“It’s impossible to believe that Banks are adequately resourced to deliver a complete suite of best-in-class products”
Frank Rotman, QED
Historically speaking and without much controversy, it has been established that “Banks must, and do, manage a complete suite of banking products (core banking, lending, payments, wealth management, etc.) and serve all clients (consumer, SME, and corporate) through all channels (branch, online, telephone, mobile, etc.).” Founding Partner of QED Investors, Frank Rotman <The Copernican Revolution of Banking>
Today, as we examine our financial ecosystem we can say, with a fair degree of certainty, that these principles do not remain valid. Best of breed financial solutions are now emerging from a myriad of institutions. This is even more apparent when we narrow the scope of this discussion to the traditionally underserved client; the SME.
As Rotman states, until banks do take the leap to offer best products to other institutions’ customers and replace non-core capabilities with best-in-class offerings from third parties, we have a lag in existence. In the UK there is a concerning void between the existence of alternative solutions and their availability to the small business owner.
In convergence with channel barriers falling due to Open Banking and cloud accounting, this means that the humble accountant is afforded more power than ever before, whether they desire it or not. This traditionally unassuming profession has been placed firmly in the spotlight as the only remaining unbiased source of “truth” for the SME.
Capitalise.com kicks off its 2018 UK Roadshow to explore just this: What is the role of the accountant in a world where legacy banks are unable to deliver a full suite of best in class products across all verticals. How are we to deal with variety of financial solutions deriving from a multitude of sources - and what does this suggest for accountants? At the extreme end, does this place the SME accountant as the present day local bank Relationship Manager? Or does it merely provide accountants additional opportunities to further serve their client, if they choose to do so.
Too often discussion centres on the notion of what accountants “should” or “must” do in order to thrive and this is often coming from institutions with little knowledge of the accounting profession. Meanwhile the Capitalise.com 2018 UK roadshow will present the voice of industry leaders, members of regulatory bodies, leading accounting professionals and members of the community throughout the UK. This is a discussion which must be held at the foundation rather than thrust upon the accountant.
Can (and should) the accountant help bridge the gap by exploring solutions to offer their SME client and, if so, how? For many this is currently unclear, however Darren Jasper, PKF Francis-Clark casts light on the matter when he says “I’m excited about the future of FinTech because of the opportunities it is going to create for me, as an accountant, in the services and advice I can offer my clients.” As Paul Miller of Cornish Accountants “it’s an exciting and brave new Fintech era”, regardless of where you fall.
Register your interest here to attend at one of the locations around the UK.