Opportuna – helping clients adapt to change
“Knowing where and how to tap into these data insights can provide a treasure trove of useful information and trends to assist in re-calibrating and re-focusing their businesses.”
As businesses seek to change, pivot and embrace agility this year like never before, New Plymouth based Opportuna CA is in a unique position to assist clients, says principal Stephen Hill.
“At Opportuna CA we have been on a journey of re-imagining and pivoting over the past two-and-a-half years so we are in a great position to assist our client base, providing change management strategies through this one in 100-year adverse event.”
The nationally focused business advisory and chartered accountancy firm was started around five years ago. With technology throwing uncertainty as to how accountancy would look in the future Stephen has been on a path to reassess and future proof the business – learnings he now shares with his clients to help them weather the storm of Covid-19.
Opportuna CA utilises new technologies to solve not only its own strategic direction, but can also offer platforms and solutions for clients who also want to ride and take advantage of the cloud/technologies wave. For example, he says that Opportuna CA has increasingly engaged cloud technologies and social marketing strategies to assist its clients in understanding their businesses and customers better as well as reaching out to new customers, for example through messenger BOTs. Many of the clients in the firm’s portfolio are hospitality and tourism businesses. Stephen notes that there is a tremendous amount of data that these firms generate and can access but that they probably weren’t even aware of, for example Paymark Insights.
“Knowing where and how to tap into these data insights can provide a treasure trove of useful information and trends to assist in re-calibrating and re-focusing their businesses,” he says.
Other important ingredients in transitioning in this Covid-19 era have been assessing the skills and information gaps within a business and where technologies and key collaborations can assist in traversing the current environment. This includes nurturing key banking, insurance and financier partnerships as well as building strong relationships with product suppliers.
People are the other important part of the equation. In its own journey, Opportuna CA recognised that there was a tremendous regional skills gap to be filled – now accentuated by Covid-19.
A need for a strong regional IT and working innovation hub model for Taranaki was identified and one of the results has been Learner Me, of which Opportuna CA is a key founding partner and strategic adviser.
Stephen says that Learner Me, a product of a Proformac Technologies and
Opportuna CA collaboration, is unique in New Zealand’s landscape becoming in September 2020, New Zealand’s first NZQA accredited PTE for IT professionals run by IT professionals.
Establishing itself as a leading online educator in IT and digital technologies, Learner Me is already working with a raft of key government departments, secondary school pathway students and iwi to provide work-ready IT skills and much needed digital technologies up-skilling in the Covid-19 era. Innovative technology solutions have also driven transformational changes with other clients Stephen has strategically advised – Ann Milne Education (MNZM, international author and thought leader in critical thinking and culturally sustaining pedagogy) and Hiringa Energy (transitioning to zero emission energy fuels).
“Change is never easy, even in ‘normal’ times. So being able to partner and provide a wrap-around suite of technical and practical skills and imparting that confidence to our clients is another critical ingredient in the journey of recovery and change.”