In our leading questions series, Kiwi businesspeople discuss the year just gone and what will impact them in 2019. Sue De Bievre, chief executive online accounting business Beany, talks about how small tech firms need more support to expand overseas.
What is 2019 looking like for your business?
This is a very exciting time for our business as we look towards expansion overseas and in NZ. We are launching new software for our clients so they can plot their financial progress against live information and plan for their futures. This software brings together the best of Xero reporting, benchmarking against other businesses and then creating mini steps into greater profitability.
It is designed to help busy small business owners make steady improvement towards having more money in their bank accounts. Personalised action plans are created and then monitoring is done to map progress - this is the first time that accountants are working with their clients in a systematic way to create a better future, rather than looking backwards at what has happened. We have been beta testing through the spring and can't wait to get it into the market.
How is that different to 2018? How has the last year been for your business?
This last year has been focused on our development programme, making sure we had our ducks in a row for the expansion in 2019. We have made significant investment in new technology around communications with our clients and internal reporting.
This year has been focused on the back end processes and next year will be about continuing our rapid expansion domestically and planning for our international debut.
What are the issues affecting your industry in the next 12 months?
The accounting services industry is undergoing massive change at every level.
The IRD is changing dramatically and their changes have impacts which cannot always be anticipated. We are loving the new technology which is enabling so much positive change for business - we have doubled our development team so we can continue to lead in the accounting service sector. The perennial issue of finding great team members continues for all businesses in NZ - particularly in tech and the financial services sector.
What is the biggest issue you would like the Government to champion in 2019?
We would love to see the government offer more support for tech businesses that are looking to go offshore. We are ready to go offshore - but there is little support for Kiwi companies looking to take the next big step. The more money we can earn for New Zealand offshore, the more money will be available here for government initiatives to raise the standard of living in New Zealand. We are passionate New Zealanders wanting to add to the greater wealth of the country.
Do you get a break this summer? What's your favourite way to relax?
Yes. It's incredibly important that the whole Beany team takes a good break over summer so we can be ready for next year. My favourite way to relax is hanging out with my family, going to the beach and completing puzzles of all kinds. Boring, I know, but I am an accountant!