The cloud has well and truly taken accounting by storm.
Now this technology is being used in more novel ways. Mobile accounting provides opportunities to accountants to source clients across the globe.
It allows faster response to meet client needs and the ability to grow revenue in new markets.
Accountants can reap significant opportunities in the rapidly growing 'informal' sector, characterised by work that does not fall under tight regulatory control.
Examples here are Uber drivers, Airbnb owners, and freelance designers or writers. Steered by Millennials, this sector respresents significant potential for SME accountants.
Over the past few years, accountants and their clients have made operating in the cloud their own. Many businesses are seeing the benefits through streamlining record keeping and compliance and integration amongst systems.
This provides opportunities for accountants to buyild stronger collaborations with clients. The technology and tools available through cloud accounting systems mean key data is shared in real time between clients and accountants, which saves time and can improve the quality of communication between accountants their their small business clients, leading to better advice.
Business owners and managers often take a 'set and forget' attitude when they have moved to a cloud accounting system. However it is important to continually review financial targets, revising at least annually, considering the future direction of the business.
The financial targets should also be in line with a three year plan, which should also be reviewed annually to take account of a changing business environment.
This will allow the business owner to be proactive when opportunities arise, or when challenges are confronted.
What's your advice to someone starting a new business?
The one thing that leads to failure of new businesses is a lack of cash flow, so every aspect of working capital needs to be managed from the start to maximise cash flow.
Effective credit management and stock control is crucial, as is not borrowing too much too early, which leads to problems meeting repayments if sales targets are not being met.