Hundreds of accountants in attendance at the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) national congress on the Gold Coast, have been told they hold the key for future small business productivity.

“The accounting profession is held in high esteem by the general public and still holds the role of trusted adviser,” said IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway.

“Today’s accountants are actively developing businesses; supporting families and communities. They are driving productivity and economic growth.

“As accountants our work builds businesses; those businesses create economies and those economies sustain our existence.

“In Australia, the high majority of small businesses seeking advice, will seek it from their accountant.

“We know through our research and the development of the Australian Small Business White Paper, that small business will play the critical role to drive Australia’s future economic wellbeing and prosperity. However, small business needs support to become more productive; more competitive and more sustainable.

“We believe the role of trusted advisor; the traditional role of accountants over the centuries, now needs to take a step up and for you to cement your role as the trusted productivity adviser to ensure our economic growth and future living standards.
“However, as accountants wanting to help drive small business productivity and growth, and in turn drive economic wellbeing and sustainable, quality living standards, we can no longer act alone.

“We cannot afford to be a soloist or even participate in a trio or quarter, we need to bring the whole orchestra along and take centre stage; as accountants and trusted advisers we need to be in the centre of the ring of trusted advisers.

“To be successful in this economic mission, we need to provide a more holistic approach to our small business clients. For example, if we have clients who struggle to market their services, we need to look further within the ring of trusted service providers and have them engaged with those clients.

“We need to provide holistic advice that helps small business operate faster, smarter, cheaper; to become more competitive; to grow and prosper. If we do not respond to this cause, the prosperity we have come to enjoy will be threatened,” said Mr Conway