Wednesday, November 15, 2000

No future in accounts

Accountants must realise that their 500-year-old system is irrelevant in the new knowledge-based economy.
Gautam Chikermane
THAT WE'RE living in the Information Age is a cliche. We, as consumers, investors, workers, citizens, are all becoming part of a new knowledge-based world. But the one profession that doesn’t seem to understand this, and is, in fact, obscuring assessment of the true wealth created by companies and, therefore, investors, is that of accountants. It’s a profession that’s living in an information autarchy, unaware of, unconcerned about, and untouched by its customers -- investors, governments, and companies. As an industry that has often been accused of concealing rather than revealing the workings of its paymaster, the company, accountants are today standing at a crossroads. Their sole link to the new world: computing prowess that allows them to run the same numbers faster.
Column in Outlook Money

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