Wolters Kluwer has released the results of its 2023-24 Wolters Kluwer Accounting Industry Survey for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region – “Accounting Evolution Report: Unlocking Revenue Opportunities with New Technology.”

The survey reveals that the accounting industry continues to undergo a significant shift, driven by changing economic conditions and rapid advancements in technology. The report also sheds light on the challenges faced by firms across the Asia-Pacific region and embarks on an exploration of how technology can be used to foster engagement, improve work-life balance, and drive revenue growth.

More than 600 firms across Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) and the South East Asia (SEA) region participated in the survey, conducted by Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting (TAA) Asia Pacific APAC. The top three strategic goals of all firms across the APAC regions surveyed are: revenue growth, improving workflow standardising processes and improving employee effectiveness.

Survey highlights include:

  • Almost 70% of those firms who consider themselves to be innovators and digital leaders are now on the cloud for all solutions, compared with only 41 % of those firms who consider themselves to be mainstream or conservative in their adoption of technology.
  • 80% of firms expecting low or no financial growth in the 2024 financial year consider themselves to be mainstream or lagging in technology uptake.
  • 51% of ANZ firms and 59 % of SEA firms look to advancements in technology to protect sensitive data; however, 74 % of SEA firms and 79 % of ANZ firms are still sharing information with clients via email with attached links, resulting in significant vulnerability for firms who are already at heightened risk of cyber-attack.
  • 77% of firms report an increased demand for advisory services over the last 12 – 24 months; this compares to last year’s findings, where only 40 % of respondents saw this level of increased demand.
  • 65% of firms that expect high financial growth are relying on technology to help attract and retain clients and increase service offerings.

Wolters Kluwer tax and accounting (APAC) managing director, Izzy Silva, said: “The 2023 Accounting Industry Survey results reinforce that the adoption of technology and cloud-based solutions that improve workflows and employee effectiveness will continue to be key for accounting firms seeking to achieve their strategic goals. While sustainable revenue growth remains key for firms across the region, finding solutions that create the capacity to enable this growth is critical.”

Survey says innovative firms continue to lead the way

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The survey also found that firms expecting high financial growth this year fully embrace the cloud, with 73% already using cloud-based solutions for all their needs, compared to 54% surveyed. Embracing technology and staying ahead of the curve will be vital for firms aiming to maintain a competitive edge.

While innovative firms are experiencing positive benefits from their adoption of cloud solutions, there are still further efficiencies to be gained. 

Wolters Kluwer tax and accounting (APAC) head of product, Rakesh Naidu, concluded: “By embracing tools early on and finding innovative ways to leverage their capabilities, firms can create exceptional value for their clients. Across Asia Pacific, Wolters Kluwer inspires productivity, innovation and collaboration through CCH iFirm solutions, as well as leading knowledge solutions such as CCH iKnow.”