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Ford Peterson Blog

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Ford Peterson, Market Update

November 18, 2015

 

Deloitte purchases Cloud Solutions Group

 

Deloitte Australia has acquired cloud consultancy Cloud Solutions Group (CSG), as the firm continues its push into the technology industry. It is the latest in a stream of acquisitions by Deloitte, and its accounting rivals, as the Big Four seek to reposition their offerings for the digital era.

 

CSG addresses all aspects of designing, building and managing cloud-based platforms, thereby strengthening Deloitte’s capacity to offer clients technology solutions hosted on hybrid cloud services. CSG also has partnerships with major global tech companies such as Amazon, NEXTDC, Citrix, IBM and HP.

 

Robert Hillard, Managing Partner of Deloitte Consulting, said “the move to cloud computing is happening in every part of the economy as business and government seek to deliver more services to their customers in new and innovative ways.” According to Mr Hillard, there are many more acquisitions on the cards for Deloitte, particularly in the cloud space.

 

Report on health of accounting profession

 

The recently published benchmarking report, The Good, the Bad & the Ugly of the Australian Accounting Profession, delivered some gloomy findings. Some of the findings included:

 

  • A fall of 8.9 per cent in average revenue per partner

  • A fall in average client fee of 8 per cent

  • A decline in business advisory services as a percentage of revenue of 12.1 per cent.

 

These results are partly due to an increase in the number of smaller firms participating in the Good Bad Ugly survey. However, it’s also likely the figures reflect the significant changes many firms are facing as both the cost and value of compliance decreases.

 

Of course, the accounting profession is past being told that a revolution is coming. Yes, accounting firms need to look for ways to add more value to the services they provide clients. Undoubtedly, this won’t happen through a long-term focus on tax compliance. Everyone’s heard it, an increasing focus on advisory services is important.

 

The challenge is how to create the capacity for this work and equip the right people with the skills to be able to provide these services.

 

The findings do, however, reinforce the change in the type of people firms are looking to hire. That is, as the profession moves away from compliance based services, stakeholder management and influencing skills are increasingly considered very important.

 

The 2015 Good Bad Ugly edition is the publication’s 14th edition. The selection of firms is a cross-section of city, suburban and regional firms of all sizes, ranging from sole practitioner firms through to large multi-office, multi-partner firms. The data provided is based on the financial year ended 30 June 2015.

 

An innovative Australia

 

In Malcolm Turnbull’s very first speech as prime minister elect, he outlined his vision for Australia to become a nation that is agile, innovative, and creative. Earlier this month, the government began turning that vision into reality when it launched DataStart - the first Government startup incubator program in Australia.

 

The Prime Minister will throw open the government's big data files for entrepreneurs to crowdsource the best start-up ideas across key government services including healthcare, transport and tax administration. It is hoped the public-private partnership will create scalable startup businesses powered by open data.

 

The government believes the Australian tech start-up sector has the potential to contribute over $100 billion (4 per cent of GDP) to the Australian economy by 2033. “We have to recognise that the disruption that we see driven by technology, the volatility in change is our friend if we are agile and smart enough to take advantage of it”, said Mr Turnbull.

 

The winning start-up will be incubated for nine months and supported by the Prime Minister's office, which will assist in accessing government data and technical support.

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