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CA ANZ prepares accounting industry for disruption

30 Oct 18

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) has called on some of Australasia’s notable innovation communities to help future-proof the accounting industry, and prepare it for disruption that lies ahead.

CA ANZ will align with communities including The Icehouse (New Zealand), Fishburners (Australia) and Stone & Chalk (Australia) to make its vision a reality, the company announced this week.

CA ANZ CEO Rick Ellis says that in order to keep accounting at the forefront of diversity and disruption, it’s vital that the industry keeps pace.

This was clear when the company conducted a Strategic Review that involved 100 member workshops. It confirmed that the profession is changing rapidly.

“Members, particularly in public practice, yearn for connections with new solutions, technologies and insights to be able to shape the services they offer,” says Ellis.

“One source of this disruption is within innovation communities - they are evolving business models, creating new markets and driving operating efficiencies.”

CA ANZ provides a community called CA Catalyst, which is a hub for Chartered Accountants, innovation communities, and technology providers. They can use the hub to create opportunities for collaboration that can benefit everyone involved.

“This includes immersions within innovation communities, access to training, toolkits and guides for disruption-readiness, and exposure to practical solutions,” says Ellis.

“CA Catalyst is an opportunity for Chartered Accountants to get on the leading edge of the future of accounting, build personal and organisational capabilities, explore new markets and services, and leverage innovation to provide greater value for themselves, their clients and their communities.”

Opportunities include immersions within innovation communities alongside start-ups, access to training, toolkits and guides for disruption-readiness, and exposure to practical solutions to address members' key needs.

The Icehouse CEO Andy Hamilton adds that The Icehouse is built on an ecosystem of founders, business owners, leaders, advisors, and investors who want to help make business for good in New Zealand.

“Our partnership with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand is really about surrounding founders and business owners with quality people who can shine the light around the options they can take to reach their potential,” Hamilton says.

“There will be a series of activities that give members more tools to have better quality conversations while we also learn together because I think the reality is this new age of helping SMEs with new technology, new adoption, new processes – that’s a team game that we need to do together.”

Another innovation community is Fishburners, a not-for-profit in Australia that nurtures high-impact, scalable startups.

Fishburners CEO Pandora Shelley says that the partnership offers learning opportunities for both CA ANZ and Fishburners. It will also generate benefits to expanding startups.

“Much of the conversation in the startup world is focused around securing a funding outcome. Yet, understanding when to take on external funding and how to apply that funding efficiently is equally important - with many of our most successful startups boot-strapping for a significant period in the early stages,” says Shelley.

“Many startups, particularly at early stage, don’t have the resources to take on a senior CFO who can provide this kind of advice. Through this partnership, start-ups can have access to accounting and financial expertise, assisting them to make confident and accurate decisions about their growth.”

Stone & Chalk is an Australian fintech innovation hub that works with 26 corporate partners to build internal innovation capability.

CEO Alex Scandurra says the partnership is not just beneficial to local firms, but to the regions and beyond.

“The CA ANZ membership base is a group of people that are sophisticated in financial services, have incredible expertise themselves as individuals and have deep networks in terms of their professional careers,” says Scandurra.

“It is really important for Chartered Accountants to understand how they can adopt and use the latest technology to do what they do even better.”