The online survey, with a sample size of 1,200, was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) from October 30 to November 2, 2017. It was done to assess public perception on key issues facing the accounting profession.
When asked about largest reforms over the past year, 64 per cent of Indians surveyed believe the newly implemented GST has disrupted the businesses community in the country, according to IFAC, the global voice of the accounting profession.
Further, 76 per cent people think that a knowledgeable accounting professional is essential for businesses to be compliant with GST, underscoring the willingness for compliance and the trust of people in the acumen and expertise of accounting professionals, the survey noted.
The GST, implemented from July 1 last year, aims to solve long existing challenges prevalent in the current taxation system.
For small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in particular, the GST bill will help eradicate indirect taxes, provide more transparency of the tax process, draw projections of production cost and make access to new geographies for business expansion more accessible, the survey noted.
As per the survey, SMEs form the backbone of the economy, with more than 50 million such entities, and are expected to contribute close to 50 per cent of the country's GDP by 2020.
"SMEs make up an increasingly large part of Indias economy and the accounting profession plays a critical role in helping drive small business growth, financial transparency and success in India," IFAC President Rachel Grimes said.
About 70 per cent of people surveyed think that new technologies such as blockchain, automation, artificial intelligence (AI), will replace professional accountants in the next 10 years, making them obsolete.
Further, 64 per cent believe that they would not trust AI, alone, to fulfill their personal and business accounting needs.
According to the IFAC survey, 80 per cent of people think the accounting profession enhances the financial transparency in the economy.