On the one hand, Corona and all related restrictions, particularly the lockdowns imposed in Austria, have hit many firms exhausting. Not solely in commerce, sports activities and leisure, which needed to shut for months, but additionally within the small and medium-sized craft and industrial enterprises that form the nationwide financial construction. However, in keeping with research and quite a few consultants, the pandemic has additionally led to an actual surge in digitization and a brand new work tradition with extra environment friendly processes and extra clear buildings.
Nevertheless, as a current survey by worldwide auditor and guide Mazars reveals, this enhance has not at all reached everybody equally. “The larger the businesses, the extra digitization measures they’ve taken. Even earlier than Corona and much more so since,” says Michael Dessulemoustier, associate at Mazars Austria (see interview under).
SME IN QUEST.
Not like giant mannequin firms which might be additionally networked in worldwide markets with acceptable organizational buildings and younger start-ups which have digitization and digital enterprise fashions written of their DNA, the state of affairs is completely different with basic small and medium-sized enterprises. , principally owner-managed. medium-sized firms in additional conventional sectors. A survey by KMU Forschung Austria lists, for instance, methods and measures in sure craft and industrial sectors in the course of the Covid disaster. From lowering extra time and short-time work, utilizing tax deferrals, emergency and hardship funds to bridging ensures for working capital loans, there’s quite a bit, however one factor does not. isn’t: scanning.
“Throughout this era, SMBs struggled to keep up operations and lacked the brains and assets to transform processes,” says Dessulemoustier. His research proves that small companies truly enable telecommuting far much less typically in administration, the place it could be fairly possible not like manufacturing, and have retained inefficient processes corresponding to printing receipts electronically with guide re-entry.
Austria is without doubt one of the richest nations within the EU and ranks solely tenth within the Digital Economic system and Society Index.
HARALD MAHRER PRESIDENT WKO
This coincides with a conclusion that WKO Chairman Harald Mahrer quoted when presenting Microsoft’s “Make this morning doable” initiative to strengthen enterprise localization via digitalization: “Austria is the one of many richest nations within the EU, however is within the digital financial system and society. Index solely in tenth place. As a spot of innovation, we’ve got room for enchancment right here and want higher entry to digitization and better consciousness for higher framework circumstances.
One other research by economist Christian Helmenstein and consulting agency Accenture from the earlier 12 months reveals what financial results could be achieved via elevated digitalization: every extra digitalization step that an organization efficiently completes will increase gross sales and productiveness. The impact is stronger the upper the digital ship degree is. Investments in digitization are worthwhile for firms of all sizes and in all beginning positions. Nevertheless, giant firms which might be already properly digitized profit greater than small ones from economies of scale.
This perception into the “digital dividend”, which has been empirically confirmed for the primary time within the research, additionally names the digital dilemma for SMEs: a niche with extra digitized rivals tends to widen additional. as well as. In line with this, SMEs ought to digitize their processes even quicker and extra decisively than everybody else. Helmenstein locates the “biggest have to catch them”.
PERSPECTIVE AND TOOLS.
Dessulemoustier, associate of Mazars, locations the essential threshold, under which the extent of digitization is way decrease, at round 100 workers: “It’s in all probability a essential dimension, from which a distinct group is required, wherein the conversion to digitization is clearly simpler.” Though there’s a complete panoply of funding and funding our bodies for digitization initiatives, these SMEs typically lack a transparent view of the funding jungle. “You want a degree of contact who coordinates all financing choices,” explains the knowledgeable. When it comes to content material, he sees accounting as probably the most attention-grabbing first step into the digital age: “There are sufficient instruments available on the market for that. director with solely ten or 15 workers can free himself from many generally tedious actions.”
Giant firms are extra digitized. The main focus ought to subsequently be on SMEs – I see a have to catch up right here.
CHRISTIAN HELMENSTEIN ECONOMICA INSTITUTE/CHIEF EKONOM IV
A specialist in these instruments is BMD, an area provider of administration software program for firms and tax consultants based mostly in Steyr, which is especially predestined to be used in small and medium-sized firms attributable to its ease of adaptation. BMD Managing Director Markus Knasmüller is aware of the issue of SMEs: “The place there’s little technological information, it’s typically tough to get began. Digital invoicing has not progressed a lot for a very long time. Many firms don’t solely modified when it was made obligatory by the federal authorities.”
