Accounting firms warned not to 'rest on laurels' in 2017
Despite the positive outlook for SMEs in 2017, accounting firms have been warned the competitive nature of the accounting industry means there is “no room for complacency”.
The MYOB Business Monitor report, which surveyed more than 1,000 small business owners, showed that 26 per cent of operators expect the economy to improve over the next year, while 33 per cent expect it will remain the same.
Twenty-seven per cent of SMEs stated their revenue had increased (up from 21 per cent in July last year), and 30 per cent were looking at prices and margins on products/services as their top focus area.
CEO of MYOB Tim Reed said that while the results were “a great thing for accounting”, the competitive nature of the industry meant there wasn’t “any room for complacency” in 2017.
“No one should be resting on their laurels. To remain competitive, accountants have to be on a journey of continuous improvement, they have to be on a journey of adopting new technology and really leveraging it to decrease the wasted time and effort, and therefore increase their margin,” Mr Reed said.
“I think there are some real times for optimism, but I don’t think there’s any room for complacency.”
Despite the warning, Mr Reed said the survey results were indicative of a positive outlook for the accounting industry in 2017.
“It’s much harder for [SMEs] to grow the revenue lines when their clients’ revenues are not growing, so when I think of the fortunes and the outlook of accounting practices, to me a lead indicator of that is what’s happening in the lives of their clients and how their clients’ businesses are performing,” he said.
“The really pleasing thing about this set of results is that it shows that there are improving signs, both when we look at the current performance and when we look at the outlook of small businesses across Australia, and that’s a great thing for accounting.”