Call for Chapter Proposals: Accountancy 3.0 – The Future of Accounting Services

Fast Future, working with UK based accountancy Influencer Mark Lee, is inviting future-thinkers from around the world to submit thought pieces or full chapter proposals on how the future may play out for providers of accounting services.

After many false attempts at transformation and reinvention, the accounting profession is now at a crossroads. Predictions, strategies, and plans made over the last two decades have been superseded and exposed as too modest.  At the same time, many in the sector are unprepared for what’s coming next and few accountants have a broad understanding of the potential revolutionary impact that new strategic forces such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) are likely to have on their profession. These technologies are already making cloud accounting more attractive, simplifying accounting tasks, and removing the need for much of the work traditionally done by accountants in practice.

The aim of Accountancy 3.0 is to encourage accountants to overcome their reluctance to engage with an uncertain longer-term horizon. This major new book will offer the reader bite-sized, actionable insights that will help raise their understanding of a changing landscape, scenarios of how the provision of accountancy services could evolve, and the alternate strategies that firms might choose to pursue. The goal is to help them think about and prepare themselves and their firms for the immediate future, the longer term future and, commonly, the present that they haven’t had time to catch up with.

Our intention is to include a diverse range of insights and ideas from future thinkers and commentators within and outside the accountancy profession, exploring the forces, trends, ideas, emerging possibilities, and developments happening right now that could have a meaningful impact on the unfolding future of accounting services. Through this book we will explore a range of possible future scenarios for the sector resulting from the potential impact of the fourth industrial revolution together with the consequential far-reaching changes happening across the accountancy profession and in the broader economy and business world.
A potentially game-changing new abundance economy is about to be unleashed. The shape of economies, financial flows, and the nature of transactions are all being redefined.  What constitutes value in society, how we fund the future, and the business models for accountants and for other commercial entities must all be revisited. The accounting profession could and should sit at the heart of this transformation. Business advice, auditing, taxation, bookkeeping, financial record keeping, and many related areas of advice are evolving faster than ever before.

The idea is to publish as many perspectives as merit the space – a good 500-word piece will take precedence over something lengthier but with less to say.  We welcome your chapter proposal. You can either submit an outline of the proposed chapter or the full chapter using our online platform. Proposals must be submitted by November 17th, 2018. Those whose chapters are selected will be notified by December 14th.

Fast Future (www.fastfuture.com)

Fast Future publishes books from leading future thinkers around the world, exploring how current and emerging developments could impact individuals, societies, businesses, and governments and create the trillion-dollar sectors of the future.

Our work covers the spectrum of societal change, economic disruption, political shifts, energy and environment issues, disruptive thinking, and exponential technologies such as AI, robotics, and blockchain.  Fast Future has a particular focus on ensuring these advances are harnessed to unleash individual potential and enable a very human future.  Previous titles by Fast Future include: The Future of Business, Technology vs. Humanity, Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity and The Future Reinvented – Reimagining Life, Society, and Business.

We are inviting chapter proposals for the book and are keen to hear from new and established thinkers alike. Preference will be given to those who have both the strongest proposal and the most energy to support the promotion of the book to a global audience.

Scope

The book is designed to have the broadest possible scope and will be edited by Rohit Talwar and Mark Lee FCA.
The book will contain informed but provocative insights as to what must die and what could be reborn as accountants develop their new roles for clients and society in this emerging future.  We will address how accountants must position themselves relative to each other and to other professional service firms. We will explore how technology and societal changes will transform the role of accountants whether they work in one of biggest global firms, a more local firm, or operate as individual practitioners. We will also explore how regulatory changes could allow new entrants from outside the sector and the disruption they could bring about.

