Relative to the growth recovery, the Digital Economy Strategy is already underway and is expected to be in full maturity in 2030 — building expectations of a high-performing economy in less than a decade.
There has been a rapid [and significant] digital uptake in the past two years, highlighting the power technology holds in cohering different facets of the economy, particularly in business operations. The digital industry is rising to the ranks of lucrative areas in today and the future landscape, where Australia’s campaign feeds on.
So, what is the digital economy all about?
Deloitte noted that the digital economy is a result of the overwhelming interconnectedness of different people, devices, businesses, and processes. Founded in the internet, mobile technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT), it is set to erode and challenge how traditional business models are structured, how services are provided, how information is cascaded, what have you.
The OECD reports that activities or operations reliant on digital assistance, including:
- Regulatory Frameworks, and
- Capabilities and skills
are all-encompassing in a digital economy and society.
It may have been afoot prior to this year, but the pandemic accelerated the transformation to a breakneck speed. The global health crisis amplified the need to migrate to a more proactive platform to reach basic survival needs (online shops, groceries, and clothing lines) and working requirements (work-from-home arrangements and cloud-based applications), which in this case, is hosted through the digital avenue. And now that we’re at the cutting edge of digital transformation, advanced economies such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands are inculcating digitalisation into their national economy, income, and growth. Meanwhile, most countries are using this opportunity to advance their respective jurisdictions.
Given the global digital economy situation, how is Australia planning to keep up with the pace?
Australia’s Digital Economy Strategy: A Background
While the UK is aiming for a fully-digitised tax system, Australia, on the other hand, is preparing to digitally overhaul its entire future: all from digital businesses to frictionless services. Such a bold approach is emphasised by collective efforts in developing initiatives today, making investments crucial for the campaign, and refining existing loopholes to seamlessly transition when the time is right.
Australia holds on to a ubiquitous vision of being a leading digital economy and society by 2030. An additional whopping $1.2 billion in digital investment through the 2021 Digital Economy Strategy is made to further the enterprise. By the end of 2030, the [Australian] economy boosted through digitalisation is estimated to generate at least A$315 billion, alongside creating atleast 250,000 new jobs by 2025. Building on the initial $800 million Digital Business Plan, the $1.67 billion Cyber Security Strategy 2020, the $1 billion JobTrainer fund, and the $4.5 billion upgrade plan for NBN, the country’s growing investments in infrastructure, trade, skills, and other pointers relating to the digital frontier are supported in the 2021-2022 Budget.
In a practical sense, Australia is keeping up its game since the global economic landscape is getting more competitive. The government believes that fully digitalising operations are keys to higher productivity, income, and employment. Here are the country’s core focus in pushing their digital ambition:
- Digital SMEs
Remote work schemes is just the tip of the change iceberg. A Digital Readiness Assessment Tool is introduced to help businesses understand where they stand on their digital journey. Small Business Digital Champions Project is launched to provide digital advisory services, but is going to be expanded to Digital Solutions – Australian Small Business Advisory Service to cater to more small businesses into extending their digital capabilities.
With these new ways to do business, SMEs are expected to increase their profits and even save time for more important matters.
- Modern Industry Sectors
Australian industries need to level up their ways so they can keep up with the international market. Technological solutions pave the way to a more productive environment, unlock new markets, and create new products and services.
Modernising the manufacturing process, improving the supply chain, and propping up cybersecurity measures allow export sectors operating in the digital frontier to be at par with global standards.
- Dynamic and emerging tech sector
The government aims to broaden the technological capabilities and drive the growth of digital startups (fintech, regtech, gaming production and the likes) by 2030.
Unlike other arenas, technology has the most room for improvements especially since innovation is a concept closely related to it. Investments in this area are not mostly translated into commercial outcomes, which now became the rationale in making tech field a priority. In its success, a guaranteed growth in the economy follows as well.
- Digital government and services
Gone are the days when you have to go to the bank to make a transaction, or tax returns are filed on paper forms. Today, more and more undertakings are shifted online— establishing a paperless feat between the government and the people.
And in the next 10 years, the government eyes in delivering simpler, secured, and safer services for a seamless interaction.
Digital economy and its role in accounting
With all these digital transformations happening, the F&A industry also adjusts to the paradigm shift that happens over time. The profession has moved its boundaries beyond basic bookkeeping and payroll. It has since evolved into more forward-looking realms such as advisory services. The cloud, automation, and analytics only mark the beginning of the future, and we remain to see how the digital economy elevates trade.
The digital economy strategy cultivates the emerging trends in technology. When applied, F&A can enjoy comprehensive insights and improved workflow. Artificial Intelligence (AI), IoT, data analytics, blockchain, and cloud computing are among the key areas accounting can use to break the conventional methods of F&A, then instigate groundbreaking approaches.
Are accountants going to be replaced?
Accounting professionals expressed their qualms about being replaced with modern machines. On 2019, Robert Half surveyed accountants regarding the implications of automation on the industry, including getting substituted, fewer opportunities, and overdependence on technology for regular tasks.
However, as the pandemic passed, it only revealed accountants are still relevant even at the verge of digital uprising. Yes, it may have elevated the playing field, but professionals’ responsibilities also meant going into a higher gear. It’s more about adaptation than replacement. The human expertise is still a crucial resource when it comes to dealing with finance and accounting.
To make life easier — this is an underlying grail of the digital economy strategy. With strong foundations Australia is establishing, their quest to deliver a modern and digital economy in 2030 is an auspicious enterprise, at best.
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