Small businesses and entrepreneurs are looking for an adviser and not an accountant, according to managing director of Wolters Kluwer (Tax & Accounting Europe), Henri Van Engelen.
Speaking about software developments in accountancy during a Wolters Kluwer roundtable today, Van Engelen said “adventurers” were shaping the future of the profession and that entrepreneurs were now looking for collaboration via cloud-based, easy-to-use software solutions.
He admitted that adoption rates of collaborative computing between advisers and entrepreneurs differed by region, but said it will eventually come to all.
Herman Roose, partner at Deloitte in the Netherlands, agreed and added that collaborative portals have been the biggest transformation for the sector in the last five years and accountants in small and medium-sized businesses were caught in the middle of this change.
He said that because this “paradigm shift” was unwinding at an accelerating speed, accountants needed to be more forward-thinking and start telling their clients they were advisers.
“Entrepreneurs need the data of today and not yesterday, technology can help to do that,” he said. “And if you could integrate all of your data into a single database, you could be as agile as a large business”.