Six in 10 HK accounting firms have embraced automation

Hong Kong accounting companies are embracing automation (Image iLexx / iStockPhoto)

Hong Kong accounting firms are quicker to adopt technology than to their counterparts in Singapore, according to research from accounting software company Xero.

The research shows that nearly six in 10 Hong Kong accounting firms (59.5%) have adopted automation tools in their daily practices, compared to just 25.8% of firms in Singapore.

Adoption rates are even higher among the companies that make up 15% of the Hong Kong market, with 81% having adopted accounting tools.

The top users of automation tools are practices that provide complex advisory services (42.9%), followed by simple advisory services (33.3%) and basic compliance services (24%).

Hong Kong accounting firms are also outperforming their peers in Singapore in terms of financial performance, with average revenues reaching HK$2.7 million in Hong Kong compared to HK$1.4 million in Singapore.

Companies that have been proactive in embracing new technology outperform industry average revenues by around 20%, and report a reduction in the number of hours needed to serve a business client of around 80 hours.

“With the increase in technology penetration giving rise to increased adoption of automation tools, we are seeing routine tasks giving way to more strategic, analytical work,” Xero regional director for Asia Kevin Fitzgerald said.

“The accounting industry is no exception as we see automation tools being an integral part of the workflow of accounting firms in Hong Kong and Singapore, and we expect this trend to continue in the next 24 months. By automating administrative jobs, accounting firms are getting into position to extend their capabilities beyond basic compliance services, to providing advisory services which is currently growing in demand.”

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