Thai businesses brace for changes to accounting rules, digital and geopolitical challenges

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Tuesday November 29, 2016 12:47
Bangkok--29 Nov--PwC Thailand

Accounting firms and businesses at large must prepare for significant challenges stemming from emerging technologies, accounting rules changes and geopolitical developments around the world if they want to thrive, PwC Thailand says.

Sira Intarakumthornchai, CEO for PwC Thailand, pointed out that digital technology has altered the way business operates significantly over the past year. The accounting industry – among the sectors most at risk from automation – is not immune to this change.

Speaking at the 14th annual conference Financial Reporting Update (FRU 2016): Tackling Accounting Challenges, Sira said that "Although the principles under which accounting is performed are likely to remain the same, technology will change the way we process and make use of accounting information."

The emergence of certain forms of technology such as computer-learning and automated systems, cloud-based solutions and data analytics in particular will have a notable impact on how accounting is performed, he said.

According to PwC Australia's recent study on work that could be replaced by automated systems, accounting clerks, bookkeepers, data entry staff, and office administrative workers are most at risk from computerisation.

"There's a very high chance that we will see these mundane and simple jobs being replaced within the next two decades," Sira said.

Also, cloud accounting software is gaining popularity among small and medium sized companies for its agility, ease of access, and flexibility to change. Cloud software allows more to be done by one person, with a ready-made platform and tools.

"There may be the future potential for a one man accounting team," he said.

When asked about the use of data analytics, Sira said that established benefits include gaining better insight from the massive amount of data belonging to companies, which helps to detect fraudulent incidents, and make better predictions to gain opportunities for growth.

"Accountants will be in a position to make good use of the information that they have via predictive analytics and data visualisation, which will help management make complex decisions," Sira said. "As the use of data analytics develops, we may also see the need to add data analytics into accounting coursework."

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