Where are the Innovative Accountants?

Have a read of the average accountant’s website, and the word ‘innovation’ keeps popping up. There is no doubt accountants have heard of the word, like the word, can spell the word – but most seem to have no idea of what it actually means.

Business directory defines innovation as ‘the process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay. Innovation involves deliberate application of information, imagination and initiative in deriving greater or different values from resources, and includes all processes by which new ideas are generated and converted into useful products’.

When you look at most accountants’ websites it typically shows under services that they provide book-keeping, accounting, BAS, business advisory, taxation, tax planning, etc. Clearly providing these services has nothing to do with innovation because none of the services involve new ideas or processes. All these services are being provided in basically the same way as they have been for the last 20 years. For example Xero developing the Cloud accounting software was innovative. In contrast accountants using Xero accounting software are not innovative – they are only users of the product.