KPMG looks to cloud-based accountancy to attract SMEs
KPMG is trying to attract smaller businesses with a new cloud-based accountancy service.
KPMG is well known in the professional services sector for providing support to some of the UK’s biggest companies. In fact, it serves nearly a quarter of the companies on the FTSE 100. But it sees its next stage of growth as appealing to smaller businesses, and it’s doing that by stepping into cloud-based services.
Part of its new KPMG Enterprise investment programme, the new Small Business Accounting service provides simple accounting and tax services via the cloud.
That means that accounts preparation, bookkeeping, payroll, VAT and corporate tax returns can all be done through an online portal for small businesses and start-ups.
“The SME sector is the growth engine of the UK economy and we want to support early stage and smaller businesses that previously may have believed our services were out of their reach,” says Simon Collins, KPMG UK chairman.
With fees from £150 per month, it’s also clearly intended for small company budgets. That brings it more closely in line with the fees charged by rivals like Sage and Intuit, who also provide accounting software to small and medium-sized companies.
Yet ultimately, it demonstrates the fact that small companies and start-ups are a crucial and expanding market for professional services companies. As small firms grow and become more established they’ll eventually need more high-end services as well, so it’s a worthwhile investment for the firms that can form those working relationships early on.
Many of the bigger practices have been taking similar steps to engage with up and coming businesses – think of EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year or Deloitte’s campaign to work with 1,000 of the UK’s fastest-growing small businesses.
It makes sense that so many companies would be looking for potential in smaller companies, since they’re the ones that could one day be professional services firms’ biggest clients.
“With more than 1,500 start-ups being created in the UK each and every day, there is almost universal agreement that future economic growth in the UK will be driven by those businesses who can scale up successfully, making that all-important transition from ‘S’ to ‘M’ and beyond,” says Iain Moffatt, head of enterprise for KPMG.
“Anything that can ease the burden and make this journey easier will ultimately drive economic growth, spur job creation and increase the competitiveness of the UK.”