RSM Bird Cameron Melbourne on the move to support growth

RSM_Bird_Cameron_Logo@2xOctober 2, 2013 – Due to continued expansion and market confidence RSM Bird Cameron Melbourne has moved to 55 Collins Street. This move supports the growth of the practice and provides an interactive, collaborative space for staff and clients.

RSM Bird Cameron’s Melbourne office has experienced consistent growth. The team recently welcomed a new partner, Brad Hutchesson, into the business services team. He joined from WHK Crowe Horwath and has more than 20 years’ experience in providing business and tax advice to SMEs and family businesses. This brings the number of Melbourne Partners and Principals to 20 and the total number of employees to over 140.

Robert Miano, Melbourne office Managing Partner, RSM Bird Cameron, said, “The move is a reflection of RSM Bird Cameron’s expected future growth in Melbourne. Many other firms might not consider a move like this in the current economy but the Melbourne Partners and Principals see this as the right time to demonstrate confidence in the business to the market. We have a strong, stable team that is preparing for the next growth phase in the economy.”

“The new office provides a platform for the Melbourne practice to continue to grow, ensuring the team has the facilities and the space to provide the best service for clients now and in the future.”

RSM Bird Cameron worked with PTID Environments to improve the connectedness across the office. This will increase opportunities for communication and collaboration for staff and clients. The design is inviting with an interactive layout, new client and internal meeting rooms, quiet spaces and large staff hub.

Zaiga Padoms, Senior Interior Designer, PTIDEnvironments, said, “The new RSM Bird Cameron facilities at 55 Collins Street, on the 20th and 21st floors, have been designed to take advantage of expansive views and natural light.

“The design provides a range of different work modes in its mix of offices, open plan and informal collaborative spaces. A high-quality finish to the reception and front-of-house meeting rooms creates a premium environment for guests and clients. An internal staircase drives connectivity between the two floors, located adjacent to a dynamic staff hub space to build a community within the office environment.  Support spaces such as print rooms have been centralised, with a range of storage provided in both centralised rooms and compactus, and also localised on the floor close to teams.”

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About RSM Bird Cameron
RSM Bird Cameron is the largest mid-tier accounting firm in Australia with national ownership and profit sharing and offers a full range of specialist advisory services, including business consulting and advisory, assurance and advisory, taxation consulting, corporate consulting and turnaround and insolvency. RSM Bird Cameron is a core member firm of RSM International, the seventh largest network of independent accounting and consulting firms in the world.

Frost Sullivan Global Growth Leadership Award presented to Digium; company recognised as one of top SMB IP PBX vendors

Wavelink LogoNovember 20, 2012 — Digium®, Inc., the Asterisk® Company, is pleased to announce it has received the 2012 Frost & Sullivan Global Growth Leadership Award for impressive growth of its Switchvox Unified Communications (UC) solution for small and medium businesses (SMB). Frost & Sullivan presents this award annually to the company that has demonstrated excellence in capturing the highest annual compound growth rate for the past three years.

“Digium has demonstrated considerable growth in the challenging, but rapidly growing SMB market, positioning itself as one of the top SMB IP PBX vendors in the world,” said Alaa Saayed, senior industry analyst with Frost & Sullivan. “Their all-in-one Switchvox solution provides a best-in-class business IP solution, with compelling functionality and competitive pricing, making Digium a major competitor in the overall enterprise communications platforms market. They are well-positioned to leverage this market leadership and strength to further expand into the SMB communications segment, where comprehensive features and competitive pricing are critical to success.”

“We are honoured to be recognised as a market leader as a result of our growth of Switchvox, but we’re also happy that Frost & Sullivan acknowledged this growth was possible because of the innovation and value Switchvox provides,” said Leslie Conway, vice president of global marketing at Digium. “This research and award echoes what we hear from customers every day—businesses need a phone system that enables them to stay one step ahead of their peers in today’s competitive market. The flexibility, ease of use and competitive pricing we offer allows our customers to do just that.”

