The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2019-01-09T10:58:08Z Parramatta Accountants Matches Business Owners with Top Accounting Professionals 2019-01-09T10:58:08Z parramatta-accountants-matches-business-owners-with-top-accounting-professionals Accountants are a necessity for business owners and entrepreneurs and while the professionals all work with numbers, accountants also have areas in which they specialize. Parramatta Accountants provides a free matching service to connect individuals with the accountant they need for specific tasks. The process is quick, easy and can be completed online. It’s completely free to use and no sign-up or registration is required. Individuals simply answer a few questions about their business to help ascertain what type of accountant is needed. Parramatta Accountants match the individual’s criteria against its network of more than 80 local accountants in multiple specialties. The service then notifies the three top accounting services to contact the potential client. After speaking with the top accountants, individuals can then select the best accounting professional that fits their needs. Locating an accountant can be a confusing endeavor. The professionals do more than simply prepare and file taxes. There are different types of accountants and each work within their own specialty. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are experts with taxes and accounting, and they also provide consulting and act as a trusted advisor in fiscal matters. The investigators of the accounting world are forensic accountants that ensure clients are in compliance with standards and laws. They also work to uncover fraud and errors. Auditors are accountants that are accuracy experts, performing annual audits and ensuring records are accurate and precise. They typically specialize within a specific industry. Management accountants are responsible for providing information on the financial health of a business. They’re risk management and analysis specialists. Project accountants oversee projects on a case-by-case basis and oversee factors that affect the cost of the project, planning and budgets. Investment accountants typically work in brokerage offices and within management agencies. They specialize in maintaining client investments and are extremely knowledgeable about stocks and bonds, precious metals, currencies and ETFs. Parramatta Accountants can help individuals find the specialized accounting professionals they need. The company has streamlined the process of finding an accountant and made the service available online. With more than 80 available accounting specialists, business owners can quickly and easily find the accounting services they require. About Parramatta Accountants The Parramatta Accountants website was formed by a group of accountants so that you can find the best accountant for your needs, completely free. Each person who searches on the site is matched to the best accountants for the job to save business owners and accountants time to focus on what makes them great. Media Contact Parramatta Accountants Address: 7 Toombul Road Virginia QLD 4014 Website: www.parramatta.accountants LexisNexis® announces new partner solution Cloudcheck 2018-12-02T23:39:34Z lexisnexis-announces-new-partner-solution-cloudcheck AUCKLAND, December 3, 2018 – LexisNexis, a leading provider of content and technology solutions for the legal industry, announced today they have partnered with Verifi Identity Services Limited (Verifi) to deliver Cloudcheck, an integrated online electronic verification of identity solution to Affinity and LAWbase customers. Cloudcheck assists the user in meeting their AML/CFT obligations by providing electronic identity verification (EV) as permitted under Part 3 of the Amended Identity Verification Code of Practice 2013 (NZ). By seamlessly integrating into LexisNexis Affinity and LAWbase practice management systems, Cloudcheck allows the user to automatically progress the client engagement processes with minimal disruption. Andy Boss, General Manager, LexisNexis NZ Ltd. said, “Partnering with Verifi to provide Cloudcheck continues our promise to provide best-in-class technology innovations to our customers. We are excited to offer a secure, seamlessly integrated and easy-to-use solution as part of our Affinity and LAWbase solutions.” Vincent McCartney, Managing Director, Verifi, said: “This exciting new partnership with Lexis Nexis allows Verifi to distribute Cloudcheck to law firms on an unprecedented scale and is a key component of our growth strategy in the legal space. The simplicity and effectiveness of the Cloudcheck integration into the Affinity and LAWbase platforms will allow law practitioners to electronically verify their clients in a matter of seconds, therefore transforming how they interact with their clients to meet their AML/CFT obligations.” Cloudcheck is available as an integrated feature within Lexis Affinity 8.2 upgrade as well as LAWbase practice management solutions. Some key benefits include:  Seamless integration, secure, cloud hosted solution Automatic updates when new data sources become available Ease of use Verify clients by using information in their wallet or passport Local support Cloudcheck is NZ owned and supported locally   Visit www.lexisnexis.co.nz/partner/cloudcheck for more information about Cloudcheck.  To request product demonstration, please contact michele.fairbank@lexisnexis.co.nz.   About LexisNexis Legal & Professional LexisNexis Legal & Professional is a leading global provider of legal, regulatory and business information and analytics that help customers increase productivity, improve decision-making and outcomes, and advance the rule of law around the world. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 130 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide, is part of RELX Group, a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries.    About Verifi Identity Services Verifi Identity Services Limited (“Verifi”) is a leading provider of online electronic identity verification (“EV”) solutions and PEP screening to companies requiring name, date of birth and address verification of their customers. Verifi was founded in 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand by legal and financial services professionals Tyler McNamee and Vincent McCartney, and interactive pioneers Karl von Randow and Matthew Buchanan of Cactuslab. Together they provide over 30 years of global financial services experience and 30 years of modern, functional and accessible web solutions.  # # # NEW BLACKLINE COMPLIANCE PRODUCT STREAMLINES CONTROL MANAGEMENT AND AUDIT PROCESSES 2018-11-13T23:40:42Z new-blackline-compliance-product-streamlines-control-management-and-audit-processes LAS VEGAS – INTHEBLACK – Nov. 13, 2018 – Financial controls and automation software provider BlackLine, Inc. (Nasdaq: BL) has unveiled a new compliance product purpose-built for managing internal controls in large and midsize companies. The company will debut BlackLine Compliance, the latest addition to its flagship cloud platform, this week at its annual global user conference, InTheBlack 2018: The Accounting & Finance Innovation Summit. Disparate systems and processes can cause inefficiencies and prevent proper evaluation of risk exposure. Without a solid technology solution, maintaining version control, identifying risk areas and communicating among business units becomes increasingly challenging and complex. With BlackLine Compliance, risks, policies and procedures, controls, issues and audit programs are integrated in a unified, cloud-based system. This accelerates and simplifies audits, consolidates project management and provides enhanced visibility over control activity. Key BlackLine Compliance product highlights include: Enables users to connect the performance, validation and testing of controls from within a single application and interface. Internal auditors can access control evidence directly, reducing dependencies. Management of all compliance projects and documents in one globally accessible system, ensuring version control across records. Accommodates projects for any compliance initiative, including SOX 302 and 404, IT audits, operational audits and self-assessments. Users can perform testing, attach supporting documentation and validate