KPMG Australia’s Chairman Alison Kitchen said yesterday that while business had many challenges on the horizon for 2019, she was cautiously positive about the outlook and expected growth opportunities to continue, particularly in the second half of the year following the Australian Federal Election.
Speaking at the KPMG Couta Boat Classic Race event at Sorrento, Ms Kitchen pointed to the results of KPMG’s annual survey of CEOs released on 5 December 2018 which show that digital transformation is the number one priority for business leaders in 2019.
“Digital transformation came first as the issue keeping Australia’s CEOs up at night with the dual challenges of innovation and disruption second, while concerns over dealing with regulation and Australia’s political paralysis place third and fourth,” Ms Kitchen said. “While 2018 was a year of disruption and transition, we are positive about the outlook for 2019 and, in particular, we continue to focus on building trusted relationships with our clients,”
Although KPMG survey respondents were asked to name their top five issues Ms Kitchen emphasized there were also broader recurring themes revealed which cut across specific concerns, industries and size of business.
“Most marked was a shift in focus on the customer as top of mind, compared to 2018. That’s a key reason for businesses to engage with their customers and clients, listen to and respond to concerns, and seek and deliver the right solutions,” Ms Kitchen said.
She also pointed to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) figures for Australia released in November 2018 which indicate that global expansion had peaked in 2018 at around 3.7% with some easing of that number expected in 2019 and 2020 to around 3.5%.
“Australia has a strong labour market and businesses engaged in and embracing change – in particular in digital technology. Yet we also see global headwinds from trade tensions, fiscal tightening and geopolitical uncertainty that may impact Australia in the coming year and so remaining confident and keeping connected with customers is most important,” said Alison Kitchen. “Trust will undoubtedly be a key issue again in 2019; it has burned its way into the consciousness of senior leaders. As a result, organisations are asking themselves fundamental questions about their purpose, their culture, and how they present themselves to the world.”
This year marks the 21stKPMG Sorrento Couta Boat Classic. With more than 400 attendees and 40 Couta boats racing for the students of the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School (MITS) – the official charity partner for the event.
“Our firm has sponsored the Couta Boat Classic since 1997, and we are proud to be able to host such a unique event that both thanks our valued clients while also providing support for the local community and showcasing the Mornington Peninsula,” said Carmel Mortell KPMG Victorian Chairman. “KPMG wanted to do more; that’s why we are delighted to be able to provide support for young indigenous students through the KPMG Couta Boat Classic race.”
Ms Mortell said MITS was chosen because it aligns with the KPMG Corporate Citizenship pillar of Indigenous Australia. The Firm is also involved with the Sorrento Couta Boat and Sailing Club which provides a sailing experience for MITS students each year.
About Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club (SSCBC)
Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club (SSCBC) is located at the southern end of the Mornington Peninsula and is easily accessible from Melbourne. Couta Boats are the Club’s signature fleet. There is a long and interesting history about how the Club have come to celebrate the Couta Boat. As historical fishing boats, now raced most weekends, Couta Boats are an integral part of the Club, its sponsor relationships, and most importantly, its culture.
About the Melbourne Indigenous Transition School
MITS was founded by Liz Tudor and Rick Tudor, two experienced educators who will be presented with a cheque for $10K by the skipper and KPMG host Partner of the winning Couta boat. KPMG is also holding a silent auction as part of its Couta Boat Classic 2019 as a means of raising additional funds for the charity.MITS believes that all young people should have the opportunity to pursue their dreams, no matter where they come from. It offers an innovative education model to enable young Indigenous students from remote and regional communities access to Australia’s best high schools.
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