The small and medium-sized business sector is the lifeblood of every economy, says Jason Blumer, CEO at Thriveal.
Blumer is a keynote speaker at the Intuit QuickBooks Get Connected events in Cape Town and Johannesburg on February 4 and 6 respectively where he will unpack unique South African business challenges, and work through real issues.
"It is an exciting time to be a certified public accountant (CPA) - the equivalent of a South African Chartered Accountant, or CA - with so much opportunity to be innovative and redefine how we do business," says Blumer.
"While each market around the world is different, there are certain fundamentals that CAs can take to heart to improve their businesses. With the right mindset and support, we can envisage a world where a small accounting business owner goes from surviving to thriving."
Entrepreneurship can, and does, take many forms. Many entrepreneurs have brilliant ideas, but often they hold onto the idea of the company remaining just how they imagined it, according to Blumer.
"At some point, a company outgrows the founder. This is when the entrepreneur must let go of the company to allow it to become an entity all on its own. Especially at certain team sizes and client sizes, successful entrepreneurs eventually give up their own personal desires and allow the needs of a larger organisation to be met," he says.
"As CAs, it is important to recognise that we are in the human-care business. We deliver services such as tax, accounting, and consulting, but essentially we are in the service of humans. Humans are often afraid, struggle in their businesses, and need someone to provide closer care for them while they lead their company. Businesses only exist because they provide some market value to the world."
In his view, CAs must learn to execute their ideas in a way that makes them valuable to the market they have chosen to serve. He is also of the view that look at cloud computing options to remain competitive. Cloud accounting software is a case in point.
"Automation of functions is not a luxury anymore. The world is being disrupted all around us and the only way business owners can stay ahead of the curve and keep their ideas creative and firms moving forward is if they can invest all their energy in the actual business of running their businesses," says Blumer.
"Having issues such as security of data and compliance handled automatically also greatly reduces the burden on the entrepreneur."
A global trend he mentions is pricing services instead of billing by the hour. Becoming a "remote" firm is also a trend, however, a business owner should consider this very carefully, in Blumer's view.