control effectiveness from a single system. Real-time visibility into issues as soon as they are identified with workflow for remediation testing. Ability to configure to support unique business processes. “BlackLine has always been focused on helping customers ensure data and process integrity within their accounting and finance organisations,” BlackLine CEO Therese Tucker said. “With our new compliance product, we’ve raised the bar for accuracy and trust; now, giving our customers a way to ensure a higher level of control is accessible via a single, unified system and integrated with all of the other functionality of our secure cloud platform.” Chart Industries, a $1 billion+ public company, has been using BlackLine Compliance for the past six months. “One of the challenges we were looking to solve was the amount of administrative time we spent on SOX — from planning and keeping track of workbooks to managing status,” Lindsey Damron, director of Internal Audit, Chart Industries, said. “After implementing BlackLine Compliance, we've seen a huge payoff. We spend significantly less time on administrative tasks and are able to focus on completing our testing and adding more value to the business.” BlackLine Compliance addresses major pain points for compliance and internal audit teams (such as data duplication, lack of standardisation and lack of visibility) and provides a centralised and efficient solution for managing processes – ultimately helping to ensure greater accuracy and trust in the company’s financials. “Everyone in the business should be concerned with upholding the highest standards for compliance. It takes people, technology, controls and processes,” added Tucker. “With BlackLine Compliance, we are putting the responsibility of compliance into the hands of more people across the organisation, increasing accountability and ultimately helping our customers achieve a higher level of confidence.” For more information on BlackLine Compliance, please go here: http://www.blackline.com/compliance About BlackLine BlackLine is a provider of cloud-based solutions that transform Finance and Accounting (F&A) by automating, centralising and streamlining financial close operations, intercompany accounting processes and other key F&A processes for large and midsize organisations. The company is recognised by Gartner as a Leader in its 2018 Magic Quadrant for Cloud Financial Close Solutions and as a pioneer in the cloud market for enhanced financial control and automation. Designed to complement virtually all ERP and other financial systems including SAP, Oracle and NetSuite, BlackLine increases operational efficiency, real-time visibility, control and compliance to ensure end-to-end financial close management and accounting automation from within a single, unified cloud platform. Enabling customers to move beyond outdated processes and point solutions to a Continuous Accounting model, in which real-time automation, controls and period-end tasks are embedded within day-to-day activities, BlackLine helps companies modernise accounting operations with intelligent automation, ensuring more accurate and insightful financial statements and a more efficient financial close. Approximately 2,500 companies with users around the world trust BlackLine to help ensure balance sheet integrity and confidence in their financial statements. Based in Los Angeles, BlackLine also has regional headquarters in London, Singapore and Sydney. For more information, please visit www.blackline.com. # # # Invictus and Fashion in the mix for The Business of Events 2018-10-17T01:11:08Z invictus-and-fashion-in-the-mix-for-the-business-of-events Invictus Games, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia (MBFWA), and the Australian Grand Prix will share the secrets to their success at The Business of Events to be held in Sydney next year. Professional advice about the return on investment using demonstrated business solutions, will be shared by an impressive range of successful and experienced strategy and planning experts when they come together at this in augural event. Among the high calibre speakers will be Executive Director, IMG Fashion Asia Pacific, Natalie Xenita who will reveal the strategy and role MBFWA plays, fuelling the multi-billion-dollar fashion industry. “Fashion is a powerhouse industry that drives annual retail sales of over $9 billion and employs some 77,000 people in New South Wales alone. There is much to share from our approach and I look forward to presenting our story at The Business of Events,” Ms. Xenita said. “MBFWA’s successful growth strategy has helped boost commercial significance of the fashion industry, aiding both national and local economies, and extending audience reach beyond the event. What’s more, all stakeholders enjoy a strong return on investment.” Ms. Xenita said over 23 years, MBFWA has emerged as the preeminent fashion event in Asia-Pacific – but success didn’t happen overnight. “After heavy investment by IMG to elevate the overall experience, from sponsorship activations to designer selection and global audience engagement, I’m proud to share our model of success at The Business of Events.” Conference organiser Gary Daly, Managing Director, Exhibitions & Trade Fairs, said harnessing how Australia’s biggest and best events are successfully managed by the specialists who drive business growth, from planning through to execution, will be the cornerstone of The Business of Events. “Key solutions will be on offer from the experts who sit in the hot seats of Australian’s most recognised events,” Mr Daly said. “Global attention from the business world will be on Sydney, as the Invictus Games kick off this week. This is the result of a significant amount of high-level business planning and execution. The Business of Events, will be where the Invictus Games CEO, Patrick Kidd, can share his learnings from the success of the games from a global and local perspective.” The inaugural conference, The Business of Events, will take place in Sydney on 7-8 February 2019, will host in-depth discussions around the theme, Powering Growth, exploring how to identify new business, increasing the bottom line, the future of major events and how to ensure business growth. Keynotes, plenaries and flexible break-out sessions will allow delegates to create a bespoke conference experience to maximise their investment. Speakers, strategically invited from key sectors, will provide diverse, forward-thinking insights in a unique two-day program. Alongside international keynote, Laura Schwartz, former White House Director of Events, high-calibre confirmed speakers include: Natalie Xenita, Executive Director, IMG Fashion Asia Pacific Patrick Kidd, CEO Invictus Games, Sydney 2018 Penny Lion, Executive General Manager of Events, Tourism Australia Andrew Westacott, CEO, Australian Grand Prix Terese Casu, CEO, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Helen Sawczak, National CEO, Australia China Business Council Damien Hodgkinson, Executive Director, Melbourne Comedy Festival Senior event professionals will have unparalleled access to industry leaders from which to learn about event safety and architecture, sales growth, governance, future business and professional development. Conference organiser, Gary Daly, Managing Director, Exhibitions & Trade Fairs, said speakers will share some insightful key learnings including the market potential for Australia and opportunities for Australian businesses, what we can learn from our international counterparts. He said the optimum learning platforms will offer participants invaluable opportunities to upskill and power growth. “These speakers contribute to the Australian economy through major events and operate in international markets with different policies and jurisdictions, so they know what issues you can face in the international marketplace,” Mr Daly said. The Business of Events will share how to take advantage of Australia’s position within the global marketplace, how to capitalise on an aggressive event strategy and how to power growth.” To purchase tickets, visit www.thebusinessofevents.com.au. The Business of Events will be held at Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, on 7-8 February 2019. Images: 1. Natalie Xenita, Executive Director, IMG Fashion Asia Pacific About Exhibitions and Trade