Core Themes and Topics

Without being prescriptive, we would expect the range of topics to be explored to include at least some of the following:

  • Radical new thinking on the strategies, structures, and business models of accounting service providers.
  • The new financial management, risk, and technology related advisory services that might form part of the business portfolio.
  • The evolving nature of audit, what transactions need to be audited, what can be audited, how technology might revolutionise how audits are planned and reduce the need for audit clerks. Relevant issues here include big data and data analytics, drone technology for stock and property verification, and the impact of blockchain and distributed ledgers underpinning transactions.
  • The emergence of Multi-Disciplinary Practices (MDPs) combining, for example any or all tax, legal, investment advice, business coaching, pensions, and probate.
  • Leadership, talent management, culture, rewards, and recognition.
  • Employee management – career paths, graduate prospects, mature entrants, succession planning and promotions.
  • The pace of development in exponentially advancing technologies such as AI, machine learning and RPA that are getting closer to human capabilities.
  • Innovative new partnerships such as the February 2017 deal between H&R Block and IBM Watson, and the implications these could have for accounting services.
  • Early examples of AI led business advisory services – how these might evolve and how accountants can respond.
  • The insights and expertise required to advise the new tech entrepreneurs developing businesses around AI, blockchain, Internet of Things, Crypto currencies, biometrics and other new technologies.
  • Inevitable surprises – Things we thought were a long way off, but which could happen much faster and challenge everything.

Nature of contributions

We seek a balance of contributions across these and related topics across the time frame of the next five to ten years.  We are also looking for a diversity of contributors encompassing race, age, gender and geography.
You can submit either:

  • A thought piece of up to 500 words directly, or
  • A proposal of up to 500 words for a chapter of up to 2,000 words.

Contributions can look at any element of the future for accountants in practice. These could be in the form of scenarios, stories from the future, development timelines, or predictions of how particular developments might play out.

The Audience

The primary audience for this book will be professionals leading and working in providers of accounting services – drawn from across the spectrum encompassing the largest global practices, through to those in large national firms to smaller local players.  We are also targeting those who might compete with those providers today or in the future. Finally, we hope this will be read by the clients of those providers from CEOs to in-house accountants.

One of the reasons why this book should be popular is that it will avoid the confusion seen in other publications that do not address the future for accountants in practice. There is a lot of talk about how (recurring annual) compliance work is being commoditized as a result of the move into cloud accounting. Whilst this transition is at different stages in different countries the direction of travel is clear. Much of the historically routine and regular work undertaken by accountants will be replaced by online bookkeeping systems.

Structure

As the nature of chapters might vary considerably, we are not being too prescriptive; however, the following guidelines do apply:

  • Keep the description of the current situation and context to a maximum of 20% of the total chapter content – the majority of the piece should focus on the future
  • Be clear about the time frame you are considering e.g. next three, five, or ten years
  • Write for a generalist audience – assume no prior knowledge of the topic
  • Make it clear if you are basing your chapter on research, emerging thinking, or presenting a more speculative vision of the future – all are equally acceptable.

Guidelines for Contributors

Please use the link below to make your 500 – 2,000 word submission.

The authors whose proposals are accepted must commit to playing a very active and regular role in promoting the book to their networks and contact base before and after publication.

  • We seek original content and won’t use anything that has been published elsewhere.
  • The book is aimed at a general non-futurist audience and focuses on accountants in practice, as distinct from those who work in industry or commerce.
  • This is not an academic publication – we will not include case studies or full research reports.
  • Contributions cannot promote companies, products, or services.
  • Authors can re-publish their contributions three months after publication.
  • Submission of a proposal is no guarantee of inclusion.

Contributor Benefits

Participation in the book gives new and established authors the opportunity to be profiled to a global audience who may not already know you or be familiar with your work. The following is a summary of the benefits of being involved:

