07/07/2018 10:21 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Opportunities, challenges for accounting, auditing in Industry 4.0

Opportunities and challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) for accounting and auditing sectors were spotlighted at a workshop in Hanoi on July 6.

Dang Van Thanh, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Accountants and Auditors (VAA), said accounting is one of the fields taking the lead in information technology (IT) application. Big data technologies enable faster accounting practices and data access over a short period of time.

Pham Sy Danh, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Certified Public Accountants (VACPA), cited the results of a VACPA survey which demonstrated that accounting and auditing businesses believe that the Industry 4.0 will greatly affect their sectors. They believed it would provide tools, helping them to not only improve service quality, but also expand their market to other countries thanks to ease of online communications.

According to the VACPA survey, the biggest challenges facing the sectors include the need for personnel with IT skills and the big financial investments. While it is more difficult to control accounting data, competition in the field is increasingly fierce.

Over the next three to ten years, smart systems and software are forecast to automate complicated processes like finalising financial agreements, and support outsourcing trends, the survey indicated.

Sharing experience from other countries, Narayanan Vaidyanathan, head of Business Insights at the London-based Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, said cloud computing is widely applied in accounting in many countries since it supports access to information from anywhere. It helps businesses boost the scale of their services regardless of whether their IT systems can keep up with the expansion.

He called on businesses to partner with prestigious cloud storage providers in order to steer clear of technological problems.

The Industry 4.0 does however pose some major security challenges, especially those regarding information about management accounting, payments, and investment activities. As such, it requires the financial system to be more responsible for the safety and privacy of accounting information, he added.

VAA Chairman Thanh said to capitalise on the advantages and mitigate any negative impacts from the Industry 4.0, it is necessary to reform accounting processes, from collecting to handling, to importing and exporting data.

Meanwhile, the risks for handling accounting data when the IT system is connected to the internet also need to be fully identified and evaluated, he noted.