Introduction by Colin Timmis, Xero South Africa Country Manager
At Xero, we’re all about the cloud. We see the difference it can make to small businesses every day.
But we also know that the cloud is a platform – and a platform is only as good as what’s built on it. Adoption is just the beginning, and South Africa’s small businesses must do more than just ‘get on the cloud’; once they’re on it, they need to think about how they can reach even higher.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to revolutionise the country’s enterprise environment. Embracing these innovations (alongside the cloud tools that are already available) will be essential for small business owners and accountants. But is South Africa’s SME community ready to drive change – now and in the future?
We’ve reported on the state of the small business and accounting sector in the country for three years. Each time, we’ve uncovered new insights into the challenges, rewards, and mindsets of South Africa’s entrepreneurs and accountants. From a socio-political perspective, the last two years have been a time of dramatic change, and even upheaval: the economy has slowed, presidents have come and gone, and business – as ever – is caught in the middle.
So how does a smaller company move forward in a time when uncertainty is the only guarantee? In a country where it’s estimated that SMEs make up 90% of formal businesses and contribute around 34% to GDP, it’s a critical question.