Will Mathieson CA: Why accountants should use strategic technology

Professionals using tech, laptops around a table
By Lesley Stewart, CA Today

2 June 2017

The traditional role of the accountant is changing. We talk tech with Will Mathieson CA and Director of DataTracks, and learn how smart technology can rewire professional perceptions.

For a long time the stereotype of the accountant was that of a number-cruncher – there to process, not provide business insights. But that perception has changed and technology is allowing the strategic, analytical mind of the accountant to break free from their typecast role.

Recent reports reveal that the Big Four now hold the majority share in the digital transformation consultancy market, as the need for growth becomes the biggest driver of digital investment in the UK. And trend reports from digital consultants Accenture confirm that technology is not the once promised threat, but a “life enriching” opportunity. All evidence points to the transformational: the accountants’ role as a business adviser has changed.

Q: How can CAs use technology strategically?

"We face the same challenges and don’t have all the answers.  But we do believe that the case for shedding low value added activity and adopting agile business practices helps win the time to consider these challenges," said Will Mathieson CA, Director of DataTracks.

“Technology is an increasingly important enabler for achieving most outputs in the accountancy  world.  If businesses can use knowledge of technology to anticipate the requirements of their customers (including internal customers), or better still, shape those requirements by creating attractive new services, they are setting the strategic agenda.

“That is a much better place to be than simply reacting to change unleashed by others.

“Remember - not all current incumbents will be winners in this time of change. Maximizing the use of emergent technology should be a core competence for accounting leaders.”

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About DataTracks

Will Mathieson is a Director of DataTracks. He is a CA with a BA in Economics from the University of Stirling. Following a successful career with Shell he originated DataTracks, the iXBRL Managed Tagging Service.

With a track record of more than 12 years, DataTracks is the most experienced global provider of XBRL and iXBRL services in this relatively new field.  DataTracks prepares statements for filing with regulators in the UK, Ireland, USA, Singapore and India. It applies similar technology, quality control and professional expertise to all the regions that it serves. In the UK it is also a favourite with accounting practices, including 6 of the UK’s top 10 accounting firms.

This blog is one of a series of articles from our commercial partners.
The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of ICAS.


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