Greg Mallam is the Managing Director of Moore Australia QLD and Northern NSW and is based in Coffs Harbour. Greg’s former practice joined the Moore Global network four years ago and shored up their regional and metropolitan services. Moore Global employs 29,000 people in 547 affiliate offices across 113 countries and counting.

Moore Australia has a large agribusiness client base who are experiencing some of the best conditions in recent memory. With plentiful water, above-average GDP growth and a strong economy, the outlook is one of sustained growth.

Strong economy leads surge in client demand

Businesses that embraced digital operating models during the COVID-19 pandemic are enjoying strong conditions and a positive performance outlook. And accounting firms, like Moore Australia, are experiencing steeply rising demand for their services.

“Demand is the highest we have seen in our history,” Greg says. “In a post-pandemic world, our clients are seeking advice and support on cash flow, profit management and strategies for pivoting their business.”

By joining the global network in 2018, the firm’s client base and scope of business have grown across the regions. The firm now has a transfer pricing specialist division in Brisbane to support its international clients and a stronger focus on rapidly emerging areas such as environmental social and governance (ESG) and cyber security.

“Being part of the Moore network allows us to be a one-stop-shop for clients. It provides increased brand exposure, local and global development opportunities for staff, secondments and access to experts in all fields of accounting and technology.”

Dealing with a transient talent market An increase in service demand, however, has been matched by a decrease in suitably skilled talent across the accounting industry.

“Our most significant challenge is staff shortages,” Greg says. “It is a highly transient market for job seekers across most industries, and we are continually reviewing and improving our offering.”

Moore Australia sought to offset this by expanding its remote workforce, effectively increasing staff in other national and overseas locations. However, as Greg qualified, “this was not to take away from local job opportunities, but we’ve needed to change how we operate to support the local teams that experience resourcing pressures.”

By embracing this model, Moore Australia’s teams have become proficient in new software, hardware and work styles. “We have heavily invested in technology that supports our remote work model, engaging a project manager to help drive the transition of IT equipment and support for our people through change management.”

“What we have been able to do well is think globally and act locally,” Greg says. “We can run the business without a physical office in every location, and that’s very much the world now.”

Journey to a SAAS accounting environment

“The challenges presented by COVID-19 and mass floods in early 2022 accelerated our digital transformation and has since proven its effectiveness,” Greg says.

In late 2020, the firm commenced an infrastructure update that was a crucial enabler of a mobile workforce. This included the supply of laptops, headsets, monitors and desk docks to staff across all seven offices.

Greg explains that the focus is now on advancing their digital transformation program, which includes completing the migration to a fully cloud-based model that will support all aspects of the business.

“Our overall focus is on flexibility of workplace, removing roadblocks and challenges associated with our network and moving to a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) environment. Our in-house team is working closely with suppliers, and culturally, we are embracing cloud-based technology.”

Greg is certain that investing in flexible IT infrastructure and the required data integrity will pay significant dividends, ensuring efficiency and service quality and freeing up time for analysis.

“Technology ROI is still to be established at a granular level, but it is already possible for us to measure success through the timelines to complete work,” Greg added. “You can’t measure anything without establishing a baseline first, and we are already moving well beyond those metrics.”

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