Digium’s Switchvox integrates many features such as PBX, fixed mobile convergence and mobility, conference bridge, call queues, fax server, instant messaging, unified messaging, presence, video calling, recording and monitoring, as well as reporting and call logging software functions onto a single appliance. Key applications can be accessed through the highly customisable Switchboard Web interface that provides every user with a personalised view of their communications environment and tools. Digium offers Digium IP phones that extend the power of the Switchvox system to the desktop, with easy access to visual voicemail, real-time status information, call queue details and more. The Digium IP phones offer the tightest integration possible with Switchvox, incorporating plug-and-play installation, so that extensions and phones can be added in minutes.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

“Digium’s success with Switchvox is commendable when considering how the SMB UC marketplace has seen a lot of competitors come and go,” said Rob Arnold, senior industry analyst with Frost & Sullivan. “Customers expect value, and vendors need to deliver that value to stand out. As a previous winner of the Customer Value Enhancement Award in UC for SMBs, I think Digium has created a unique advantage with Switchvox; their ‘enterprise class features at a price you can afford’ value proposition has certainly resonated with customers.”

Digium designs its solutions for sophisticated functionality without complex ownership responsibilities. Switchvox is designed to be cost-effective over the lifecycle of the system, without expensive add-ons for features that support mobility and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) mobile strategies, as well as customisation through the open API. The API provides users access to business applications such as Salesforce or SugarCRM. It also allows them to integrate with third-party business applications.

“All of these options can save time and improve productivity, allowing clients to work where and how they want to work,” said Conway. “Switchvox is well-positioned to give businesses a competitive advantage since our UC system gives them access to features they might have considered outside their reach. This system provides the best value for price-sensitive SMB customers.”

Download your complimentary copy of the Frost & Sullivan Global Growth report here. To get more information about this award-winning solution, contact us at 256-428-6271 or request a demo with one of our UC specialists.

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About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company’s Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO’s Growth Team with disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages more than 50 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 40 offices on six continents. To join our Growth Partnership, please visit http://www.awards.frost.com.

About Digium
Digium®, Inc., provides Asterisk custom communications and Switchvox Unified Communications (UC) business phone systems that deliver enterprise-class features at a price businesses can afford. We are the creator, primary developer and sponsor of the Asterisk project, the world’s most widely used open-source communications software that turns an ordinary computer into a feature-rich voice communications server. With a community of more than 80,000 members worldwide, Asterisk has been used to create VoIP communication solutions in more than 170 countries. Since 1999, Digium has become the open source alternative to proprietary communication providers, giving people an innovative solution for business communications that increase productivity. Digium’s wide range of business communications products is sold through a worldwide network of reseller partners. More information is available at: www.digium.com or www.asterisk.org.

The Digium logo, Digium, Asterisk, Asterisk SCF, Switchvox, Asterisk Business Edition, AsteriskNOW, Asterisk Appliance and the Asterisk logo are trademarks of Digium, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

77 per cent of Australian SMEs expect to grow in the next 12 months

RSM BIrd Cameron, Andrew GrahamJuly 23, 2012RSM Bird Cameron’s thinkBIG 2012 survey results show that 77 per cent of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) expect to grow in the next 12 months, an increase from 69 per cent in 2010 and 76 per cent in 2011.

This is despite the fact that 10 per cent less than in 2011 experienced business growth over the last two years (63.5 per cent versus 73 per cent).

thinkBIG 2012 is RSM Bird Cameron’s sixth study in the series. thinkBIG benchmarks the planning practices of SME owners and assesses the impact of recent global financial conditions on businesses.

This year’s results provide insights into how Australian SMEs feel about their business.

Impact of the global financial crisis three years on

SME owners overall believe their business is successful, however optimism about their company’s medium-term prospects has dropped as extended difficult economic conditions continue taking their toll.

Most SMEs now undertake formal business planning

thinkBIG 2012 revealed that 76 per cent of SME owners now undertake formal planning, which is a massive jump of 30 per cent compared with 2011. This suggests a clear shift in SME owners’ focus on business planning.