Fairs Exhibitions and Trade Fairs (ETF) is a full-service event organiser with over 35 years’ experience across a diverse range of industries including renewable energy, automotive, business events, construction, oil and gas, entertainment technology, irrigation, manufacturing, travel and lifestyle. They have a long history of working collaboratively with organisations to produce innovative conferences and exhibitions to support their business objectives. They have become a trusted provider in their ability to contribute to organisations and the value of their events. They have offices in Sydney and Melbourne, however their teams are on the ground wherever the event is being planned, sold, marketed and delivered. They deliver conferences around the world. ETF’s motto is Experience, Expertise, Enthusiasm which reflects their approach to managing events and developing the relationships which underpin them. -ENDS- SAVING OUR INDIGENOUS HERITAGE ONE PIECE AT A TIME 2018-09-12T00:56:46Z saving-our-indigenous-heritage-one-piece-at-a-time Leski Auctions Media Release 12 September, 2018 SAVING OUR INDIGENOUS HERITAGE ONE PIECE AT A TIME Daryl Blythman was a precocious kid who saw treasure where others saw trash. As a young boy in the late 1950s and living on a family farm in regional Australia, he was surrounded by Aboriginal stone artefacts and axes that dated back to the Indigenous history of the area. Locals, older but hardly wiser, dismissed these historical relics as having no intrinsic value, be it cultural or financial. Daryl thought otherwise. “My father fuelled my interest in Aboriginal history, because he understood that the artefacts we found were part of Australia’s unique heritage,” Daryl said. “His hobby became my obsession when I understood that every piece we found was part of our story as a nation, and the more we collected the closer we came to understanding what that story revealed to us.” In his 30s, Daryl began to actively collect as much Indigenous art as he could to preserve it for future generations. It took him from local second-hand shops to auctions of tribal memorabilia in Australia and eventually to auctions and private sales in London, New York and New Zealand. “The Blythman Collection is a remarkable testament to the vibrancy of a living community that predates European migration to Australia by thousands of years,” says Harry Glenn, an auctioneer and valuer with Leski Auctions. “The preservation of Indigenous art and culture is extremely important to any community that values its history. It’s a privilege for us to offer Daryl’s remarkable collection.” Lot 47 (late c19th Rainforest Shield from Far Nth Qld has a pre-sale estimate of $10,000 - $15,000. (NB: Image available at https://www.leski.com.au/images/lot/3568/356896_2.jpg?1535426881) The lot will be sold by Leski Auctions (www.leski.com.au) on Sunday, 23 September from 2.00pm. About Leski Auctions Leski Auctions was established in 1973. Today, it is regarded as one of Australia’s leading auctioneers of Sporting Memorabilia, Australian Art & Antiques, Collectibles and World Philately. Among the many significant collections that Leski Auctions has been privileged to sell are those of Shirley Strickland, Ron Clarke, Sir Reginald Ansett and former RSL President, Bruce Ruxton. It has sold more ‘baggy green’ caps than any other auction house in the world. Charles Leski is a registered valuer for the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts’ Cultural Gifts Program. He is also the valuer of the displayed items at the National Sports Museum at the MCG, Melbourne. Harry Glenn, an industry veteran with more than 20 years experience, has been working with Charles since 2012. The company is located at 727-729 High Street Armadale, Victoria 3143 Australia. Tel +61 3 8539 6150 and www.leski.com.au Issued by: Harry Glenn, Leski Auctions Michael Krape, Michael Krape Consulting Tel: +61 (0) 425 790 735 Tel: +61 (0) 403 135 880 harry@leski.com.au michaelkrape@krape.com.au Wolters Kluwer CCH iFirm Practice Manager now integrates with Xero Tax to help accounting practices in Australia become more efficient 2018-08-14T23:34:58Z wolters-kluwer-cch-ifirm-practice-manager-now-integrates-with-xero-tax-to-help-accounting-practices-in-australia-become-more-efficient Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting today announced that CCH iFirm Practice Manager is now integrated with Xero Tax for accountants and bookkeepers in Australia. The latest round of integration between Wolters Kluwer and Xero is aimed to deliver end-to-end workflow and practice management options, particularly for larger multi-partner firms. For Russell Evans, CEO Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting Asia Pacific the involvement with Xero is responding to market needs. “The tight integration of CCH iFirm Practice Manager with Xero Tax allows clients to gain a new range of efficiency benefits. Data can be extracted from Xero Tax for a client’s tax return and that job can be managed in CCH iFirm Practice Manager. Data is now entered once and synchronised between the two databases. There is an efficiency and data consistency gain.” “Accounting firms are looking for choice – specifically document management and content offerings in the cloud. That is technology and content providers working together and operating with the customer needs at the center. Meeting these growing demands is what is driving the open access to CCH solutions in Xero HQ,” he outlined. The integration of CCH iFirm with Xero Tax follows the initial phase of integration with Wolters Kluwer research platform, CCH iKnow into Xero Tax. Designed to help accounting firms deliver better advice and tax solutions, the first stage of open access has proven to be successful, adding hundreds of firms to the Wolters Kluwer cloud content offering. “This integration is part of our long-term commitment to the Australian accounting sector. Now with the extension into cloud practice management, accounting firms and bookkeepers can build the insights they need to be more productive,” Evans concluded. “We strongly believe that the integration of CCH iFirm Practice Manager with Xero Tax allows accounting and bookkeeping firms to have legitimate choice with respect to best of breed cloud-based practice software” says Rob Stone, National Partner Director, Xero Australia. “Wolters Kluwer is a technology innovator and an organisation that has made significant inroads into ensuring both its content and expert solutions are cloud-enabled. We have already integrated CCH iKnow into Xero Tax. With the client list integration between Xero Tax and CCH iFirm, larger multi-partner accounting firms now have multiple practice management options that integrate with the Xero platform.” CCH iFirm is a multi-user cloud-based practice management solution for accounting practices providing a mix of compliance and advisory based services. It provides a digital practice with sophisticated workflow, document management, intranet, profitability and content marketing functionality. Using Xero, a CCH iFirm practice can manage quotes, client invoicing and staff payroll. CCH iKnow is a subscription service based on the Australian Master Tax Guide, a flagship Wolters Kluwer publication for over 50 years. The service can be tailored to meet the focus and budget needs for professional firms. Now accessed from the Xero tax forms, its powerful search function provides easy access to topic pages, tools and commentary – including the ground-breaking recently launched Private Binding Rulings (PBRs) Folder for over 130,000 ATO PBRs. CCH iKnow is also the content platform for the award-winning CCH iQ solution. This is the second integration alliance between Wolters Kluwer and Xero in Australia. About Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting is a leading provider of software solutions and local expertise that helps tax, accounting, and audit professionals research and navigate complex regulations, comply with legislation, manage their businesses and advise clients with speed, accuracy and efficiency. Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting is part of Wolters Kluwer N.V. (AEX: WKL), a global leader in information services and solutions for professionals in the health, tax and accounting, risk and compliance, finance and legal sectors. Wolters Kluwer reported 2016 annual revenues of €4.3 billion. The company, headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries and employs 19,000 people worldwide. Wolters Kluwer shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. Wolters Kluwer has a sponsored Level 1 American Depositary Receipt program. The ADRs are traded on the over-the-counter market in the U.S. (WTKWY). For more information about our solutions and organization, visit www.wolterskluwer.com.au, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. BLACKLINE POSITIONED AS A LEADER IN GARTNER 2018 MAGIC QUADRANT FOR CLOUD FINANCIAL CLOSE SOLUTIONS 2018-08-07T01:59:55Z blackline-positioned-as-a-leader-in-gartner-2018-magic-quadrant-for-cloud-financial-close-solutions LOS ANGELES – Aug. 6, 2018 – Financial controls and automation software company BlackLine, Inc. (Nasdaq: BL) has been named by Gartner as a Leader for the second year in a row, with Gartner positioning BlackLine in the Leaders quadrant of its recently released “Magic Quadrant for Cloud Financial Close Solutions.” In the July 26, 2018 report*, the world’s leading technology research and advisory company placed BlackLine highest on the ability to execute axis in the report for the second consecutive year. BlackLine also was recognised for completeness of vision, which includes market understanding; marketing strategy; sales strategy; offering (product) strategy; business model; vertical/industry strategy; innovation; and geographic strategy. “We are once again gratified that a firm of Gartner’s caliber and reputation has recognized BlackLine. We feel that it validates us as a leader and innovator in this continuously evolving space,” Therese Tucker, CEO, BlackLine, said. “As a pioneer of cloud solutions to automate the financial close, we believe BlackLine is clearly aligned with where companies are going—best-of-breed tools designed from the ground up for Finance and Accounting that transform the financial close and other key processes.” As defined by Gartner, “Financial close (FC) solutions help the office of finance manage the financial close and apply appropriate controls throughout the accounting cycle. The FC market includes the following components: financial consolidation; financial reporting; reconciliation management; close management; intercompany transactions; and disclosure management.” In the report, Gartner notes that “During the past two years, the FC market has shifted from mature on-premises offerings to cloud solutions as finance application leaders sought improvements in FC capabilities, enhanced cost control/efficiencies, greater application flexibility and shorter time to value. In addition to providing these advantages, cloud FC solutions are typically easier to use and manage than the previous generation of on-premises offerings. Topics such as the timing of cloud conversions, cloud vendors' product roadmaps and cloud product selection now account for nearly all of Gartner's client advisory conversations about FC.” “From day one, our commitment has always been to customer success. For Finance and Accounting leaders, we feel this recognition should provide the evidence they need to embrace BlackLine with confidence, knowing that we’ll work to provide world-class solutions and service as we partner with them in their finance transformation journeys,” added Ms. Tucker. To access a complimentary copy of the complete report, please go here: https://www.blackline.com/gartner-magic-quadrant-2018> . *Gartner “Magic Quadrant for Cloud Financial Close Solutions” by John E. Van Decker, Christopher Iervolino, 26 July 2018. The "Magic Quadrant for Cloud Financial Corporate Performance Management Solutions," published in June 2017, has been renamed "Magic Quadrant for Cloud Financial Close Solutions." Gartner Disclaimer Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. About BlackLine BlackLine is a provider of cloud-based solutions that transform Finance and Accounting (F&A) by automating, centralising and streamlining financial close operations, intercompany accounting processes and other key F&A processes for large and midsize organisations. Designed to complement virtually all ERP and other financial systems including SAP, Oracle and NetSuite, BlackLine increases operational efficiency, real-time visibility, control and compliance to ensure end-to-end financial close management and accounting automation from within a single, unified cloud platform. Enabling customers to move beyond outdated processes and point solutions to a Continuous Accounting model, in which real-time automation, controls and period-end tasks are embedded within day-to-day activities, BlackLine helps companies modernise accounting operations with intelligent automation, ensuring more accurate and insightful financial statements and a more efficient financial close. More than 2,400 companies with users around the world trust BlackLine to help ensure balance sheet integrity and confidence in their financial statements. Based in Los Angeles, BlackLine also has regional headquarters in London, Singapore and Sydney. For more information, please visit www.blackline.com. Businesses Are Investing in Technology to Improve Customer Experience, but Many Are Still Falling Short of Giving Customers What They Want 2018-06-06T22:06:57Z businesses-are-investing-in-technology-to-improve-customer-experience-but-many-are-still-falling-short-of-giving-customers-what-they-want Nearly two-thirds (60%) of respondents in Australia say more work is needed by companies to improve their online experience Customer experience (CX) ratings vary by vertical with hospitality leading the way globally More than half of all respondents think machine-to-people interactions will improve CX Australian consumers still believe they will have the better customer experience in a physical location than an online store A new Mitel® (Nasdaq:MITL) (TSX:MNW) survey of 5,000 adults from Australia, the United States, UK, France and Germany indicates a measurable disconnect between the advancements organisations think they are making to deliver exceptional customer experience and how customers actually view their commercial interactions. Specifically, less than half of respondents believe the technology needed to deliver the perfect online buying experience is available. This stands in stark contrast to findings of a previous Mitel survey in which 90 percent of IT decision-makers optimistically reported progress in improving customer experience through the use of technology. While a clear sign of the growing pains associated with digital transformation initiatives underway globally, the new survey also uncovers an opportunity for technology to play a key role in defining and keeping pace with changing buyer behaviour and preferences. In fact, over half of those surveyed believe machine-to-people interactions will positively transform the customer experience (51% in Australia). Vertical Visionaries, Leaders and Followers As customer experience becomes increasingly critical for businesses to remain relevant and compete, Mitel’s survey shows differences in customer satisfaction across vertical industries. Growing use of cloud communications and applications, combined with emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, chatbots, and natural language processing (NLP), are creating new ways for companies to nurture and build customer relationships. Winning companies will be those that are able to differentiate their brands by delivering seamless experiences across physical and digital environments, devices and channels. Currently, some segments are doing better than others. Hospitality leads the charge: Hospitality management knows the first stop on the itinerary for today’s travellers are online review sites. Before booking a trip, consumers want to hear what others have to say. In fact, it’s a near-universal activity. Given the impact reviews can have on average daily room rates, it’s no surprise this industry takes customer satisfaction seriously, receiving top marks among those surveyed. Australians also responded with high satisfaction rates (41%) with regards to their online experience with hospitality providers. Physical retail isn’t dead, but the customer experience is: More than 60 percent of shopping done by respondents still takes place in a physical