In April 2013 Wolters Kluwer, CCH commissioned a national research study for Small to Medium Enterprise in Australia, “SMEs – the fine line between failure and success” to better understand attitudes towards the use of cloud based software, who generates the most trusted sources of advice and the key drivers of business success for SMEs.
With over 1.2 million SMEs, the sector contributes more than $310 billion to the Australian economy annually and employs close to 5 million people. It is vital for the Australian business landscape.
The great news for accountants is that ‘we’ are the most trusted advisors for this valuable business sector. But what we really wanted to know is how this translates into better business partnerships and outcomes with clients.
Some interesting facts:
- When managing their SME clients, the average accountant spends 63% of their time providing transactional / administrative services.
- A smaller proportion of time (37%) is spent providing advice to help manage their business.
- Accountants with the responsibility for overall business performance or who have significant involvement in running of the business are likely to spend more time providing advice (44% and 45% respectively; cf. Those with limited responsibility of overall business performance 28%).
So with advice needed, what is holding us back from streamlining our software solutions and business infrastructure to enable us to reduce administrative tasks and instead focus on where our support is truly needed?
To highlight this point, around two thirds of the SMEs we surveyed said they would consider replacing some of the services their accountant currently performs with cloud-based software, and half of SMEs said they would consider looking for a new accountant if they did not embrace a cloud solution. These are our base line figures and it’s not looking any rosier if you have an SME client under 34 – cloud is imperative.
So pack away those concerns about security, functionality and scalability as these challenges have all been managed by larger enterprise for sometime.
For accountants cloud is a matter of survival.
This year we will be once again presenting research into the impact of cloud and accounting – stay tuned.
Wolters Kluwer, CCH is a global leader in professional information services. Professionals in the areas of legal, business, tax, accounting, finance, audit, risk and compliance healthcare rely on Wolters Kluwer’s market leading information-enabled tools and software solutions to manage their business efficiently, deliver results to their clients, and succeed in an ever more dynamic world.