The 4th Industrial Revolution is here and Professional Accountants must prepare themselves for a sea change in their industry. This will be the main message at the upcoming Accounting iNdaba 2019 to be held from 13th to 15th August at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The event is a collaboration between the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). The theme for the conference is "The Future-Ready Professional Accountant in the 4th Industrial Revolution".
Faith Ngwenya, Technical and Standards Executive at SAIPA, urges all Professional Accountants to attend the event. "It is of the greatest importance that South African accountants understand how emerging technologies will soon affect them and the organisations they serve," she says.
According to Ngwenya, future-ready practitioners are digital authorities, able to leverage automation technologies, analytics and AI to enhance their own services and help their clients build innovative business models.
"They must be ahead of the technology curve because, as trusted business advisors, this is where their clients will expect their competencies to lie," she says. That doesn't mean they must become IT gurus or data scientists. They should, however, understand the technologies and their dynamics in business at a strategic level, being able to advise on their sensible utilisation and deployment.
Above this level, Professional Accountants will have to develop soft skills, like empathy and creative thinking, and extended services that will add value to their financial insights, like risk management and business rescue.
"The aim of the Accounting iNdaba 2019 will be to offer attendees a preview of the Profession's future and the best ways to approach it," says Ngwenya. The three day deep dive will address this and other trending topics, such as IFRS, SMPs, tax and public sector accounting. The Institute is expecting to host around 1000 delegates.
Both local and international speakers will deliver presentations from the main auditorium as well as two plenary breakaway halls. They represent respected professional bodies such as the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA), the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB), and the Accounting Standards Board (ASB). Attendees can also listen to presentations over Bluetooth in two semi-enclosed "think tank" areas.
The invited speakers include, among others, Darrel Scott, IASB Board Member; Winnie Kiryabwire, IESBA Board Member; Lindy Bodweig, IPSAS Board Member; and Jeanine Poggiolini, Technical Director at the Accounting Standards Board.
Packages and special events
Delegates can attend any presentation they desire for a once-off admission fee. The fee includes a reservation at a cocktail party on the first evening, where guests can socialize, and a formal gala dinner the next night. The Institute has also secured a special tourist package which is available to accompanying spouses and partners at an additional cost. They can also purchase a reservation to attend the gala dinner with their delegate partner.
SAIPA and SAICA have agreed to collaborate on this and upcoming conferences. “As the two largest professional accounting bodies in South Africa, we feel that too many events are driven by a profit motive, to sell products and services into the industry,” says Nwenya. “By pooling our resources and expertise, we can offer practitioners events that are relevant to their needs and impart information vital to the sustainable growth of accounting, regardless of their professional designation or specialisation.”
Professional Accountants wishing to attend the Accounting iNdaba 2019 can view pricing packages and register at www.saipa.co.za/accounting-indaba-2019. A link on the site allows visitors to share the event page with their LinkedIn connections. Says Ngwenya, "We're asking that they do share the event to make sure as many accountants as possible benefit from the same valuable insights they’ll receive."
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