The founder and CEO of Panalitix has reiterated that Australia and New Zealand are “leading the charge” in terms of cloud accounting software adoption, claiming that trans-Tasman accountants are positioned perfectly to unlock new revenue opportunities for their firms.
Mr Nixon was quick to point out, however, that embracing change must be reflected in the evolution of an accountant’s service offering.
“We’re lucky in this part of the world," he said, "but what are the effects on your business and compliance work with cloud accounting?
"The revenue of your core business is being digitally disrupted, and you must act fast and you must change."
According to Mr Nixon, the presence of “nimble players” in the market only serves as a further reminder that accountants must push into advisory services to recoup the revenue lost by the commoditisation of compliance work.
“Nimble players are in the market with cloud accounting," he said. "They’re low cost, they’re marketing-savvy and they’re cutting your lunch. In New Zealand, we see print ads stating ‘we can do your compliance for half as much, and twice as fast’.
“You are the keeper of the keys to your clients; you have one of the best databases in the world; they read your emails, they take your calls and they want to listen to you, but what impact are you actively making? If you’re going to be the trusted adviser, you have to live up to being the trusted adviser.”
With the emergence of real-time data, coupled with new service offerings, accountants are able to make a “massive difference” to the condition of their clients, said Mr Nixon, claiming that a large proportion of firms continue to rely on data that is between 8 to 18 months old, with compliance work responsible for 87 per cent of the average firm’s revenue.
“Where’s the value in that? It’s redundant data," he said. "That’s not client-centric; that’s doing what the government says you have to do.
“There’s a bunch of other revenue you’re missing out on because you’re not focused on the client, so let’s have it focused on the client, making sure they buy everything from you that helps them achieve their goals,” Mr Nixon said.