The President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Mr Razak Jaiyeola, FCA and the MD/CEO Ecobank Nigeria Mr Patrick Akinwuntan believe digital technology will transform the Accounting profession. They both made this comment in separate interviews with Proshare WebTV on the sidelines of the maiden Accounteks summit in Lagos, organized by ICAN. The President of the Institute, Jaiyeola, said that the objective of the summit was to create awareness of the impact of technology in the accounting profession. According to him “Business models are changing, and because we account for those businesses it means that the way and manner of the accounts has to change but more than just accounting; it is creating another level of responsibility for accountants in the sense that we must start to create value in whatever we do”.
Jaiyeola stressed that the summit focused on how the accounting profession can create value through technology and reposition the profession to be more strategic and pragmatic in the digital age. With emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Big Data and Machine learning, the ICAN President was of the view that accountants have to adapt to disruptive innovations that will help them be more efficient at their tasks. He was happy that ICAN members got the message, he mentioned that the Institute would be announcing further programmes to consolidate on the knowledge of the deployment of technology to enhance the accounting practice. The MD/CEO of Ecobank Nigeria, Akinwuntan, on his part believed the summit exposed the accountants to the reality of technical issues, security issues and business issues surrounding digital platforms and the use of technology. Akinwuntan observed that the maiden Accounteks summit, provided an opportunity for the ICAN members to be classified more as ‘Thinking Accountants’, providing solutions to challenges in the financial services industry and economy. Speaking further he said “A lot of financial outcomes now depend on digital platforms both for transacting, for controls and for reporting activities because most of accounting entries now are generated using technology”. “Through technology Accountants can create value, drive efficiency which would continue to improve investor confidence and the credibility of the financial information provided for timely business and investment decisions” Akinwuntan said.