Tech Insights with Accounting Leaders: Lorin Joyce, Chairman, MGI Australasia

2020 delivered more than its fair share of challenges, but thinking technology, what were you most grateful for?

As a firm, we are most grateful for the enhancements to the ATO’s reporting, pre-filling and correspondence platforms.

For example, we are now able to confirm a client’s super contributions in real time, as well as their available concessional cap, all via the ATO portal.

We are also grateful for the speed at which the ATO set up reporting systems that enabled us to manage our client’s JobKeeper obligations and payment receipts.  

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We were very grateful for the fact that once the decision was made the lodgement and processing wasn’t hindered by slow or difficult to use software, that we were very grateful for.

This enabled us as a firm to spend time where it was needed most, on the phone to our clients.

Also, for all the Zoom/Teams/etc…video conferencing technology was essential.

From a tech perspective, what do you believe is the greatest issue facing the accounting industry right now?

We believe the challenge for accountants will be to keep up to date and understand the variety of software on offer, while still having a comprehensive knowledge of it’s functions.

There are currently hundreds of apps and software available on the marketplace.  It is incredibly time consuming for business owners or accountants to determine which of the available products would suit their needs.

Accountants will be required to adapt to new software while still remaining vigilant of the benefit it provides to its user.

Also, many clients are under the incorrect assumption that their accounting software product will automatically do everything for them.

"Automation is something that will continue to shake the industry..." say Joyce.

It is therefore essential that a client is provided with real time advice on setting up their software and ensuring the accuracy of the data that is entered.

Automation is something that will continue to shake the industry into improving the way we deliver our service and change the way we add value to our clients.

Accountants with strong client relationships who offer more than compliance to their clients will be the leaders of the industry (and already are!!!).

3. What’s the #1 tech solution on your wish list?

We are seeking an efficient way for a business owner, along with their accountant, to streamline their product selection criteria.

We would then be able to focus our time and efforts on ensuring we utilise a given product to its fullest potential.

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