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Kiwi Company Disrupts ‘Dying’ Accounting Industry

Kiwi Company Disrupts ‘Dying’ Accounting Industry to Better Support SMEs

A disruptive new kiwi firm is calling on accountants to ‘innovate or fade away’ in the face of rapid industry change.

As increased automation threatens the traditional role of business accounting, and NZ small to medium enterprises (SMEs) demand better advisory options, kiwi accountants are being challenged to upskill in order to remain relevant.

Jamie Farmer, Founder of Grow NZ Accountants, says the ‘bread and butter’ role of an accountant, such as tax and compliance, is no longer the complicated, time consuming process it once was. “The increasing popularity of intuitive and cost-effective online tools provided by the likes of Xero and increasingly NZ’s own Inland Revenue Department (IRD), means the accounting side of business is becoming much easier to DIY. This means businesses now require a more holistic approach to business support to justify reaching out to an accountant”.

The comments follow the IRD’s recent announcement that it plans to cut thousands of staff members and move towards more automated systems as part of its new $1.9 billion dollar business transformation programme.

Jamie believes this is a huge indication of where the industry is going and says those who fail to evolve their business model are on borrowed time. “Small NZ businesses are savvy. There’s often not a huge amount of cash to go around and if free, or cost effective, automated tools are available to help them manage their finances, many will take it. What SMEs need now are ‘growth’ accountants; business partners who not only know tax and compliance, but who can also advise business owners on how to grow their business.”

Author, speaker and global coach to the accounting profession, Rob Nixon, agrees, saying accountants’ traditional margins are under massive threat. "87% of the international accounting profession’s revenues are focused on compliance, but this is becoming commoditised due to technology adoption."

Some international players have recognised this trend and attempted to branch out into business advisory but, until now, no local firm has been able to establish a credible ecosystem to service the demand.

Grow NZ Accountants has been formed in direct response to this gap in the market. Launched at the end of August 2019, the membership of chartered accountants offers the full gamut of business advisory services. “When was the last time you called your accountant for ideas on recruitment strategies or marketing advice? Our chartered accountants want to help kiwi businesses grow” Jamie says. “Each has full access to the ever-growing partner network of our parent company, Grow NZ Business. Our business partners are a mix of kiwi and global experts and cover all areas of business, from legal, HR, marketing and cash flow management to training, analytics and business strategy.”

Every Grow NZ accountant has the business acumen and know-how to offer insights and connect clients with people who can help them grow their business.


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