IIA chief calls for accountants to be more supportive to tech entrepreneurs
Mulvihill says financial professionals have to keep up with technology
TechTrade | 21 May 2012 :
Delegates attending the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland annual conference last week were challenged to examine their effectiveness in supporting entrepreneurs and SMEs in Ireland's growing tech sector.
Addressing the conference, Joan Mulvihill, chief executive of the Irish Internet Association, said the industry's problems of skills shortages extended beyond research and development and coding to include support services for entrepreneurs. Mulvihill said the lack of understanding and experience in financial institutions in dealing with the pace of the technology sector could hinder its continued success.
A report for the European Commission by McKinsey stated that 75% of economic growth attributed to the Internet relates to traditional non-ICT sectors yet it is estimated that up to 30,000 Irish businesses do not have an online presence.
Pointing to the digital retail space, Mulvihill said: "Irish shoppers spent over €3 billion online in 2010, yet there is evidence that approximately 70% of this spend goes overseas, so if you are not advising your clients to develop and manage their business online, then you are not providing them with the best advice for their future business growth.
"Many small and medium companies rely on their accountants for more than just financial advice... The accountant of today needs to understand the new emerging technologies and their potential impact on the bottom line."
The CPA Annual Conference took place in the Rochestown Park Hotel, Cork and was attended by over 200 delegates from across Ireland.