The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Wema Bank Plc, Ademola Adebise
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Wema Bank Plc, Mr Ademola Adebise, has dismissed the fears that digital transformation will render accountants jobless, saying technology will enhance their performance.
According to him, an innovative and creative mindset, knowledge of business models, business process review skills, and data reading skills are imperative for the accountants that will operate in a digital economy that is knowledge-based.
Adebise spoke at a virtual forum of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria with the theme ‘The role of accountants in the digital age’.
The Wema Bank boss said understanding business models would help the accountant understand the customer’s business and journey and how to advise him.
According to Adebise, the digital era needs different approaches to doing things differently from the traditional era where accountants did their job manually.
“As the business environment rapidly changes with the business requiring adaptation, the accountant must be able to review business processes and produce effective processes suitable for the new era,” he said.
He said with the emergence of financial technology firms and the evolution of e-commerce, some of the accounting standards currently in use needed to be tweaked to accommodate the new advances in the marketplace.
He noted that the technological advancement was faster than what the current accounting standards could cope with.
Adebise said, “In the banking industry, for instance, we use robotics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality to do our job. Robots power most of the customer messaging systems on ATMs.
“There are software applications in the computer that make the work of the auditor easy, same for accounting solutions which help the accountant do his job.”
He advised the government to prioritise identity management in the digital era by ensuring that data generated by identity management agencies are used for planning, taxation and budgeting, among others.
He said adopting technology would help the government cut down on the cost of governance.
While describing the importance of accountants in any organisation, he listed their functions as preparing accurate financial records, ensuring compliance with regulatory directives, preparation of financial reports, tax returns preparation, forecasting and risk management evaluation analysis, cost control and revenue enhancement, among others.