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Accountancy firm founder warns of the dangers from FinTech

Lucy Cohen

The co-founder of innovative online accountancy business Mazuma is warning that many accountants could find themselves killed off by the growing threat from FinTech companies.

Lucy Cohen, co-founded award-winning Bridgend-based Mazuma with childhood friend Sophie Hughes in 2006, says getting onto partnership with FinTech businesses could backfire on accountants.

In an article entitled ‘Beware the FinTech wolf in collaborator’s clothing’, Lucy says: “Open banking, APIs and the ongoing saga that is Making Tax Digital (MTD) have created a space in the market for increased levels of automation in the compliance ecosystem. In a previous article I talked about the historic implication by various software houses that their product could replace an accountant. Accountants, of course, know that isn’t the case…

“But do clients know the difference? In today’s political environment we are constantly being presented with information which is at best dubious, at worst totally fictitious and misleading, but that is presented as fact.

“And therein lies the problem. How can we accountants communicate our value to potential clients if they are simultaneously hearing the message, from apparently trusted sources, that accountants are redundant? Especially when they hear it from sources that have previously or are currently using accountants as a source of referral or integration.”

Several FinTech businesses including the providers of credit cards and challenger banks are currently courting accountants to refer them on to their clients.