Deloitte propels itself into the SME market with £2.5m investment in accountancy services

DELOITTE has become the latest Big Four company to tap into the start-up and SME space, launching its £2.5m investment Propel, a cloud-based accounting and analytics service to the market .

Deloitte’s new offering is a comprehensive bookkeeping and accounting service on a monthly subscription model, presenting the UK’s 5.4 million small business owners with a dashboard that gives a real-time view of their business performance, from cash position to web traffic.

Exploit the market

Small business owners can integrate data from their data business into the dashboard to give a real-time view of their financial performance, allowing them to monitor key metrics such as business growth, gross profit and sales per day.

The service also analyzes non-financial data collected through apps, ranging from web traffic to top-selling products, to generate a more accurate picture of business performance.

Propel is funded by Deloitte’s Innovation Investments program, which encourages its entrepreneurial employees to turn start-up ideas into businesses.

Market competition

Deloitte is not the first Big Four firm to enter the small business market.

KPMG has been tackling the space for several years now. In 2014, the company invested £40m to expand its mid-size services to small businesses and start-ups through KPMG Enterprise, which includes a cloud-based small business accounting service that helps small businesses manage accounting, payroll, VAT and corporate tax filings.

In 2015, Iain Moffatt, former head of KPMG’s UK regions and now head of the national market, stated KPMG’s intention to disrupt and dominate the small business market saying to small businesses “you can pay us the same as your current accountant but we’ll give you more”. He also went on to say that within five years, Google or Amazon, more like big accounting firms, could be their biggest threat.

In September last year, KPMG strengthened its small business services by a merger with Metro Bank to combine their accounting and banking operations to provide small businesses with quick and easy access to expert advice and services, a move they said would “significantly reduce the barriers presented by financial bureaucracy.”

In the same month, PwC and software giant Sage announced a new alliance in a determined drive to gain market share in the UK and the global SME space.

The two groups claimed the launch would initially focus on the UK before the offering rolls out across the planet and merges the Sage Live offering and the accounting service’s “real-time social accounting” based on the PwC UK cloud, My Financepartner.

“Helping start-ups and SMEs grow”

Commenting on Deloitte’s new offering, Katie Houldsworth, Deloitte Innovation Partner for Audit, said: “We created this service to help start-ups and SMEs grow. It’s designed to provide insight and solve some of the long-standing headaches that entrepreneurs and their management teams may face.

“During the development of Propel, we worked with our 20 pilot customers to understand what makes a difference to their business. As a result, we now offer additional business planning support to complement the basic accounting dashboard and service. For example, we can help you forecast cash flow, create budgets and attract investment. »

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