Andrew Graham, national head of business solutions RSM Bird Cameron, said, “The fact that the number of owners now doing a formal business plan has almost doubled shows that they understand its importance. RSM Bird Cameron’s experience also shows that businesses who plan are the most successful ones. It is great to see business owners investing in this important process.”

Business sentiment low
thinkBIG 2012 shows that while SME owners believe their business is successful, how they feel about running their business has dropped significantly, recording the lowest rating since the study began in 2007.

Graham said, “It is important to consider the increasing uncertainty SME owners face regarding their medium term prospects. This uncertainty, combined with the extended economic difficulties that many owners have been operating through since the global financial crisis some three years ago has had a negative impact on the way many SME owners feel about running their business.”

Business financing remains a struggle
thinkBIG 2012 reveals that SME owners don’t expect to see an improvement in the availability of finance in the next 12 months and believe financing will remain tight.

Business owners say they will still employ strategies that involve investing in the business, including increasing efficiency through technology and injecting capital into their business.

Graham concurs, “It remains incredibly difficult for SMEs to obtain funding for their business. This is something that owners need to take into consideration and plan for.”

Looking for growth
51 per cent of SME owners continue to rely on reinvested profits as their primary source of funding for growth, consistent with 2011. Significantly less SMEs are foregoing their salary, which is a positive change.

Graham said, “Seeing more SME owners relying on reinvested profits rather than their own salary to fund business growth is a very positive evolution. It shows that they are able to fund business growth through the success of their business and use their salary to improve standard of living, rather than putting everything back into the business.”

Getting the right advice
thinkBIG 2012 reveals that the commonly used external advisors are accountants, consistent with 2011, with 39 per cent of respondents reporting they have used or will use an accountant for business planning.

Graham said, “Following improved revenue growth over the last two years, SME owners appear more willing to focus on growth and are using external expertise to plan their future.”

26 per cent of SME owners report they have used or will use a financial planner for superannuation planning and 20 per cent say they will use a financial planner for retirement planning.

Graham continued, “Considering how complicated it can be to run your own business, ensuring everything is in order with regards to tax, superannuation and so on, it remains important for these business owners to get advice from specialists. This will also help maintain and grow their business.”

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About RSM Bird Cameron
RSM Bird Cameron is the largest mid-tier accounting firm in Australia with national ownership and profit sharing and offers a full range of specialist advisory services, including business consulting and advisory, assurance and advisory, taxation consulting, corporate consulting and turnaround and insolvency. RSM Bird Cameron is a core member firm of RSM International, the sixth largest network of independent accounting and consulting firms in the world.

 



RSM Bird Cameron’s thinkBIG 2011 study reveals micro SMEs that don’t plan are experiencing less growth than larger SMEs

May 5, 2011RSM Bird Cameron’s thinkBIG 2011 study has revealed that Australia’s micro-small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners’ are less likely to undertake formal business processing than their larger counterparts, and may be forfeiting growth as a result.

RSM Bird Cameron undertook its fifth thinkBIG research study in March 2011, and benchmarked the planning practices of SME owners and the impact of recent global financial conditions on businesses.

The study shows that SME owners who conduct planning are significantly more likely to experience revenue growth, with 80 per cent who planned their business experiencing revenue growth over the last two years compared with 60 per cent who did not plan. There is, however, still a considerable gap between the planning practices of smaller SMEs and larger SMEs.

Andrew Graham, national head of business solutions, RSM Bird Cameron, said, “71 per cent of micro SMEs don’t plan. RSM Bird Cameron’s thinkBIG found that only 49 per cent of owners in businesses with three to five employees and 29 per cent with one to two employees plan their businesses on a formal basis.

“thinkBIG 2011 also revealed that these businesses were significantly less likely to have experienced revenue growth over the last two years.”

64 per cent of micro SMEs mistakenly believe that their business is too small for formal planning.

ThinkBIG 2011 also reveals that 25 per cent of micro SMEs are forgoing salary to fund the business.

