For midsize businesses to grow they need to act strategically

| September 26, 2017

In Australia midsize businesses comprise one of the nation’s best-performing sectors. There are 51,027 companies in the sector that employ between 20 and 199 people. In total midsize enterprises employ almost 2.5 million people and generate over $717.3 billion in annual revenue, working across all the main industry sectors.

They are at the forefront of innovation in Australia, and the most successful of these innovative businesses – the top-performing midsize companies with a turnover between $10 million and $250 million – account for half of the sector’s total workforce and over three quarters of its cumulative revenue. A substantial proportion of these businesses are family-owned.

Midsize enterprises are of particular interest to the accounting profession. CA ANZ members support the success of these firms through a variety of financial, taxation and advisory services. The barriers and opportunities for midsize enterprises are therefore of significant interest to CA ANZ members and a key reason for CA ANZ’s support of the recent Global Access Partners 8th Annual Economic Summit, “A Vision for Australia”, which called for leadership and support for the sector. The Summit was attended by 120 senior executives from government, business and academia with delegates examining key issues. These ideas are then developed by multidisciplinary taskforces to produce pilots, projects and business ventures.

CA ANZ’s view is that midsize enterprises are significant employers, and major exporters, of Australian goods, but that they are often overlooked in comparison with small businesses and multinationals in policy discussions and regulatory support.

Amongst the barriers to growth and innovation in the sector are a lack of skilled workers, and access to investment, as well as the cost of business development. Midsize enterprises are also hampered by digital disruption – while disruptive technologies offer opportunities in innovation they also require a shift in thinking in what are often traditional family-run business models.

For midsize enterprises to grow, in times of increasing competition, they need to act strategically. This is the role of CA ANZ members, who can provide business planning and strategy as trusted advisors. Increasingly, CA ANZ members will be called upon to develop a proactive approach, addressing issues for medium-sized enterprises before they become problems.

In doing so, chartered accountants must prepare themselves for a shift in their traditional role, just like the medium-sized clients they serve. And it is the role of CA ANZ to support its members on this journey. CA ANZ has taken a leadership role in accounting education and advocacy, supporting the development of important skills in accountants, such as critical thinking and communication, so as to prepare its members for the jobs of the future and to support the enterprises of the future.

For more information go to the Relevance of the Professions publication.