The tax professional of the future – 2018 Barossa Convention

At a time in which traditional knowledge boundaries are rapidly eroding, the tax profession faces more serious challenges than in any
other historical period.

Recent years have seen significant developments that are
already affecting how we engage with clients and deliver services to them. Clients' expectations have also shifted.
At the 2018 Barossa Convention, Grant Thornton's Steve Healey CTA (Life) will deliver the keynote address, which will examine in detail the impact
of these changes and how professionals can seize the opportunities they bring.
The following quotes are excerpted from the paper that Steve will present – 'The future tax professional'.
Steve Healey CTA(Life)

“Traditionally, we, as advisers, have been
custodians of a body of knowledge that has within it enormous complexity. Today,
we are witnessing a fundamental shift in the way we interact with each other in
our personal and professional lives, in how we solve problems and generate new
ideas. In future, the work professionals do will be fundamentally transformed
as knowledge becomes more widely shared and available and as systems become
increasingly capable to deliver what professionals have traditionally been
engaged to do. 

“I do believe that
many of us fail to appreciate just how quickly things are changing in the world
and therefore fail to understand the resulting impact on our business and the
businesses of our clients.”
In the keynote address, Steve will explore how changing
expectations and technological developments are combining to impact the
relationship between adviser and client.
“As professionals we
are not immune to what is happening around us and it is incumbent on all of us
to understand what this means for our clients, for our people and for our own
businesses if we are to thrive or, indeed, survive.
“We need to recognise
that our clients are far more empowered and armed with a much greater level of
knowledge than they were previously. Many of us have already seen our clients
becoming increasingly demanding and prepared to pay far less than they once
were for what might be described as the provision of traditional services.
“The personal
experiences in all facets of our clients’ lives are fuelling greater
expectations, through such services as Netflix, Google and Amazon.
Communication channels have also fundamentally shifted to “real time” through
social media. In this new world, not only will our clients be demanding more,
they will want it to be delivered faster.”
Steve will offer his views on a potential future state,
expanding on a model of the adviser as a 'trusted concierge', and how
professionals can capitalise on this period of change.
“Having said all this,
I believe that the changes we are seeing are creating new platforms and
paradigms for the professional services practitioner and do not mean that there
will no longer be a role for the practitioner. Rather, I believe that the
practitioner will play an even more important role in distilling a plethora of
information, data and knowledge to deliver forward-looking insights, using tools
and connections across a far wider spectrum than has traditionally been
Steve’s session will look at getting the balance right between
what you know (your IQ) and your emotional intelligence (your EQ), the rise of the sharing or peer-to-peer
economy, and the shift in the ‘trust paradigm’ and what this all means for the
traditional role of the expert.
“It is relevant to
consider how the trust paradigm broadly appears to have shifted away from
institutions such as political parties, banks, churches and even professional
institutions, towards individuals and even strangers.
“Technology is the
enabler of this shift, creating new ways for us to trust strangers, and we are
becoming more accepting of that paradigm through platforms such as Airbnb and
Uber and through shared peer experiences and ratings.
“Professionals also
need to shift our mindset from the ‘expert that has all the answers’ to the ‘trusted
concierge’ that listens and works with the client and other sources to provide
the answers. For many, this is a fundamental but critical shift in thinking and
in the way we approach the relationship we have with our clients, our people
and the broader connected community.”
Later in the Convention program, and touching on some of the
themes introduced in Steve’s address, PwC's Alistair Hutson CTA will take a
deeper dive into the impacts of technology on the profession in his session ‘Technology
– how will it change your role, your business and the value you provide your
These forward-looking sessions are backed by the usual
high-quality practical sessions you’d expect at every Institute event.
Join us as we celebrate 50 years of South Australia’s Convention.
The celebrations will allow us to reflect on the past and also on the fact that
‘the future is now’.

The 2018 Barossa Convention will take place on 3-5 May 2018 at
the Novotel Barossa Valley Resort.


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