Speaking to AccountantsDaily, Deliotte partner John O’Mahony stressed that small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) must adopt digital engagement strategies to survive.
“They miss out on the revenue dividend. So a lot of them are likely to be just treading water, experiencing very slow revenue growth or even see their revenue declining,” he commented on those businesses that are not digitally engaged.
Businesses that continue to ignore the growing need for digital engagement could see their client bases begin to deteriorate, and put themselves at greater risk of going bankrupt, according to Mr O’Mahony.
In its research, Deloitte identified growing client expectations in relation to digital services.
“The problem for businesses that don’t get online is that they are competing with businesses that are more innovative, customer-focused businesses that are making the most of digital technology,” Mr O’Mahony noted.
Businesses that continue to adopt further digital engagement strategies are also less likely to be reliant on an existing customer base for revenue prospects.
Mr O’Mahony urged accountants to not only engage with digital strategies themselves, but to discuss their importance with their small business clients.
“Convincing accountants of the importance of digital engagement is the most important thing for lifting SMB digital engagement. This is because [accountants'] voices are considered to be conservative, respected and trusted by the small business community. So if accountants are getting online and talking to small businesses telling them to get online, then that is going to happen. But if they’re sceptical, it’s very difficult for small businesses [to move] online,” he said.