Accounting & Finance Roundup – February 2018
February 2018: News you won’t want to miss!
This monthly news roundup is just one way to stay on top of a fast-moving and dynamic industry. In the world of accounting and finance, things change quickly with the impact of technology. In this roundup, we feature some of the best writers from February (and very early March) 2018. These articles shine new light on fascinating developments such as crypto accounting, hiring for change adaption, and the “fourth industrial revolution”.
A caveat: These are the opinions of the writers themselves. We don’t always agree with every argument presented in these articles, but we do think you’ll find the stories interesting!
1. How The Global Accounting Profession Is A Catalyst For Achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals
This article, written by Russell Guthrie for the Forbes Finance Council, discusses the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were laid out by the United Nations during last year’s assembly. The SDGs were established in an effort to put an end to poverty, protect the planet from further damage, and to ensure prosperity in all aspects of society.
With the growing distrust by citizens toward government organisations, the private sector is urged to take on a larger role. The accountancy profession is looked at as one of the essential drivers of the economy and financial market. Hence, their role is recognised as a key driver to meet the SDGs set by UN. From narrowing the gender gap, to promoting economic growth, to responsible consumption and production, the accounting professionals and firms can bring transformation on a global scale.
2. Square: Murky Crypto Accounting Rules Pose Risk
Nikhilesh De talks about an issue that came into the attention of Square Inc., a payment platform, on their recent annual filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The concern deals with the lack of specific guidance on cryptocurrencies for publicly traded companies under the existing Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in the US. Hence, it makes it difficult for a company to file profits or losses resulting from cryptocurrency transactions.
Square Inc. recently introduced the Cash App feature that allowed bitcoin buying and selling through their payment platform. Since cryptocurrency and crypto platforms are relatively new, this is an evolving area. They call on the SEC to take a closer look into these concerns so they, and other similar payment platforms that deal with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, can abide by the regulations.
3. Fintech Startups Need Industry Partners to Thrive, Report Says
By Julie VerHage for Bloomberg
Financial technology (fintech) startups are making progress in the industry, according to this report by Julie Verhage for Bloomberg.
However, a new survey conducted on fintech executives reveal a concerning aspect about the long-term survival of the fintech startups. Over 75 percent of the surveyed fintech executives revealed that they are looking to engage in a collaborative relationship with traditional financial firms such as banks and insurance firms. Meanwhile, about 18 percent of those surveyed were bold enough to claim they want to compete with the major players in the industry.
In an interview, the global head of financial services market intelligence at Capgemini, Bill Sullivan, has revealed that fintech startups need partnerships to succeed. While startups have been able to identify any gaps in the finance industry (and capitalised on them), they need to partner with traditional firms if they want scale and distribution.
4. Hire Finance People Who Welcome and Embrace Change
There are several myths associated with the finance industry and the people who work in it. This is according to Robynne Sisco of Workday, who wrote this piece for Accountancy Age.
According to Sisco, there is never a dull moment in finance because things are constantly changing and evolving. New situations arise all the time; dealing with account payables, payroll systems, currency fluctuations, and a host of other economic factors.
Given the nature of the industry, she emphasises the need for accountancy firms to focus not just on hiring skilled people. Instead, there should a shift towards hiring finance people who are excited by dealing with these changes. Firms should seek out those people who are not afraid to tackle something new every day, and seek out those who want to try on different roles.
This will be beneficial not just for the firm itself, but also for an opportunity for these accounting professionals to move up on their careers. In turn, this will benefit the whole sector.
5. Paypal CFO Sees Positive Future For Bitcoin
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of PayPal, John Rainey, recently spoke up about the state of cryptocurrency as a valid payment method in the future. This article, appearing on the PYMNTS blog, cited how Rainey told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that it considers bitcoin being ‘very highly likely’ to become a reliable currency for purchase in the future. At the moment, it is difficult to fully accept bitcoin due to its volatility.
This opinion by the Paypal CFO was also echoed by the President & CEO, Dan Schulman. In a Facebook Live event, he noted how more people are now paying attention to all cryptocurrency; not just bitcoin. He also acknowledges that it could succeed or fail. But he likes to think that in 5 or 10 years time, the industry would have a clearer picture as to where bitcoin (and other cryptocurrency) sits within this type of conversation.
6. How the Fourth Industrial Revolution is Impacting Accountancy
In this article, Lucy Skoulding discusses the recent webinar, hosted by Accountancy Age, with regards to the role of technology in the accounting industry. There were numerous expert speakers making up the panel for the webinar to discuss the future of accounting and how technology can be integrated. Specifically, the role of AI and machine learning and how they can be utilised in the world of accounting within the next decade.
There were a few key points raised in the webinar; such as the changing role of the accountant, how technology disrupts the accounting sector, why cloud technology is worth the attention of accounting professionals, and what accountants need to do before investing in technology.
Overall, the webinar concluded that the future of accounting is bright but it’s important for accountants to look at the general objectives before jumping head-first into technology.
Thank you for reading the monthly update for February 2018. As March arrives, we’re happy to welcome the spring season! This is a busy time for many accounting and finance professionals, and ApprovalMax is here to help increase efficiency.
If you’d like to experience how ApprovalMax enhances your approval workflows, register for a free trial. We’re here to help if you need anything!
Have we missed any great articles? Please do let us know, and if you’d like to submit your article for consideration, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.