Posted on April 13, 2017 by staff

Real FinTech disruption ‘will not come from high-earners’


Businesses looking to shake-up FinTech and put themselves at the forefront of innovation need to start building from the bottom-up, according to a leading disruptor.

Mark Sykes, head of BDO’s Business Services and Accounting team, beleives the most important developments will come from the people who are using and delivering vital finance services on a day-to-day basis.

He founded the firm’s award-winning InTouch system which saw a 38 per cent sales growth last year through the early adoption of technology.

It uses tech to assist businesses with improved management information and performance reporting – data that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, via a desktop, tablet or mobile phone.

He said: “The whole profession has changed, the way we work with businesses has changed.

“The suggestion or idea that the ones at the top are the ones with all the ideas is a load of rubbish.

“The best ideas come from the people who are involved in the day-to-day paying, facing the day-to-day grind of issues and challenges.

“Those are the questions you have to overcome.

“[Fintech] is not just about automation tools, although that’s in there – there are lovely sophisticated automation tools. At the same time there’s also how we engage with clients, what do the clients actually want.

“Too quickly, firms go ‘I do accounting better than anyone else’ or ‘I do law better than anyone else’, and we all sound the same.

“That’s part of the challenge – for business to decide to really understand what the client wants and look at this in a fresh way.

“Look at what’s going on in this disruptive economy to see whether we can take the best bits from here and there and create something new, create something more exciting.”

Operation both in the UK and internationally, Sykes has a history of embracing the digital agenda and transforming the way professional services are delivered.

He believes that although the process may be difficult, fintech firms must adapt their processes or face the consequences.

He added: “[Telling executives] is sometimes the hardest card you have to wave sometimes. Because they’re you’re paymaster, so it’s not always the best thing – but that is one of the things.

“If anyone is going to know about you in the disruption industry, you need to make sure there is enough energy and drive there, that people are not worrying about doing whatever is needed to get to the right outcome.

“We’re in a fast-changing world, and there are lots of things changing in the market place.

“Everyone talks about automation, the robots, they talk about global disruption – the fact that we have things like Brexit, and there are things going on in America.

“We can also look at how we change as a culture and the say people behave, so using things like Amazon distribution routes businesses can go to more than £30m in two years.”