Centre for Financial Innovation

The Digital Accountant

Getting accountants and SME clients to use digitalisation


How can the sme accountant utilise digitalisation, ICT and data-analyses in his/her business practice in order to better satisfy the wishes of the sme clients and the practice’s own management and work processes are more efficient. In this project, therefore a self-scan and data-analysis protocol are developed with which the accountant can improve the digitalisation and data analysis in the practice.

Digitalisation alters the work processes of the accountant’s office profoundly. Software packages replace much of the work done manually by accountants and administrators . there is an explosive growth in software applications, information systems rapportage tools, financial auditing tools, process mining tools, machine learning tools, blockchain technology, online portal systems, data management en analyse methods.

To continue to efficiently meet clients’ needs sme accountants must find their way through the plethora of new ICT technologies. They have become IT driven concerns, while previously they had not paid it so much attention – they have a new unfamiliar task.

Due to the growth of possibilities of digitalisation it is difficult for the sme accountant to know what is relevant to him or her – and the clients, but it is of great importance that the sme accountants make the best possible use of the possibilities offered by the digitalisation of financial-administrative processes and the data analysis of financial data banks to be of service to their sme clients.

In this accountancy firms can make their own management more efficient, make their service to the management of their clients more efficient and using data analysis technology give more relevant advice and information to their clients so that they are better prepared to make decisions.

Main question

The primary question of this research how can the sme accountant utilise digitalisation, ICT and data analysis in their practice so that their clients’ wishes in such areas as performance and more direct management can be me and their own management and work processes are more efficient?

By answering this question the accountant is in a position to find his or her way through the jungle of possibilities offered by digitalisation, ICT and data analysis that already exist or are being developed.

Research output

In order to support this a self scan and data analysis protocol have been developed with which the accountant can improve the digitalisation and data analysis in the practice. The self scan enables the accountant can determine what is most desirable for both the wishes of the clients and the requirements of their own management and work processes. In het data analyse protocol the relevant data analysis steps and tools using Artificial Intelligence (AI), for the advice of the accountant and clients are described.



In research by RAAK-sme the focus is on a sme question. Universities of applied science and other learning institutions and at least six medium and small businesses carryout consortium research into practical applicable solutions.

Project partners

- Hogeschool Rotterdam
- Hogeschool Utrecht
- Nederlandse Beroepsorganisatie voor Accountants (NBA)
- Samenwerkende Registeraccountants en accountants-administratieconsulenten (SRA)
- Vijftien mkb-accountantskantoren
- Vijf mkb ICT- en software dienstverleners voor met name mkb-accountantskantoren
- Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA) en Nyenrode Business Universiteit

Together with organisations and companies, Centre for Financial Innovation (CFI) seeks solutions for current challenges in the field of finance and accounting. Big data, AI, ethical dilemmas and sustainability require a different way of working. CFI offers insight through research, practical recommendations and tools, and transfers this knowledge to students and professionals.

Published by  Centre for Applied Research Economics and Management 23 September 2021

Project Info

Start date 01 Apr 2020
End date 01 Apr 2022


Peter Krak
Niek Lapidaire
Lisa Klinkenberg