questions do you need to ask? So continue, I suppose, dedicate the time and embrace what you need to for cybersecurity.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, awesome, awesome, awesome. All right, wow.

Speaker 1:

This has been a really enjoyable conversation. I think we've gone everywhere. I know Well, I've gone everywhere.

Speaker 2:

I know when from, like. Well, I've certainly got excited about it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you have got excited about it. This is good. I'm glad I wasn't massively enthusiastic this morning when I was getting started but right now.

Speaker 1:

I am all about it, but it has been. We've gone from. What does it look like in terms of like, collaborating with people? We've gone from the fear of like. Does it look like in terms of collaborating with people? We've gone from the fear of. Does it simply mean that what we do can be done by a computer and therefore we don't need to do it anymore? It's not like Kodak, where you can still do it digitally. It's just like we just don't do it at all. What government is going to bring in? What are people going to be asking of us or of technology in the future?

Speaker 2:

I think it's just Well, this has been an extra, extra, extra, special episode of our podcast. Thank you, ellie, as always.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, andrew, I love when you nerd out about tech and AI and all the things you do. I love the fact that I open my laptop and your jaw dropped and you sent a message to Lee immediately saying order me 17 of these, please.

Speaker 2:

I know. I know, the next time you see me I'm going to have one. It's just something that excites me.

Speaker 1:

If anyone from Asus, whatever, is listening to this podcast, which you won't be, and if you are bloody well on.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I know, go on yeah, reach out, let us know. Send us a few, please.

Speaker 1:

We've never had anything sent to us. If you are listening to this podcast and you're from anywhere and you just want to send us something, you should do that. I don't care.

Speaker 2:

Oh, sam Rawson gave me a Lego, that's right.

Speaker 1:

Oh, you just said Lego again. All right, we need to wrap this sucker up. Thank you, friends. Thank you for coming on. Another of our Aussie.

Speaker 2:

Academy events.

Speaker 1:

Have an excellent day. Day, we'll catch you next time. See ya, wasn't that a fun adventure. My friends, thank you so much, so incredibly much, for hanging out with us today. Ali, you've been amazing. Andrew, you've been all right. How good is it to be able to have adventures together.

Speaker 2:

It so is, and you know what. Keep following us. We are all over the socials at Accounting Adventures. Check us out on the website. Give us a bit of a like. You know how much we love that stuff.

Speaker 1:

The best thing about the adventure is the people that we do it with. So thank you so much for listening, thank you so much for hanging out with us, and please bring all the ideas, keep them coming. We can't wait to share more cool adventures with you.

Speaker 2:

We love you guys.

Future of Technology in 20 Years
Future of Accounting With Technology
Future of Accountants and Technology
The Future of Accounting and Technology
Preparing for Future Technology in Accounting