#PGLooksBack with PrimeGlobal CEO Steve Heathcote

Business Opportunities
December 4, 2020

2020 has been a year full of challenges and obstacles. The COVID 19 pandemic has created uncertainty for the global economy, with many organizations looking at new ways of operating in order to keep pace with the transforming landscape. But with challenges also come opportunities. 

The accounting profession has seen dramatic transformation over the past twelve months. With a greater reliance on technology, firms have managed to reshape their services and develop new ways of connecting with clients and peers. PrimeGlobal members have seized these growing opportunities and are actioning the change necessary to thrive.

As the first of our #PGLooksBack series, PrimeGlobal CEO Stephen Heathcote shares his thoughts on the successes and challenges for the industry over the past year. 

How do you feel that PrimeGlobal firms have responded to the challenges of the past year? 

When their clients needed them more than ever, our firms demonstrated incredible understanding, commitment and passion to support them. This has significantly increased their trusted advisor status which will generate loyalty and will open up a range of advisory opportunities. Our firms have been incredibly agile moving to remote working, absorbing and understanding new legislation, using new technology and rapidly reskilling.

The importance of personal connections and understanding has been clearly demonstrated. Clients have appreciated the individual attention and support from trusted professionals. This is a great endorsement of our independent member firms.

There have been many challenges – economic uncertainty, team wellbeing, having the capacity to respond to client needs, maintaining productivity,  coaching new professional staff remotely and managing challenging audit issues. However, the PrimeGlobal community has been stronger than ever – members have been sharing practices,  sharing resources and sometimes just giving each other virtual hugs!

As we move towards 2021 what do you see as the major opportunities for PrimeGlobal members over the next twelve months? 

Our firms have the opportunity to build on the trusted advisor status by providing value added advice to their clients. As compliance activity becomes even more automated, our firms will provide advisory support across a range of services. This takes our firms to the heart of their clients businesses. Data analytics is critical to identify relevant insight. There is an opportunity for firms to develop a 360-degree view of their clients, through data, so they can better identify opportunities to support them.

Our firms may not be able to support their clients with all their needs. However, they will increasingly provide value by introducing trusted providers who can help. Our firms will be trusted connectors, highly valued by their clients to find the support they need.

What do you view as the most important opportunity that PrimeGlobal has provided for members during 2020?

The platform to connect, share, learn and socialize. Our firms have shared practices, attended webinars together, joined discussions and simply found time to unwind, laugh and listen to each other. 

I have been really pleased to see our new governance in action. Our Regional Council members have promoted webinars, tools and resources. This has definitely extended our ability to deliver value. I have been delighted that we have seen more professionals connecting with PrimeGlobal than ever before – many of them had never been involved with the association. This has been a great opportunity for us to provide more value across generations and it has enriched our community. 

What is your personal takeaway from 2020?

We are stronger together. We need to anticipate change and be agile to take opportunities. This is easier when we can learn from each other, share challenges and provide encouragement. PrimeGlobal has fantastic firms, and professionals within them, who are ready to learn and engage. It is clear that connections can be made digitally, which will enhance friendships when in person events return. We need to continue to encourage professional to connect right across PrimeGlobal – both by enhancing relevant digital connectivity and bringing professionals together in person.

PrimeGlobal wins multiple IAB awards

PrimeGlobal Named Association of the Year

PrimeGlobal has been named both the Association of the Year and Sustainable Organization of the Year at the International Accounting Bulletin Digital Accountancy Awards.

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