Technology has turned accountants into business advisors

Before Xero, fresh faces entering the accounting working world after university would have their dreams somewhat crushed, as Tietjens reiterated: "All you really did was fill out forms for the ATO".

"When Xero came along, we were like, 'Hey, this is pretty cool, with connected data, taking data directly out of a client's bank account', and we were able to produce financial reports right through to tax returns," he said.

"Now we can visualise data with dashboards and do all this other cool stuff, but what it meant is we don't have to focus on or spend as much time on compliance as we used to."

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"Accounting used to be quite negative," he said. "Clients would only hear from you when you've got a tax due or superannuation due. It was always something you had to pay for, and it was just that negative relationship, but we're now having conversations about helping clients build their business, really taking on that coaching role."

As technology has started to automate much of the manual work that accountants have traditionally done, they're finding more time for the 'business advisor' aspects of their services. A natural pivot, which is protecting them from obsolescence.

It's interesting to consider how many industries likely have major changes coming their way, potentially for the first time in decades. Also interesting to think about the other jobs whose days have been widely considered numbered, that will simply change in nature as a result of new technologies like artificial intelligence and automation in manufacturing.

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