The latest skills Professional Accountants need to navigate the future

South African Institute of Professional Accountants
28 October 2021

A Professional Accountant (SA) needs to continuously add to their already extensive set of skills, the latest of which being around infonomics and sustainability, urges Prof Rashied Small, Executive of the Centre of Future Excellence at the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA).

“Infonomics refers to the economic value businesses can achieve by turning raw corporate data into a rich platform for strategic decision-making that allows for sustainability,” he explains. “Infonomics enables accountants to advise business leaders on producing profits while simultaneously benefiting society, the environment and the greater economy.”

As the Fourth Industrial Revolution frees professional accountants from mundane financial administration, this trend signals an Accountancy Revolution, which is the focus of this year’s virtual SAIPA Accounting iNdaba, scheduled for 2-3 November 2021.

Experts speaking at the event will unpack a variety of topics within the theme of infonomics and sustainability, including – among others – how to assess the integrity and quality of data, ethical use of technology, integrated thinking for business sustainability, the dream-vs-reality status of cryptocurrency, understanding sustainable value creation, taxation in a digital economy, and cybersecurity in a cloud accounting environment.

“We are grateful and proud that the SAIPA Accounting iNdaba is considered as an investment opportunity by several high-profile sponsors,” says Shahied Daniels, Chief Executive of SAIPA. “Standard Bank and Xero are the two platinum sponsors; Sage has taken up the gold sponsorship.”

Commenting on partnering with SAIPA as a platinum sponsor for this year’s iNdaba, Mandisa Zwane, Head of Accounting Sector/Relationship Banking/Business Clients SA at Standard Bank notes that “We are acknowledging the strategic contribution accountants make to the economy and the positive changes the profession is experiencing. We would like to lend our voice to a critical conversation which has an impact on the sector to ensure we are driving the right strategic objectives of the sector with one of its key professional bodies.”

Colin Timmis, Country Manager at Xero South Africa, says their involvement in the event was motivated by the fact that the role of accountants has never been more important, with 40% of small and medium-sized business saying that working with an adviser meant they could keep employees on the payroll during the last year.

“We are passionate about working with accounting bodies like SAIPA to push the sector forward. One way we’ve been supporting is by innovating new financial tools, from launching South Africa’s first digital bank feed that allows the automated flow of business transactions into accounting software, being able to snap receipts and upload the information from anywhere using Hubdoc, to taking all this information to seamlessly collate and eFile VAT returns to SARS,” Timmis adds.

Viresh Harduth, Vice President, Small Business, Sage Africa & Middle East, points out that the iNdaba’s theme dovetails with their vision of supporting accountants in moving beyond record-keeping and number-crunching, toward becoming digital transformation experts and data storytellers.

“Accountants form an integral part of our partner ecosystem, and we work closely with them to grow together and enable customer success. We aim to help create more successful entrepreneurs in the accounting space, and our accountant’s programme is an excellent springboard to accomplish this goal. This sponsorship offers us a great opportunity to not only educate the market about our offerings, but also to help grow the accounting profession and inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs,” Harduth says.

For more information and to register for the SAIPA Accounting iNdaba, visit: https://www.saipa.co.za/accounting-indaba-2021/