Nevertheless, as soon as an entrepreneur has determined to go digital and is personally behind it, of their expertise, change typically occurs extra easily than in bigger organizations with their extra advanced buildings. SMEs in collaboration with their tax advisor can profit from automation and AI in accounting simply in addition to giant firms: automated processing and simplified allocation and posting of paperwork, avoidance of errors, real-time monetary overview, assured compliance with cost deadlines and, above all, the discharge of many related to all these routine duties.
With the brand new BMD Go app, the system home presents a software for the straightforward digital registration of receipts, but additionally for cellular time registration, for instance on web site in building initiatives. The information recorded on this manner is transferred on to accounting, avoiding error-prone interfaces. One other instance is an interface with financial institution knowledge, which makes it simpler for companies and their tax advisers to course of cost transactions collectively. BMD has built-in this “finAPI” into its software program. “The corporate releases the cost with its entry knowledge and thus retains sovereignty over its financial institution connections. The tax workplace receives the financial institution transactions, virtually like a by-product, routinely”, explains Wolfgang Floissner, Industrial Director of BMD . The digital race is not at all misplaced for SMEs, regardless of their delay.
“Adequate instruments available on the market, however SMEs lack the means”
Mazars associate of MICHAEL DESSULEMOUSTIER on the vulnerabilities of SMEs in digitalization.
Has the much-quoted digitization push attributable to the pandemic actually reached everybody?
The bigger the businesses, the extra digitization measures they’ve taken. The large ones have been already doing quite a bit earlier than Corona and have been doing much more since then. Sadly, the little ones had little scanning beforehand, and hardly something occurred in the course of the pandemic.
In my expertise, SMEs have needed to wrestle with organizing and sustaining operations beneath ever-changing circumstances throughout this time. They’d neither the top nor the assets to vary the processes. This speculation was then truly manifested in a scientific research.
What precisely did you acquire and what info did you purchase?
It was about digitization processes, particularly in accounting, in firms with 20 to 500 workers, the place the analysis was nonetheless differentiated in keeping with dimension lessons. It turned out that 100 workers are in all probability a essential dimension, from which a distinct group is important, wherein the conversion to digitalization is clearly simpler. Beneath, there’s a pause within the implementation: the smaller ones have made teleworking a lot much less widespread within the administration. They work paperless in accounting to a a lot lesser extent than bigger firms. Even receipts, most of that are digital at this time, are nonetheless typically printed and entered manually as a substitute of being processed digitally.
There are numerous funding measures for digitization. However what’s lacking is a contact level for SMEs that coordinates all the pieces.
MICHAEL DESSULEMOUSTIER MAZARS AUSTRIA
Inadequate assets to advance digitization leading to inefficient processes that tie up assets. How do entrepreneurs get out of the dilemma? the place to start out
Accounting, the place easy processes are sometimes repeated and numbers are processed, is an effective place to begin for digitization. There are sufficient instruments available on the market for such processes, you do not have to reinvent them, and due to quite a lot of grants, it is not about value, however about group. In non-public, stepping into digitization whereas purchasing or utilizing media appears to be quite a bit simpler than at work. An proprietor or common supervisor with solely ten or 15 workers may free themselves from a variety of generally tedious actions, together with accounting, payroll and all personnel issues.
May extra be carried out for SMEs by way of framework circumstances?
There are numerous particular person funding measures and funding our bodies for matters associated to digitization – from AMS, AWS, FFG, Ministries, Federal Authorities, States and Chambers . All have buffs for particular areas, some short-term. Firms are overwhelmed to get an summary of all these grants. There should be a central level that coordinates all the pieces as the primary level of contact for all the pieces. It’s to be hoped that the newly created State Secretariat for Digitization will grow to be such a pole and coordinator of digitization.
What if nothing occurs?
SMEs are the spine of the Austrian financial system. Good work is being carried out there, however they don’t seem to be making any progress on course of conversion. Our research is a wake-up name. The era of digital natives is now coming into the job market. There they meet SMEs that solely work to a small extent with digital expertise. No one needs to kind receipts. Those that don’t digitize not solely miss alternatives within the labor market, but additionally the seek for a successor and the switch of the corporate.
The article is the pattern. Excerpt from the PREMIUM situation of Might 25, 2022.