Firms that continue to do what they’ve always done and fail to innovate will risk becoming obsolete in the long term, according to the Innovator of the Year at the Australian Accounting Awards this year.
After accepting the Innovator of the Year award last Friday on behalf of O'Connells OBM, director Adam Dierselhuis, spoke to Accountants Daily about the importance of innovation in the accounting industry.
“We like to challenge the status quo, what we have done is look hard at our systems and acknowledge that we actually have smart people doing dumb things,” he said.
“So we've set ourselves a challenge to actually eliminate all of the silly stuff that we're doing, the inefficiencies, and deliver something that's of value to ourselves, to our clients, and to the accounting profession.”
Mr Dierselhuis emphasised that firms that aren’t ready to embrace innovation and change will inevitably get left behind, as clients continue to expect their accountants to deliver services beyond simply managing the debits and credits.
“It is easy for all of us to fall prey to the ‘do what you’ve always done’ trap when we get busy with compliance work, but the reality is that innovation benefits all of us – our teams, our clients, and our businesses,” Mr Dierselhuis said.
“You don’t have to be revolutionary or world changing to be innovative and to create new opportunities. As in our own experience – innovation really is about incremental changes and shifts in the way we work – and it starts with simply asking the question – is there a smarter way?”
Mr Dierselhuis said that firms should be creating time to develop new products or services, enhance client experience, and experiment with new approaches to marketing.
“If you’re wondering where to start innovating, get frustrated. Take the time to sit with your team, understand what’s really happening in your engine room, what processes and systems are driving your team crazy,” he said.
“Our firms are full of unrealised and hidden efficiencies and improvements that can make us better, faster, smarter so that we can focus on what really matters – building meaningful relationships with our clients and having the time and space to help them innovate within their own businesses.”
The full list of the 2017 Australian Accounting Award winners can be found here.