Graham said, “Micro SMEs need to ensure they have plans in place to grow the business, even when they are still in the ‘set up’ stage. It is never too early, and no business is ever too small to establish good practices when it comes to business planning.

“Having a business plan in place will ensure that micro SMEs can stop using their own salary to fund the business. Forgoing salary should be a very short-term business tactic not part of an ongoing funding strategy.”

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thinkBIG 2011 fast facts

Planning the business
* 93 per cent of respondents from SMEs with 50+ employees undertake formal planning compared with 29 per cent from SMEs with 1-2 employees.

* 80 per cent of respondents who undertook formal business planning reported revenue growth over the last two years compared with 60 per cent of respondents who did not conduct formal business planning.

* 27 per cent of SMEs with three to five employees experienced no revenue growth or a decline in the past two years and 21 per cent of SMEs with one to two employees experienced no revenue growth or a decline in the past two years compared with 50 per cent of SMEs with 50+ employees that experienced revenue growth of 15-29 per cent.

* 64 per cent of respondents who do not plan their business formally said it is because the business is too small – this is in line with thinkBIG findings in 2010, 2009 and 2007

* 26 per cent of SMEs said they don’t plan because they don’t know their market well enough, 19 per cent because they don’t know how to complete a plan and 18 per cent because they do not have time.

* 27 per cent of respondents from SMEs with one to two employees are significantly more likely to rely on foregone salary as their main source of funding. 29 per cent of respondents from SMEs with three to five employees are significantly more likely to rely on foregone salary as their main source of funding.

About RSM Bird Cameron
RSM Bird Cameron is the largest mid-tier accounting firm in Australia with national ownership and profit sharing and offers a full range of specialist advisory services, including business consulting and advisory, assurance and advisory, taxation consulting, corporate consulting and turnaround and insolvency. RSM Bird Cameron is a core member firm of RSM International, the sixth largest network of independent accounting and consulting firms in the world.

75 per cent of Australian SMEs expect growth in the next two years

May 5, 2011RSM Bird Cameron’s thinkBIG 2011 study has revealed that 75 per cent of Australian small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) expect to grow in the next two years.

This optimism comes as 73 per cent of Australian SMEs report experiencing growth in last two years, with 31 per cent reporting growth of between one and 14 per cent.

RSM Bird Cameron undertook its fifth thinkBIG research study in March 2011, benchmarking the planning practices of SME owners and assessing the impact of recent global financial conditions on businesses.

Andrew Graham, national head of business solutions, RSM Bird Cameron, said, “75 per cent of  SME owners expect their business to grow in the next two years, up from the 70 per cent recorded in thinkBIG 2010, although finding skilled people remains as the strongest barrier to growth.

“Following improved revenue growth over the last two years, SME owners appear more willing to focus on growth and using external expertise to plan their future.”

thinkBIG 2011 also shows that businesses that undertake formal business planning are more likely to grow. 80 per cent of SMEs that conducted formal business planning experienced revenue growth in the last two years compared with 60 per cent that did not plan.

47 per cent of SME owners report conducting formal business planning in 2011 compared with 39 per cent in thinkBIG 2010. SME owners who undertake formal business planning continue to focus their attention mainly on business goals and financial planning.

47 per cent of SME owners rely on reinvested profits as their main source of funding for growth. However, 25 per cent continue to rely on foregone salary, and 20 per cent rely on bank debt.

Graham said, “Being able to inject cash back into a business is great for growth, but SME owners forgoing salaries must be aware of the risks involved in having all of their financial interests invested in their business.”

thinkBIG 2011 reveals that 38 per cent of SME owners in thinkBIG 2011 have a plan to exit their business compared with 28 per cent in 2010, 26 per cent in 2009 and 24 per cent in 2007.

59 per cent of SME owners with an exit plan expect to leave within the next four years. Of those 56 per cent are not aware of tax concessions available for small businesses upon sale.

