ZIMBABWE is in the bottom 50 countries in the world when it comes to technology, managing consultant Jackie Hussein told delegates at the annual conference of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries, in Nyanga.
She said accountants in Zimbabwe were reluctant to use technology because they were afraid technology would take over their role.
However, what technology would achieve is to take away some of the more mundane work of the accountant, leaving the accountant with more time to analyse and add value to financial statements.
“We are in a new industrial age. It’s now the fourth industrial revolution. The horse and cart were replaced by the car but this did not result in a loss of jobs,” she said.
She referred to figures given earlier by Pan African Federation of Accountants chief executive Alta Prinsloo who said that even before the Covid-19 pandemic it had been predicted that about 75 million jobs would be lost but that about 133 million more jobs would be created.
She said technology would merely result in a transformation in what accountants did, not in their being made redundant. When technology was adopted someone had to apply it.
With the adoption of technology, accountants and auditors would be able to add a lot more value to their business. Technology still had to be audited. They would end up with significant jobs
“In other countries audits are no longer linked just to numbers,” she said.
She said lockdown restrictions necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic had made it necessary to adopt technology for business to continue.
“Covid has brought us into that place where we have to have technology communication,” she said, adding that in Zimbabwe people previously had to go to the office because that was where the server was. It was now necessary to put data in the cloud.
Access to technology was now considered a human right, she said. In Zimbabwe data was too expensive not only for individuals but many businesses.
Transformational speaker Bishop Vukani Dhladhla emphasised the importance of balancing work with other aspects of life, particularly family life.
He said some of his most difficult counselling sessions had been with parents and children. Often the parents tried to do the best for their children by working hard and buying them cellphones and other gadgets when what the children wanted was their parents presence at home.
He said everyone should look at four areas of life, namely work, family, friends and self. It was important to ensure one was physically and mentally well, which meant there was need to eat healthily and not overwork.
Achieving a balance between work and other aspects of life could make a person more productive.
“Long hours at work do not mean they are productive,” he pointed out. “A work-life balance can make you use time more efficiently. You become a well-rounded person,” he said.