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Southeast Asia Accounting Trends in 2019

Southeast Asia is a unique region comprising 10 countries, each with diverse cultures, languages and different stages of developing economies.

Singapore has always been the benchmark of the region, and a 2018 survey by EY found that 80% of accounting professionals in Singapore are currently not equipped with the needed skills over the next 10 years to meet the demands of their job.

Due to AI’s ability to successfully learn and master repetitive tasks with recognisable patterns, accounting is among the first professions to be impacted by mass automation. The question then is how accountants can ensure they have the right skills today for tomorrow’s wave of digitisation and automation.

Per conversations with professionals and management teams across the region, individuals and organisations in the region must prepare themselves and embrace every aspect of the transition towards automation. In 2019, gaining relevant skillsets and filling gaps should be the goal of Southeast Asia’s accountants.  Through heightened analytic competencies, the management accountant of 2019 can continue to build and shape Southeast Asia’s financial future.

By Josh Heniro, Southeast Asia director of operations, IMA

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