store, though that number is shifting. When asked about the challenges faced by today’s brick-and-mortar retail outlets, three out of five respondents say the fact retail stores are struggling has more to do with the customer experience they provide, not products. While Australians are currently shopping in physical stores at much higher levels (74%) they agree with their global counterparts that customer service just doesn’t exist anymore. A seamless omnichannel approach is critical for this market, where more than one-third (36%) of Australian respondents note they make purchasing decisions based on the experiences brands provide versus the products and services offered. Chatbots can be used to manage simple tasks, while IoT and team collaboration tools open up new avenues for communications across media, whether it’s voice, email, SMS, web chat, social media or a website. Speed is the game in sports and entertainment: In the fast-paced world of sports and entertainment, immediate and clear communication is a necessity. Forty-nine percent of Australian respondents point to simplicity and speed as the most important factor in a good customer service experience, slightly higher than the global average (45%). Availability vital in healthcare: Healthcare organisations receive the lowest marks from respondents in all countries when it comes to customer service. Australian respondents, in particular, say availability and 24/7 service (40%) is the most important feature they look for from healthcare services, followed by simplicity and speed (36%). Additional insights from the data indicate: Bots, AI and machines can fill the customer service gap: Consumers appear to be increasingly comfortable with machine-to-people interactions when shopping online, with over 78 percent of Australian respondents saying they are satisfied dealing with automated processes. Most do not want to interact with a person while shopping online unless the service is very complicated, or they are having trouble finding the product or service they need. Half of Australian consumers and over 60 percent of U.S. respondents say if they could shop without speaking to a person, it would be a good thing. Even so, physical retailers need to balance the use of technology. Consumers do expect people to efficiently help them when shopping in a physical storefront. Mobile reigns supreme in the United States; Australia favours in-store: Of all respondents, U.S. and Australian consumers shop most frequently during a typical week. There are also notable differences by country regarding how and where consumers shop. U.S. respondents reach for their smartphone and use apps; Britons like shopping online via their tablets; French shoppers most often use their laptops; Germans are more likely to use a desktop computer; and Australians prefer a physical store location (74%). In Australia, brands can’t be complacent about improving their online presence. While more Australians still prefer buying goods and services in physical stores, more than two in five (42%) say they want to shop even more online, and just one in ten Australians (9%) say they don’t like shopping online at all. Seven in ten Australians (71%) say overall, shopping online is more convenient than shopping in a store. To meet this growing demand for online services, and the change taking place in consumer behaviours and expectations, brands need to consider a greater level of consistency across both the online and physical experience for their customers. Mitel’s study is the latest in its Business Insights Survey Series, which builds on previous research from August 2017 where more than 75 percent of IT decision-makers said they planned to tie together devices, emerging technologies, and communications and collaboration capabilities within two years to enable machine-to-people interactions to improve customer experience. This body of work expands on the concept established by Mitel in 2016 of “Giving Machines a Voice” to enable IoT and other machine triggers to launch real-time communications workflows that can improve how companies work and collaborate. Exploring a different angle, this survey examines how consumers view customer experience in shopping for goods and services across market segments, including retail, hospitality, sports and entertainment, health care, financial services and utilities. For more results and a closer look at regional or country-specific data, download the white paper. Quotes “As physical and digital worlds begin to seamlessly intersect, how effectively a company serves its customers across both domains determines tomorrow’s winners and losers,” said Jon Brinton, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience Solutions at Mitel. “By supplementing existing applications and investments with new technologies such as AI, team collaboration and IoT, companies can better communicate and collaborate internally and externally and begin to proactively deliver the level of customer experience buyers expect.” “The data shows no matter where you are in the world, customer experience matters—bottom line,” said survey administrator Regina Corso of Regina Corso Consulting. “In order to truly connect with customers on their own terms, organisations must look for new ways to balance technology investments with personalised customer service. Those that are able to navigate this balance will go on to build strong brand loyalty with their customers, helping them succeed in today’s highly competitive purchasing environment.” Additional Facts Mitel has been recognised as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications for four consecutive years. Synergy Research Group has confirmed Mitel’s position as the #2 unified communications as a service (UCaaS) vendor worldwide. Mitel hosted cloud solutions are trusted by more than one million global subscribers. Related Materials Download the “Giving Machines a Voice” white paper Download the "Customer Experience for Dummies" e-book. Read the guide on "5 Steps to Increase Revenue Through Customer Experience." Download the "Digital Transformation for Dummies" e-book. About Mitel A global market leader in business communications powering more than two billion business connections, Mitel (Nasdaq:MITL) (TSX:MNW) helps businesses and service providers connect, collaborate and provide innovative services to their customers. Our innovation and communications experts serve more than 70 million business users in more than 100 countries. For more information, go to www.mitel.com/en-au and follow us on Twitter @Mitel_AU. Contact Information PR agency contact Martin Aungle Explore Communications +61 (0)415 917 381 maungle@explorecomms.com.au Media – EMEA & APAC Sandrine Quinton +33 (0)130-964-301 sandrine.quinton@mitel.com Secured Signing Releases New Tools For a Smooth Invoice Approval Process 2018-05-31T01:12:09Z secured-signing-releases-new-tools-for-a-smooth-invoice-approval-process Businesses apply different systems of controls to ensure the right approval is obtained for different activities. One common use is the invoice approval process, where the goal is to stop companies from paying for products and services when they shouldn’t or without the right sign off. Secured Signing’s latest features allow you to completely automate your invoice approval process. What is new? With Signature templates you can create a template for a signature position and signature properties, therefore removing the need to manually position signature box and set properties each time. This is useful when signing bulk documents that are in the same format, such as invoices. Also recently released is the decline and continue functionality. This means that when a document is declined within a package of documents, instead of stopping the whole signing process, you can continue to review, approve and sign other documents in the same pack. All parties will be notified by email which document has been declined and the reason why, but will still be able to approve other documents.  