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2023 Bookkeeping trends: Watch out for big changes says ABN Director Peter Thorp

Four massive changes 2023 is bringing for bookkeepers and what you need to know to overcome them.

2023 Bookkeeping trends: Watch out for big changes says ABN Director Peter Thorp

In the wake of a turbulent year in the Australian economy, Australian Bookkeepers Network (ABN) Director, Peter Thorp, says that in 2023 you can expect more of the same as the industry galvanizes to meet a wave of new challenges.

Representing a community of well-over 15,000 Australian bookkeepers whose roles in the Australian small business sector is becoming increasingly complex, Peter says bookkeepers will be redefining their contribution as strategic advisors to help owners grapple economy-wide change.

“Wind back the clock 10 years and bookkeepers were administrators of business books, but that’s all changed now with an explosion of technology and increasing complexity of compliance,” said Peter. “Bookkeepers are in the trenches day-to-day with business owners and are best placed to meet these challenges. 

“This year we’ll see the bookkeeper’s role as business guardians get even more critical with big changes that have been trickling into our industry for a year, now gathering huge momentum to impact Australian small business,” said Peter.

With so much now baring on shoulders of bookkeepers, Peter advises bookkeepers to take advantage of Tax Practitioners Board BAS Agent accreditation to become certified, and access training and support from the ABN to protect themselves and their clients’ business.

Peter refers to four main industry trends that will see Australian small business replying more heavily on bookkeepers this year.

  1. Turbulent economy has bookkeepers battening the hatches.

“There’s uncertainty about what will happen with these interest rate rises, supply chain pressures and inflation,” says Peter. “Bookkeepers are well placed to take a broader view of their clients’ business and report on ways to protect the business in this big economic context.”

Find out more from industry fintech leader, Trent McLaren, on how this affects bookkeepers.   

  1. STP2 means payroll compliance is even more technical.

“With March 2023 now seeing all big accounting software providers enabled for STP2 reporting, there is a bigger impost on businesses to get their payroll right,” said Peter.

“ATO and other government service providers are now linking their data more than ever before, which insists on greater business accuracy.”

Find out more about the ATOs comments on the STP2 rollout with this exclusive interview with ATO’s Director of STP, Employer and Intermediary Engagement, Chontelle Weyman.

  1. ATO debt crackdown puts onus on bookkeepers to take more control.

“With the ATO recovering from a pandemic debt blowout, accredited bookkeepers have more work to do to take control of ATO discussions with thorough advice on the business outlook,” said Peter.

For more insights on how this ATO debt recovery push is affecting our industry, read ABN exclusive comments from ATOs Assistant Commissioner for Risk and Strategy in their Lodge and Pay business line, Anita Challen.

For an industry comment on how small business can help prepare for this change, read more from Executive Director of debt management firm de Jonge Read, Ashley Shield. 

  1. Bookkeepers cement position as technology guardians

“With these industry challenges come the big opportunity to leverage the technology which has exploded into our industry in the last few years,” said Peter.

“No one business owner can get their head around all these technologies and we’re seeing more and more that bookkeepers are stepping up to the plate to help guide them.

“It’s not easy, and so bookkeepers must rely on big industry associations like the ABN, and industry leaders, to help guide them on how to advise their clients.

For a cautionary tale on what could go wrong with your tech, learn from thought-leader Clayton Oates.

For more insights on innovative new products approach, read more from experts including: Annature’s Corey Cacic,  and Intuit Quickbooks’ Damien Greathead.

For all the big education events happening in March 2023, see more about ABN’s involvement in Sydney’s Accountex and Melbourne’s Australian Accounting Expo.



15 Feb 2023
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