19 September 2018

Digital Day – What was it all about? Event highlights

Digitalisation is happening. But how it will impact the accountancy profession?

Our Digital Day 2018 provided the audience with insight on how to make opportunities out of technology. We believe the technological revolution can help you deliver more value to businesses and society. So, are you up for the challenge?

Who was there?

153 people from all over the world gathered in Brussels for this event: EU policy makers, business leaders, academics and regulators joined the profession to debate the impact of technology.

But how do professional accountancy institutes deal with digitalisation?

 of our members see technology as an opportunity to improve the profession’s services. Our Technology Barometer shows that they have a clear positive outlook for the future.

Technology Barometer Olivier Boutellis Taft

Olivier Boutellis-Taft, Accountancy Europe CEO   


Technology & Trust – are we there yet?

 Our keynote speaker Philippe Arraou kicked off the day by encouraging accountants to adapt to the ‘Revolution on Planet Accountancy’



main takeaways:
  1. Business information systems will form the core of the accountancy profession.
  2. Clients are changing their business model and adding value to their services. Accountants will have to follow.
  3. Ethics is the foundation of trust. The difference between an accountant and a consultant is the ethics.

Follow this link to watch Philippe’s full intervention.

TechnoEthics – the ethical challenges arising from using technology

Trust and transparency are paramount for our digital society



Watch the full recording of the panel here

What was Twitter’s response to the speakers’ discussion?


What are the the latest innovations in tax, accounting and reporting?

After the lunch break, 3 sessions allowed participants to dive deeper into these areas

1. Audit & Innovation


Digital Day Audit Session Digital Day audit cartoon
  • Moderator: Myles Thompson, Accountancy Europe, Audit and Assurance Policy Group, Chair
  • Julia Walsh, FRC, IT Audit Inspector Audit and Actuarial Regulation Division
  • Olaf Riedel, EY, Partner for Digital, Analytics and Cyber Security

Find the summary of this session here


2. Tax:  harnessing the potential of technology


Digital Day Tax session Digital Day Tax cartoon
  • Moderator: Eelco van der Enden, Accountancy Europe, Tax Policy Group, Chair
  • Benjamin Alarie, University of Toronto, Osler Chair in Business Law
  • Martin Scheid, German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Researcher
  • Alan James, Avalara, Strategic Alliance Manager

Find the summary of this session here


3. Accounting: Reporting from input to output


Digital Day reporting session Digital Day reporting cartoon
  • Moderator: Arjan Brouwer, PwC, Partner
  • Jarno van Hurne, Exact Software Nederland B.V., Solutions Marketing Director
  • Martin Naraschewski, SAP SE, Finance and Risk Solutions, Solutions Manager
  • Thomas Toomse-Smith, FRC Financial Reporting Lab, Project Director

Find the summary of this session here


What did participants think of the sessions?


 Regtech – ‘learning the beat’

Our one-hour discussion highlighted how technological developments support regulatory compliance. We heard concrete examples of how AI, machine learning, robotics can offer solutions. 

Kevin How, Alvarez & Marsal, Senior Director advises financial institutions on addressing a huge volume of complex regulations via technology. He derived the following advice from his experience:


  • Compliance is complex and costly. We cannot rely on quick fixes which are not sustainable in the long term. RegTech helps fix the compliance process and is cost effective in the long run. 
  • We need to understand what problem we are trying to solve before we jump for the solution.
  • Adopt an experimenting mindset. IT solutions are not perfect from ‘out of the box’. Implementing an innovative IT solution is a journey, it takes working with them and openly sharing challenges.
  • Align the colleagues from different departments on this issue as we will need their perspectives, not silo’s.  

Kasper W. Rost is the CEO & Founder at Calcabis, a Danish RegTech company focusing on using AI to optimise compliance and risk processes:

Digital Day Kasper Rost Regtech

This builds on the basis of how accountants can benefit from RegTech as seen in our blog RegTech the next big thing? . It makes regulatory compliance easier, it can help detect real-time market or operational risks. It can also set up ‘know your customer’ procedures to aid due diligence and combat financial crime.


How did our speakers wrap up the day?

Olivier Boutellis-Taft, Accountancy Europe CEO

Jyoti Banerjee, IIRC Programme Lead


See you at our next events!

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