Combining the two new features together offers a simple and responsive solution to automate the invoice approval process. These features combined are unique to Secured Signing and new in the e-Signature market. Mike Eyal, Managing Directors said “Our customers found that using digital signature and our configurable signing workflow to sign offs bulk approvals is simple and straight forward. We are removing bottlenecks for our customers as they can continue to review other documents in the same pack, without breaking the chain”. These new features can be used for any business process where approval is required, and efficiency is important. Secured Signing is truly the one stop platform for all your digital signature requirements. About Secured Signing: Secured Signing provides a one stop digital signature service that delivers a full range of form completion and eSigning capabilities. Using advanced personalised X509 PKI Digital Signature technology it is more secure than a plain electronic signature. Secured Signing enables its users to use any device to capture their graphical signature, fill-in, sign, seal and verify documents anywhere, anytime. The solution streamlines business processes, cuts back on expenses, expedites delivery cycles, improves staff efficiency and enhances customer service in a green environment. To learn more about Secured Signing, visit www.securedsigning.com ### Press Contact: John Webster Secured Signing Ltd E-mail: info@securedsigning.com Pride and Prejudice Summit 2018: Translating good intentions into meaningful global actions for LGBT Rights 2018-05-23T00:30:54Z pride-and-prejudice-summit-2018-translating-good-intentions-into-meaningful-global-actions-for-lgbt-rights NEW YORK, May 1, 2018 -- On May 24, 2018, The Economist Events will host its third annual Pride and Prejudice Summit, a 24-hour event hosted by The Economist Events across three cities – Hong Kong, London and New York. This year’s summit will continue to challenge and push forward the global conversation around lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) diversity and inclusion, with a focus on evaluating how advocacy can translate these discussions into meaningful action to improve the legal rights and societal treatment of LGBT people worldwide. Chaired by The Economist editors, Pride and Prejudice 2018 will include a panel of speakers comprising of chief executives, politicians and activists, such as: New York ● William Barber, pastor, Greenleaf Christian Church ● Cecilia Chung, senior director of strategic projects, Transgender Law Center ● Robin Diamonte, chief investment officer, United Technologies ● Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría, vice-president, Costa Rica ● Brian Krzanich, chief executive, Intel Corporation ● Daniel Lee, president, Levi Strauss Foundation ● Jessica Matthews, founder and chief executive, Uncharted Power ● Tony Prophet, chief equality officer, Salesforce ● Kenji Yoshino, chief justice earl warren professor of constitutional law, New York University School of Law London ● Vittorio Colao, chief executive officer, Vodafone Group ● Alison Brittain, chief executive, Whitbread ● Matt Brittin, president, EMEA business and operations, Google ● Sir Roger Carr, chairman, BAE Systems ● Sir Nick Clegg, former deputy prime minister, United Kingdom ● Bruce Daisley, vice-president, EMEA, Twitter ● Moya Greene, chief executive, Royal Mail ● Tamara Ingram, worldwide chief executive, J. Walter Thompson ​Hong Kong ● Raymond Chan, member, Legislative Council, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ● Maureen DeROOIJ, chief executive, Asia-Pacific, ABN AMRO Bank ● Sean Fitzgerald, co-president, Federation of Gay Games ● Tadashi Fujita, executive vice-president, Japan Airlines ● Shane Hodges, vice-president, Asia-Pacific, American Airlines ● Tomoya Hosoda, councillor of Iruma, Japan ● Tomoko Nakagawa, mayor of Takarazuka, Japan ● Nareeluc Pairchaiyapoom, director, international human rights division, department of rights and liberties protection, Ministry of Justice, Thailand ● Raghu Raman, group president, Reliance Industries ● Geraldine Roman, congresswoman, House of Representatives of the Philippines ● Marina Walter, country director, India, United Nations Development Programme ● Wei Xiaogang, co-chair, Beijing Queer Film Festival Over the past several months, The Economist Intelligence Unit has conducted a global survey of executives to examine current attitudes towards advocacy and the perceived effectiveness of corporate advocacy initiatives, and to assess how advocacy correlates with corporate strength. The findings will be presented at each summit and will contribute to the discussions in each location. Pride and Prejudice is sponsored by AlixPartners, Morgan Stanley, T. Rowe Price, William Blair, Goldman Sachs, ABN AMRO Bank N.V., American Airlines, Biogen, Nomura, Ogilvy & Mather, Heidrick & Struggles, Manulife Financial Corporation and the United Nations Development Programme. Porter Novelli and Kreab are the public relations partners. For more information on the full program and speakers, visit the event website. MEDIA CONTACT: Ravi Sunnak Porter Novelli ravi.sunnak@porternovelli.com +1 212 601 8173 Lauren Hackett The Economist laurenhackett@economist.com +1 212-554-0639 About The Economist Events The Economist Events brings the rigour of informed analysis and intelligent debate that The Economist is known for to life on stage in international forums. They host over 80 events annually in over 30 countries on topics that convene world-class thought leaders on a range of strategic business issues. Follow @EconomistEvents on Twitter and check #EconPride for event updates ​ First-ever Commercial Regtech Sandbox Facility Opened in Australia by ID Exchange and digi.me 2018-05-06T21:30:00Z first-ever-commercial-regtech-sandbox-facility-opened-in-australia-by-id-exchange-and-digi-me Australian startup ID Exchange and UK-based firm digi.me have partnered to establish an Innovation Campus at Glenwood in the Norwest region of Sydney. The ID Exchange Innovation Campus (‘IDX’) is designed to stimulate digital innovation and economic growth, primarily focused on application development in the fintech and regtech sectors, as well as being open to secondary and tertiary STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students from nearby schools and universities. IDX is believed to be the first commercial regtech sandbox facility established in Australia. Situated in a high-growth precinct of western Sydney, the site will attract app developers building on the digi.me platform in key government, eHealth, finance, retail and social sectors. Developers and early-stage entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to leverage ID Exchange’s unified Opt In and Opt Out consumer access intellectual property. The first phase of the Campus has 22 hot desks, and other collaboration facilities including a meeting room, boardroom, communal lounge and kitchen. IDX is based in the heritage-listed Glenwood House and was officially opened this morning by the NSW Minister for Innovation Matt Kean. “I’m thrilled to see the continued growth of innovation hubs in NSW. It’s incredibly important that we unlock more and more opportunities for startups to get a foothold in the marketplace,” Mr Kean said. “These innovative companies are carving out the next generation of jobs and businesses for our country, particularly around data management, which is transforming the 21st century economy.” As part of the launch, ID Exchange is announcing a “Stay & Play” competition for 12 app developers to win a seat at the campus for one month, giving them free Internet access, masterclasses, technical support and pitch day prizes. (See http://idexchange.me/stayandplay for more information.) Joanne Cooper, Founder and Managing Director of ID Exchange, said: “Our Innovation Campus is an excellent example of fostering UK and Australian collaboration by providing a facility to enable the pursuit of technical excellence via software and application experimentation. It’s our everyday hackathon site where we can help to kickstart developers and invite commercial, government and educational institutions to collaborate on app concepts with the pure aim to get things done.” “This partnership will immediately advance the development of secure, ethical, compliant and society-focused open data solutions as called for by the Australia Productivity Commission's report on Data Availability and Use, as well as the Treasury's views on consumer centric approaches being currently tabled via the Review into Open Banking,” Cooper continued. IDX has been