Professor Alnoor Bhimani was pleanry speaker at the South African Institute of Professional Accountants Conference held in Johannesburgh on 2 November 2022.
The theme of the conference was ‘Technomics and Sustainability’. Professor Bhimani spoke on ‘Accounting Disrupted: How Digitization is Changing Finance’ based on his recent book. He identified certain current forces of change including the global economic shift to the South, the relevance of sustainability issues for enterprises, demographic and generational transitions, and the rise of a new suite of digital technologies from blockchain, IoT, and robotics to the metaverse – all impacting accounting work.
He spoke on the changes taking place in accounting practices alongside the questioning of management fundamentals and how this is altering both the representation of financial information as well as the target audience for that information and new decision-making requirements. He noted that an emerging architecture of business relationships and changes in executive intelligence are factors that necessitate questions the accounting profession must respond to.
Professor Bhimani spoke also on the ongoing move from prediction to prescriptive analytics affecting accounting issues and noted that autonomous analytics initiatives are being trialled and will become commonplace before long in organisational decision making arenas – whether human or machine-centered. He concluded his address with a note on how accountants cannot lose their focus on indigenising the technology-led changes affecting accountancy while ensuring the modernisation of practices that enable competitive elements of the profession to be retained.
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