Speaking to AccountantsDaily, PwC partner Jeremy Thorpe stressed the role modern accountants play in ensuring clients are utilising appropriate technology.
Mr Thorpe said that targeted business support, particularly via professional advisers such as accountants, can be the most effective way to communicate digital technology awareness.
His comments come after PwC, in partnership with Google, released a report titled Small Business: Digital Growth, which claims Australian small businesses could unlock an additional $49.2 billion in output over the next 10 years by better utilising already available technologies.
The report shows that missed opportunities for growth are increasingly prevalent amongst small business, he said.
“I’m thinking of every small accountant through to the large ones. The accountants themselves need to be able to converse between the options and skills to make the most of the opportunities for their clients,” he said.
“Accountants themselves are a very important stakeholder in this for other small businesses because people trust their accountant,” added Mr Thorpe. “If accountants themselves can tell their client to invest in online accounting software, for example, they are more likely to take that advice and do that.”
Mr Thorpe also noted the danger of employing only one expert in these fields, or training just one employee to be the source of technological knowledge.
“'Oh, that’s Frank’s job' – Frank sits in the corner and doesn’t integrate into the business. You actually need to understand and embrace the technology”, he said.
Richard Flanagan, head of small business marketing at Google Australia, stated that “Small business is too big a part of our economy not to be cranking. This report hopes to empower small business to make the right decisions to help themselves and the wider economy grow.”