Raelene Berryman from Moore Stephens talks about how technology
is changing her role as well as the opportunities for mid-tier
firms in emerging markets. As seen in Accountants Daily on 22
August, Raelene takes the time to talk about technology and
How do you think technology is effecting how you service your
I think it's making things easier. With some of the
cloud-based accounting systems I can quite easily get in there and
talk to the client while we are both looking at the same screen. I
had a client call just yesterday and the receptionist, who does a
lot of work for them as they are a small privately owned company,
called and ask how to do something in MYOB, I just said well let me
log in as well and I was able to talk her through it all. I could
see exactly what she was doing and I could talk her through step by
step and teach her straightaway. She learnt a skill in five minutes
that might have previously taken a couple of days to learn.
I think technology is speeding things up, its making things
easier and its making the client interaction a lot more valuable
because the clients know they can give you a call and get help
How do you make sure your clients are using the right software
We actually have some IT specialists within our team – not
internal IT – client-facing IT advisers who keep up to date
with exactly what is going on in the market and can help our
clients out with all the latest options.
You are leading Moore Stephens' push into western Sydney
– why has the firm decided to move into this market?
We've just opened an office in western Sydney because we see
a lot of potential in the area. Many of my partners and I feel
there is a bit of a gap in the market out there right now. Western
Sydney businesses shouldn't feel that they have to go to the
CBD to get their services and at the moment, particularly in the
SME market, they feel they either have to use a smaller local firm
or have to pay a lot more money to go to the CBD service providers.
What we are trying to do is fill that gap and say you can still get
quality service in western Sydney without an unreasonable price
Are there any other growth areas Moore Stephens has
Western Sydney is such a broad area and I think there is a lot
more scope to expand our operations out here. We are based in
Parramatta but if you look at centres like Liverpool, Penrith, even
the Hills area, there is a lot of opportunity still here in western
I think there is also a lot of opportunity in Queensland.
It's much the same situation as here, businesses in places like
Toowoomba or Cairns don't want to have to travel all the way to
Brisbane to get quality service.
Are there any other big issues you see effecting the accounting
I think the biggest issue right now is consolidation and unrest
in the market place. With the big four buying out people and a lot
of the owners of smaller firms looking to retire, there is a little
bit of uncertainty in the market.
The global economic slowdown is having an adverse impact on many businesses, often resulting in lower cash flows.
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