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Meet the accountant of the future

The accountant of the future will need a new set of skills, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK, as he meets both the local users and the global creators of Xero accounting software



Buchule and Sivenathi Sibaca get a highrise view of London. Pic by Arthur Goldstuck
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For SMTAX, the process of reinvention is part of the fabric of the business, said Sivenathi: “Our growth prospects were aligned with finding small efficiencies within all kinds of processes, to be able to perform a bit better, and try to price ourselves a bit lower and more affordable for our client base. They are typically startups or emerging companies or growing companies, so we have always been trying to not price too high for our customers while still being profitable.

“We’ve been inspired that Xero is putting a lot of effort Xero into improving the technology and automating further, for example, the tax process and the whole filing process that we currently do part manually. But I got really inspired here by the talk of the human touch. Our vision feeds really well into the whole Xero vision around supporting small businesses and people are core there. 

“As much as we’d like to improve our efficiencies from a technology point of view, we need to build and support our people, our bookkeepers and accountants, tax specialists that work for us, to realise their potential. I’m really inspired to go back and try, from a people point of view, to drive that kind of energy and change within the company. Hopefully our clients will then benefit from a more efficient process, but also a better customer experience.”

The Sibacas firmly believe that both the structure of accounting firms and the education of accountants musts change to take account of a new skill set.

Said Buchule: “I value the student more who can talk to clients than the one telling us they are about doing debits and credits.”

  • Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee

Visit the next page to read about South African accounting and app firms announced as finalists in the Xero international awards.

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