  1. The book will be marketed directly by Fast Future to over one million contacts around the world via social media, our regular newsletters, and the contact bases of the contributors
  2. Each individual contributor will also be promoting the book to their own networks
  3. Contributor profiles will be shared on the Fast Future website
  4. Our PR campaign will focus on highlighting topics and contributors in the book, driving the potential for media coverage for individual authors
  5. Each contributor will be invited to submit a comment about their topic and the book which will form part of the launch press release and be captured on the Fast Future website
  6. Contributors have the opportunity to create a short video on their chapter which will be carried on the Fast Future YouTube Channel
  7. Each chapter and contributor will be highlighted individually in our social media marketing campaign
  8. Contributors will receive ten free copies of the book in print form and one electronic copy
  9. Contributors will be able to nominate five individuals who will receive a free electronic copy of the book and be invited to supply a testimonial and / or review the book
  10. Contributors will receive a personal discount code giving their contacts a discount of 20% on the list price of the book
  11. Contributors can buy additional copies of this book and any other Fast Future publications at a discount of 50% on list price (plus shipping for print books) for two years after publication
  12. Contributors may be invited to speak at events organised by Fast Future
  13. Fast Future may generate speaking opportunities for individual contributors
  14. Fast Future is happy to write supporting testimonials for all contributors.

Contributor Commitments

The effective development and publication of this book relies on the commitment of the contributing authors and we ask that:

  1. The Contributor hereby grants and assigns to Fast Future Publishing Ltd (Publisher), the sole and exclusive right to print, publish, and sell the Contributor’s submitted chapter in full or shortened versions in any language, in printed and digital form in any country or territory
  2. The Contributor is the sole originator and proprietor of the chapter; that the content has not heretofore been published in any form before
  3. Copyright of the content, if not heretofore registered, shall be held and retained by the Contributor
  4. The Contributor warrants to the Publisher that the work does not violate the right of privacy of any person; that it contains no unlawful matter; and that it does not infringe upon the copyright or violate any other right of any person or party
  5. The Contributor agrees to deliver draft and final versions of their chapter, in digital format (Word 2013 or earlier versions) to Fast Future, on or before the agreed due dates
  6. The Contributor commits to making a wholehearted effort to promoting the book
  7. The Publisher reserves the right to make reasonable editorial changes or deletions to the submitted chapter to ensure quality and consistency in the final consolidated work
  8. The Publisher shall have the right to use, and to license others to use, the Contributor’s name, image, likeness, and biographical material for advertising, promotion, and marketing of the work.

Publishing Timeline

  • Call closing:  Nov 17, 2018
  • Notification of acceptance:  Dec 14, 2018
  • Publication date:  September  2019

Proposal Submission

Please use this link to submit your 500-word thought piece or chapter proposal for Accounting 3.0 – The Future of Accounting Services:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7YTXS8Q

Your responses can be edited after you have exited the proposal form. Using the same device on which you began the proposal, simply click the above link to reopen and edit your previous responses.
We look forward to hearing from you.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Editor – Mark Lee – mark@bookmarklee.co.uk or
FutureScapes Series Curator and Co-Editor – Rohit Talwar rohit@fastfuture.com

About the Editors: 

Mark Lee

Mark Lee FCA is frequently identified as a top accountancy influencer and thought provoker. He has written and spoken for hundreds of firms and thousands of accountants. He is recognised as one of the UK’s leading independent commentators, speakers and mentors for accountants.
Mark’s latest talk about the future for accountants (The rise of robo-accountants – and how to beat them) has been acclaimed in both the UK and South Africa.  His 200+ articles for AccountingWeb.co.uk have been viewed over one million times, and his weekly blog for accountants contains over 600 pieces he has written to help his readers to be more successful.
Before he chose to leave professional life in 2006 Mark ran a tax advisory practice in London. Previously he had been headhunted to lead the professional practices team in the London office of BDO. From 2003-05 he was Chairman of the ICAEW’s Tax Faculty. He subsequently chaired the Institute’s Ethics Advisory Committee and now sits on the ICAEW’s Members’ and Commercial Board.

Rohit Talwar

Rohit Talwar is a global futurist, award-winning keynote speaker, author, and the CEO of Fast Future. His prime focus is on helping clients understand the emerging future and shape strategic responses that put people at the center of the agenda.
Rohit is the co-author of Designing Your Future, lead editor and a contributing author for The Future of Business, and editor of Technology vs. Humanity. He is a co-editor and contributor for the recently published Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity and The Future Reinvented – Reimagining Life, Society, and Business, and two forthcoming books – A Very Human Future, and 50:50 – Scenarios for the Next 50 Years.

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