warmly welcomed by Stone & Chalk, Australia’s leading fintech hub which has been instrumental in assisting startups like ID Exchange to commercialise and scale. “An Innovation Campus like this one established by ID Exchange and digi.me is an exciting step forward in helping Australia lead the world in the development of consumer consent based products and services. We look forward to seeing the early seeds of innovation which we hope will lead to new high growth startups in this emerging space,” said Alex Scandurra, CEO, Stone & Chalk. The launch also saw ID Exchange and digi.me showcase their current Australian partners, including; Bainbridge Associates, HCCU, Recordkeeping Innovation, Mafematica, Mainframe Cloud, SISS Data Services, Vault Systems and Verifier. “Together with ID Exchange, we’ve developed a great ecosystem of partners to advance the cause of data privacy, control and consent in Australia, and our new Innovation Campus will see an acceleration of innovation in this space in the coming months and years,” said Julian Ranger, digi.me Founder and Executive Chairman, who also attended the launch today. By accessing the facility, the Innovation Campus will encourage Australian universities and educators to unite with enterprise to springboard digital transformation across a range of sectors. This was demonstrated with a class session held for eight Year 11 and 12 STEM students from the neighbouring Glenwood High School by Dr Julia Prior of the University of Technology Sydney's Software Development Studio, to showcase the curriculum and opportunities available to work with the commercial sector. “The Faculty of Engineering and IT at the University of Technology collaborates with ID Exchange through both its Software Development Studio and its Women in Engineering and IT program. By inviting secondary and tertiary students to meet developers and early-stage entrepreneurs at campuses like these, there is hope that the next generation of innovators will be inspired to study engineering and IT. The Women in Engineering and IT program aims to secure a pipeline of female talent that will boost innovation in these sectors,” said Dr Arti Agrawal, Associate Professor and Director, Women in Engineering and IT, Faculty of Engineering and IT, University of Technology Sydney. IDX’s second phase extension will accommodate a further 18 hot desks, which is anticipated to open later this year. The Innovation Campus is situated at Glenwood House, 174 Glenwood Park Drive, Glenwood, NSW 2768. For more information on IDX, please contact: ID Exchange Telephone: 1300 002 678 www.idexchange.me Joanne Cooper, Managing Director E: jo@idexchange.me – ENDS – -- About Digi.me Digi.me is a personal data exchange platform that allows consumers to gather together information currently scattered around the web and share it on their terms under the company’s bespoke Consent Access process. Digi.me is working with world-leading businesses in the health, finance, FMCG and telco sectors on projects unlocking the benefits of private consented data sharing for both consumers and organisations. www.digi.me About ID Exchange ID Exchange is digi.me’s Australia and New Zealand partner who are in development of social privacy innovation via unified Opt In® and Opt Out® consent App’s designed as an intermediated compliance service for consumers and business. The ID Exchange solution will assist consumers to construct a centralised view of their data access permissions or de-identification notices through consent receipts, whilst educating users on data protection and privacy rights in accordance with legislation. www.idexchange.me For UK interview requests, please contact digi.me Communications Editor Emma Firth on emma@digi.me or + 44 7812 608577. Media Contact: Martin Aungle Explore Communications Tel: +61 2 4872 4981 Mob: +61 415 917 381 Email: maungle@explorecomms.com.au RegTech expert says anti-money laundering non-compliance remains an ongoing issue 2018-05-01T05:49:56Z regtech-expert-says-anti-money-laundering-non-compliance-remains-an-ongoing-issue May 1, 2018, Sydney, Australia. Anti-money laundering (AML) non-compliance needs to be swiftly addressed to tackle fraud and financial crime in Australia, according to RegTech expert Anthony Quinn, Co-Founder of AML Accelerate. AML Accelerate specialises in AML and counter-terrorism financing compliance solutions. Anthony said the time was right to reassess Australia’s AML laws. “Unfortunately, the ongoing banking royal commission is unearthing several cases of conduct risk in the financial crime space,” he said. Anthony, who also founded Arctic Intelligence in 2013 to assist companies better mitigate AML risk, believes Australia would benefit by drawing on New Zealand’s recent AML actions. From July 1, 2018, New Zealand AML laws will also apply to legal professionals and conveyancers as the country beefs up its efforts to safeguard against AML threats. “New Zealand has taken proactive steps and beaten Australia to the punch on AML, with New Zealand clamping down on the regulation of gatekeeper sectors, targeting lawyers and real estate agents,” Anthony said. “This area shouldn’t be ignored in Australia. We only have to look at recent issues like the Panama Papers which revealed accountants and lawyers were complicit in facilitating money laundering through real estate and high value goods sectors.” A 2015 report by The Financial Action Task Force called on Australia to do more to improve AML and Countering Financing of Terrorism compliance. Meanwhile, Anthony said businesses should look to technology to enhance AML compliance in a cost-effective way. “With the extension of AML laws to gatekeeper sectors like lawyers, accountants, real-estate agents and high-value dealers expected to grow to 125,000, it is hard to see how the standards of compliance will be effectively managed without technology as an enabler for businesses in complying,” Anthony said. To speak with Anthony on AML and the upcoming July 1 compliance changes, please contact Prue at Manning & Co at prue@manningandco.com.au or 0421 551 915. ABOUT ARCTIC INTELLIGENCE: Arctic Intelligence was founded in 2013 to tackle an escalating problem with financial crime losses. Our founders spent nearly 20 years working with some of the world’s largest consulting firms, investment and retail banks and understand the challenges that these organisations face in managing these risks. Arctic’s vision is to raise the bar in business through leading-edge technology which offers effective management of audit, risk and compliance, saving businesses time and money. For more information on Arctic Intelligence visit: http://arctic-intelligence.com/ ABOUT AML ACCELERATE: AML Accelerate Pty Ltd is a joint venture between Arctic Intelligence and Initialism. Widely recognised as thought leaders in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing compliance, the venture provides solutions for businesses covered by AML/CTF law and regulations. For more information on AML Accelerate visit: https://amlaccelerate.com/ RegTech expert urges businesses to prepare for amended NZ anti-money laundering laws 2018-05-01T05:35:07Z regtech-expert-urges-businesses-to-prepare-for-amended-nz-anti-money-laundering-laws May 1, 2018, Sydney, Australia. New Zealand businesses should not underestimate the work required to become compliant ahead of enforced anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, which apply to legal professionals and conveyancers from July 1, according to RegTech expert Anthony Quinn - CEO and Founder of Arctic Intelligence and Co-Founder of AML Accelerate. The call comes as New Zealand regulators extend AML laws to designated non-financial services and business professions. Anthony, who founded Arctic Intelligence in 2013 to assist companies mitigate AML risk with sophisticated compliance solutions, is all too aware that organised crimes naturally look for countries that are slow to adopt AML laws, or have not extended these to a broad range of industry sectors. “In its favour, New Zealand was recently ranked by Transparency International as the least corrupt country in the world in the Corruption Perceptions Index. However, the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs that is responsible for ensuring New Zealand businesses comply with AML/CFT laws have estimated