Graham said, “SME owners are getting older, which means for many, retirement is looming. The findings highlight a continuing need for SME owners with a plan to exit their business to gain more precise information about the value of the business and available tax concessions, so they can maximise income for their future retirement.”

32 per cent of SME owners report seeking help from external advisors in the past for business planning and 27 per cent for superannuation planning.

46 per cent of SME owners report they have used an accountant in the past for business planning and 45 per cent for retirement planning.

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thinkBIG 2011 fast facts

Starting the business
* 50 per cent of SME owners started their own business to be their own boss.

* 32 per cent report wanting a better work/life balance as a reason for starting their business versus 47 per cent in 2010.

Planning the business
* The proportion of SME owners that do not plan their business on a formal basis declined from 61 per cent in 2010 to 53 per cent in 2011, underlining the stronger focus on forward planning.

* There is still a considerable gap between the planning practices of micro-SMEs and larger SMEs. 93 per cent of respondents from SMEs with 50+ employees undertake formal planning compared with 29 per cent from SMEs with 1-2 employees.

* 56 per cent of SMEs in capital cities undertake business planning compared with 36 per cent in regional centres and 41 per cent in rural areas.

* Consistent with thinkBIG findings in previous years, approximately 60 per cent of SME owners who undertake formal business planning complete a business plan every year. 17 per cent complete a plan less than every two years.

* SME owners who undertake formal business planning continue to focus their attention mainly on business goals and financial planning. 79 per cent have a marketing plan, 56 per cent have a management plan and 53 per cent have an operating plan.

Growing the business
* 73 per cent of SMEs experienced some form of growth over the last two years. 31 per cent of SME owners reported growth in the range 1 -14 per cent.

* Businesses that plan are more likely to grow. 80 per cent of SMEs that conducted formal business planning experienced revenue growth over the last two years compared with 60 per cent that did not plan.

* 47 per cent of SME owners rely on reinvested profits as their main source of funding for growth. However, 25 per cent continue to rely on foregone salary, and 20 per cent rely on bank debt.

* SME owners continue to show faith in their businesses with 26 per cent reporting no barriers to growth. 26 per cent identified skills shortages as a barrier to growth, and 24 per cent identified management time as a barrier to growth. 18 per cent identified lack of market opportunity as a barrier to growth compared with 23 per cent in thinkBIG 2010.

Exiting the business
* Consistent with 2010 and 2009, 21 per cent of SMEs in thinkBIG 2011 reported delaying their exit from the business because of the impact of economic uncertainty over the last two years.

* Of the 38 per cent of SME owners with an exit plan, 40 per cent plan to work elsewhere when they exit the business, and 60 per cent plan to retire completely.

* 44 per cent of SME owners with an exit plan said the proceeds of their business upon exit would be the primary source of their retirement funds, compared with 34 per cent in 2010 and 26 per cent in 2007.

* 59 per cent of SME owners with an exit plan expect to exit their business within the next four years.

* 11 per cent of SME owners with a plan to exit the business are not sure of the proportion of their retirement funds that will go into their superannuation.

Passing the business on
* 77 per cent of SMEs have a succession plan.

* 19 per cent of SME owners who expect to pass on the business have delayed retirement because of the economic downturn.

* 24 per cent of SME owners who expect to pass on their business have a succession plan. 60 per cent of SME owners in rural areas have a plan compared with 26 per cent of owners in capital cities, and 15 per cent of owners in regional centres.

Use of external advisors
* 32 per cent of SME owners report seeking help from external advisors in the past for business planning and 27 per cent for superannuation planning.

* 46 per cent of SME owners report they have used an accountant in the past for business planning and 45 per cent for retirement planning.

About RSM Bird Cameron
RSM Bird Cameron is the largest mid-tier accounting firm in Australia with national ownership and profit sharing and offers a full range of specialist advisory services, including business consulting and advisory, assurance and advisory, taxation consulting, corporate consulting and turnaround and insolvency. RSM Bird Cameron is a core member firm of RSM International, the sixth largest network of independent accounting and consulting firms in the world.