From XU Magazine, 
Issue 20

Automation Threat or Opportunity?

AI, automation, machine learning. Buzzwords constantly referenced in discussions about technological disruption in the world of finance. Should we be quaking with fear? Worried jobs will disappear, replaced by robots like a scene from a Sci-fi movie? Perhaps… but only for those not willing to innovate and evolve with technology.

Technology is our friend, not foe. It sets us free from mundane, repetitive tasks of manual data entry and double handling. It opens up the opportunity to use our real superpowers and move into the more thought driven, valuable and creative role of Advisory.

Human vs Machines

Machines excel at data comparison, number crunching and working to set formulas, but they lack the emotional intelligence and social skills of humans. Only a human can combine the business data with the empathy and communication required to educate and empower our clients. We should be leveraging this information to truly change lives, making business processes easier and more efficient.

As trusted advisors we can start conversations with clients about their aspirations and dreams. Data and technology can then be used to transform their business processes, bringing these dreams to life. A true advisor empowers small business and guides them on the road to financial success and longevity.

Xero’s Trent Innes recently spoke about the critical ‘1 percenters’ and how this leads to customer advocacy, “You can’t leave the 1 percent to the machines to process!”

Power of the ecosystem

What’s better than one human in a business? A whole ecosystem! The most powerful thing you can do in your practice is to build a team of trusted specialists around you. Partnering with industry specialist app integrators can be the most efficient way to leverage the 700+ apps in the Xero Marketplace. You will grow your knowledge base and optimise your client offering simultaneously.

“Think of the relationship between the GP and the specialist, the GP doesn’t try and be an expert of all things, they know to leverage their network of specialists. They identify the issues and symptoms of the client then refer them to the appropriate expert. This is a perfect metaphor to explain the synergy between accountants/bookkeepers and app integrators” - Jeff Atizado

That old saying “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” really rings true. Utilizing a specialist app integrator allows you to advise with confidence knowing that you have a team of experts behind you, and your client gets the focussed attention they deserve with an overall outcome greater than what we could achieve alone. Teamwork is the key!

Culture of learning

The most important lesson technology teaches us is to stay relevant. We must be willing to constantly evolve, and never stop learning.

It is a fast moving environment we find ourselves in. What we learn today could be obsolete tomorrow. Being fluid and adaptable will keep us relevant. Try to promote a culture of learning in your practice that continuously strives to educate and re-educate your team by attending industry events and webinars.

Why leave it there?

Learn more about app advisory and how we can help

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