London, April 5th 2017 - Sage, the market and technology leader for cloud accounting today revealed the results of a new global survey that shows the attitudes towards automation are heralding a new era in the accounting sector.
The ‘Practice of Now’ report was unveiled at one of Europe’s largest business events, Sage Summit.
The research revealed that 96 % of those surveyed are confident about the future of accountancy and their role in it, despite 68 % seeing their role changing through automation in the future.
Meanwhile, 38 % percent revealed one of their biggest business frustrations was their time spent on number-crunching ; 32 % of participants reported they are still using manual methods as part of their record keeping for clients - 25 % employing Excel and 7 % still use handwritten notes.
Overwhelmingly, 86 % reported they would be happy for technology to make such admin elements of their job invisible so they can focus on their clients and building their practice.
“Change can often divide the crowd,” said Jennifer Warawa, EVP Product Marketing, Sage.
“This research shows most accountants see the empowering opportunity automation can bring, freeing them up to focus on their practice and their clients. As artificial intelligence and bots become progressively more intuitive, the door opens further towards the future of invisible admin and gives them the space to spend their time on more valuable services for their clients.
The industry must come together to support this change and help eliminate any barriers or fears that can hold accountants back. The call to action is now with accountants and small business owners to embrace the change and decide how they will spend the time that automation will afford them.”
With the research showing an appetite for change, Sage cemented its vision to drive greater automation with the launch of several time-saving services, including :
Sage Accountant cloud is a brand new connected platform that brings together a portfolio of cloud applications to provide an overall view of their firm. This allows accountants to manage their practice and their clients more efficiently than before and provide additional enhanced services, from one central point. This product is launched at Sage Summit with general availability available from May in the UK, features include :
Brings together the applications accountants need in one place to run an effective practice and provide exceptional client service, regardless of the size or the complexity of their firm. Available as part of Sage Practice Cloud are :
Helps accountants market their practice and attract new clients through a service that matches their skill-set with the needs of a business
In January, Sage announced that the world’s first accounting chat bot Pegg, now has more than 20,000 users in 110 countries.
As it develops its vision towards providing entrepreneurs with an admin free world, today at Sage Summit London, Alan Laing, EVP of Partners and Alliances and MD Northern Europe, previewed the industry’s first voice assistant, specifically designed for accountants – which is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa.
Demonstrated live on stage
Kriti asked the chatbot : “Which of my customers have a filing date this week ? Pegg responded : “You have two clients with key deadlines this week. These are Celltech and Build Your Apps Inc.” Kriti then asked : “What tasks do I have this week ?”
Pegg answered : “You have three tasks due for completion this week. These are to perform fieldwork, complete checklists and prepare financial statements.”
Kriti : “What about next week ?”
Pegg replied : “You have two tasks due for completion next week. These are audit and business analysis.”
This demonstration helped to illustrate Sage’s investment in helping to support Partners to move towards a world where admin is invisible.
For 2018, Sage is proud to announce that Accountants will join its CEO circle program ; an event designed to motivate, reward and recognise the top 50 Sage business.
For more information on these products please visit www.sage.com