that NZD$1.35 billion dollars is laundered each year,” Anthony said. Anthony believes many businesses still have a lot to do to meet the mandatory compliance changes. “With the extension of AML laws to gatekeeper sectors like lawyers, accountants, real-estate agents and high-value dealers expected to grow exponentially, it is hard to see how the standards of compliance will be effectively managed without technology as an enabler for businesses in complying,” Anthony said. RegTech, or regulatory technology, addresses regulatory challenges through innovative technology. Globally, RegTech companies use specialised technology to help businesses comply with regulations more efficiently and effectively. To speak with Anthony on AML and the upcoming July 1 changes, please contact Prue at Manning & Co at prue@manningandco.com.au or 0421 551 915. ABOUT ARCTIC INTELLIGENCE: Arctic Intelligence was founded in 2013 to tackle an escalating problem with financial crime losses. Our founders spent nearly 20 years working with some of the world’s largest consulting firms, investment and retail banks and understand the challenges that these organisations face in managing these risks. Arctic’s vision is to raise the bar in business through leading-edge technology which offers effective management of audit, risk and compliance, saving businesses time and money. For more information on Arctic Intelligence visit: http://arctic-intelligence.com/ ABOUT AML ACCELERATE: AML Accelerate Pty Ltd is a joint venture between Arctic Intelligence and Initialism. Widely recognised as thought leaders in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing compliance, the venture provides solutions for businesses covered by AML/CTF law and regulations. For more information on AML Accelerate visit: https://amlaccelerate.com/ A New Approach To Accounting Secures Place In Prestigious Awards 2018-04-19T07:11:23Z a-new-approach-to-accounting-secures-place-in-prestigious-awards Standing out as a new business can be a challenge but for a fledgling Brisbane based accountancy, their hard work has nailed them a finalist position in the prestigious Accountants Daily Australian Accounting Awards 2018.  Watson & Watt have been shortlisted to win an award in the New Firm of the Year category at the 2018 Australian Accounting Awards, hosted by Accountants Daily. When founder Nathan Watt started the firm, he wanted to break the stereotypes that follow accountants around and this focus has seen the business boom over the past nine months.  “Being shortlisted for this award validates the approach we have taken to grow our business,” he said. “Business is based on people. When you are doing business, you are dealing with a person and they should be treated like a person, not just a client or a name on a screen.  “Accountants have a bad reputation for being hard to talk to and not building rapport. This is something we have worked on and why we are finalists in the awards.”  The criteria for New Firm of the Year included demonstrating the number of clients won from January to December 2017, turnover and the tactic used to grow the business.  Nathan said he was excited to get the good news. “Watson & Watt is new. We’ve only be operational for under nine months. To know what we have been doing is not only working for us as a business but for our clients is pleasing,” he said.  “The stereotype of the typical accountant is a hinderance to accountants and it needs to be challenged.  We don’t want to fit inside the mould. We want to be different. You can have a personality and be professional.”  Now on its fifth year, the Australian Accounting Awards, in partnership with Thomson Reuters, recognises the exceptional contribution of individuals and accounting firms across 31 categories. Winners from the individual categories will automatically be shortlisted for the coveted Accountants Daily Excellence Award.  “On behalf of the team at Accountants Daily, sincere congratulations to all the deserving finalists in this year’s Australian Accounting Awards,” said Accountants Daily managing editor Katarina Taurian. “It’s great to see such a diverse mix of firms, from micro-businesses right up to nationwide networks. “We are also pleased to be recognising the broader role accountants play in their locales and in the lives of their clients. Accountants are the backbone of small business in Australia, and the community flow-on effect is enormous.” The winners will be announced at a black-tie awards dinner on 1 June at the Hyatt Regency Sydney.    CONTACT Nathan Watt | Managing Director Phone: 07 3067 3017/0407386243 Email: n.watt@watsonwatt.com.au The Econoimst Open Future Initiative 2018-04-16T21:00:00Z the-econoimst-open-future-initiative THE ECONOMIST ANNOUNCES “OPEN FUTURE” INITIATIVE; REMAKES THE CASE FOR THE NEWSPAPER’S FOUNDING PRINCIPLES AMID POPULISM AND GROWING AUTHORITARIANISM Editorially driven initiative comprised of five key themes; launches with online debate about no-platforming and free speech at universities London, United Kingdom - April 16th, 2018 - The Economist, a leading source of analysis on international business and world affairs, today announced “Open Future”, an editorially driven initiative (www.economist.com/openfuture) which aims to remake the case for The Economist’s founding principles of classical British liberalism which are being challenged from all sides in the current political climate of populism and authoritarianism. “Although the world has changed dramatically since James Wilson founded The Economist to fight against the Corn Laws, the liberalism we have championed since 1843 is as important and relevant as ever,” said Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief, The Economist. “Yet the core tenets of that liberalism—faith in free markets and open societies—face greater resistance today than they have for many years. From globalisation to free speech, basic elements of the liberal credo are assailed from right and left.” Content for Open Future will be developed and organised around five themes: Open Society (diversity, and individual rights versus group rights); Open Borders (migration); Open Markets (trade, markets, taxes and welfare reform); Open Ideas (free speech); and Open Progress (the impact and regulation of technology). In addition to content from The Economist editorial staff, the Open Future hub will feature commentary from outside contributors, including from those with dissenting points of view. The initiative launches with a debate between Larry Summers and Evan Smith about no-platforming and free speech at universities. Mr Summers is the Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University. He served as Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton and as the Director of the National Economic Council for President Barack Obama. Evan Smith is a Research Fellow in history at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia and is writing a book on the history of no-platforming. A special report on the future of liberalism written by editor-in-chief Zanny Minton Beddoes will appear in the newspaper’s 175th anniversary edition dated September 15th. And on that Saturday, the newspaper will host the Open Future Festival, to be held simultaneously in Hong Kong, London and New York. There will also be an Open Future essay contest for young people; surveys and other data visualisations; podcasts; social-media programmes and new video from Economist Films. About The Economist With a growing global audience and a reputation for insightful analysis and perspective on every aspect of world events, The Economist is one of the most widely recognised and well-read current affairs publications in the world. In addition to the weekly print and digital editions and website, The Economist publishes Espresso, a daily news app, Global Business Review, a bilingual English-Chinese product and a Economist VR, a virtual-reality app. Economist Radio produces several podcasts a week, and Economist Films produces short- and long-form video. The Economist maintains robust social communities on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, LINE, Medium and other social networks. A recipient of many editorial and marketing awards, The Economist was recently named the most trusted news source in the 2017 Trusting News Project Report. - Ends -