Given the technology led disruption seen in industries such as music, retail, and travel, it’s maybe not surprising that financial services is experiencing the same tumult, with old established market leaders beginning to be displaced by new tech-savvy competition. Perhaps the surprise is that it’s taken this long, says MarketInvoice’s Anil Stocker.
One of the reasons why the financial services industry has been resistant to technological change is that people are far more cautious when it comes to their money, compared to when they’re buying music or organising a holiday. While we’ve nearly all been let down by our bank in recent times, it’s still a big leap of faith to take your money to an upstart company with a clever new product.
In the world of commercial finance, it’s accountants that are overcoming this problem first.
The advent of cloud accountancy is changing the role of accountants in businesses. The modern accountant is more consultative and more of a strategist for their clients. Many look to the e-accountancy eco-systems to create a bespoke solution for their clients using the multiple add-ons available. This new role requires a more in-depth knowledge of the vast array of new finance options available for businesses, and so accountants are fast becoming leading experts in alternative finance.
Just one positive element of ‘accountants as advisers’ is that accountants tend not to work on a commission based structure, freeing them from the vested interests of the old world of finance, and leaving them open to advise on the products (new and old) that best suit a client’s needs. In short, accountants have no reason to give anything but their best advice. New forms of finance won’t gain favour with accountants just by virtue of not being a bank, they will have to continue to demonstrate that their products and service remain ahead of the competition.
The way businesses manage their money – from payments, to borrowing, to remittance – is being radically overhauled, and accountants are at the forefront of the change.
Anil Stocker is the co-founder of alternative finance invoice trading platform and cashflow solution MarketInvoice.