Speaking at a Sydney event, MYOB general manager of marketing Natalie Feehan said the need to innovate on the technology front is “critical” so that accountants can understand younger business owners.
“We do a lot of work in the start-up community, and we do that because we understand that these future business owners are our future and they’re your future; they’re our clients and they’re your clients,” Ms Feehan said.
“We need to understand these business owners: how they think, how they feel, and how they work, so that we can help them be successful in an ever-changing world.”
Ms Feehan identified the key traits of modern business owners as being passionate about their business; caring about the impact their business has on the broader world; and being technologically savvy.
Accountants need to ensure they can “speak the language” of technology with the business owners of today, she said.
“For these [owners] technology is not a thing, you don’t talk any more about technology, what you use, what you don’t use, you just use technology to help you be more effective and more efficient,” Ms Feehan said.
“You don’t discuss reliability because technology is reliable, you don’t discuss the privacy of your data because your data is just data and it should be kept private.
“These [owners] choose partners, they choose advisers, they choose companies and brands to work with who can speak their language and can provide them with technology that helps them be more effective, more efficient, and that ultimately helps them succeed.”
Ms Feehan said accountants need to reassess whether they have the technological skills and systems in place to help up-and-coming business owners succeed.
“These are the businesses of today; they’re not the businesses of tomorrow. These guys are ambitious, they’re motivated and they’re technologically savvy, and they’re looking for partners who can speak their language to help them be successful,” Ms Feehan said.
“I just ask you to really ask yourselves: are you equipped to deal with these businesses today, so that they can use digital solutions to help them be more effective, more efficient, in their everyday processes and working life?”