Digital transformation lags in accountancy profession


South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) Chief Executive, Shahied Daniels

JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) believes the commitment to, and advancement of, digital transformation in accountancy is slow.

According to insights from 2021 Existing and Prospective Member Survey, modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are not used, or are rarely used, by as many as 51 percent of surveyed respondents.

Barriers to digital technology adoption include budget restraints (36 percent), customers not liking change (21 percent), uncertainty around what is involved coupled with limited knowledge of the digital journey (15 percent) and limited professional resources (10 percent).

“The majority of respondents understand technological innovation to be imperative, but many Professional Accountants (SA) either don’t have or believe that their companies don’t demonstrate a forward-thinking approach to technology integration,” said Shahied Daniels, SAIPA Chief Executive.

Daniels encouraged SAIPA members to rethink and redesign practices and service offerings with a focus on leveraging mobile connectivity, data analytics, cloud computing and incorporate these tools into their business models.

SAIPA’s members include SA in practice, in academia, and in corporate and public organisations.

William Mzimba, Chief Officer of Vodacom Business, said technology is advancing at a rapid pace, with smart accounting software streamlining many traditional business tasks.

“While this is great for business – offering faster, more affordable outputs that are more accurate without the risk of human error – it means that accountants need to transform the way they work to continue to deliver value,” Mzimba said.

The Digi-Kit is among digital-transformation resources SAIPA plans to launch on its Digital Hub.

Created in partnership with Vodacom Business and NtaNet Solutions, the initiative aims to bridge the digital divide in the accountancy profession.

– CAJ News

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