Despite a relatively modest share of sales, Amazon could have an outsize impact on the industry by pushing down prices on popular products. Many shoppers were seen on Tuesday comparing prices in stores with online shopping sites on their mobile phones.”
Amazon Launches Boxing Day Assault on Myer, AFR Dec 26th
As Myer CEO Richard Umbers sipped champagne at the Melbourne Cup back in November, a crack team of Amazonians were working hard towards the launch of that company’s retail offering in Australia.
Electronics, clothes and cosmetics are the sort of items we used to buy from a department store. However Australian consumers and businesses are becoming increasingly savvy about what a particular item should cost, and are more than capable of switching their buying behaviour when a new market entrant comes along with a compelling offer.
The Myer / Amazon story reflects a modern-day dichotomy.
On the one hand sit the incumbents. Sipping champers or running ‘strategy days’, they have yet to realise they are burdened by governance structures that are inherently inflexible to the deflation going on all around them.
As we are now seeing with Myer, this inflexibility causes angst. Share prices tank and stakeholders argue amongst themselves over an ever-decreasing pie (just ask John McGrath).
On the other hand you have the disruptors, the challengers. The misfits, the upstarts for whom deflation is part of their DNA.
For them the deflation is a tailwind, filling their sails and pushing their ultra-light business models forward. Ultimately delivering scale and profitability under circumstances that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.
SMSF Accounting Update
Just like those Amazonians, the Mclowd Team have been relentless in recent months, driven by a rapidly growing user base who share our determination that the Community succeed.
As a consequence of their efforts, improved support for pensions is now live, including the ability to:
- Calculate interim balances and commence pension phase at any point in time
- Calculate pension minimum, maximum and tax free percentage
- Convert a Transition to Retirement Income Stream to an Account Based Pension
- Nominate reversionary & death benefit beneficiaries
(As part of this project the financial periods page has also had a major upgrade in terms of both functionality and usability).
We are conscious that this has been one of the key gaps preventing large-scale migration amongst practitioners, and deployment of this functionality will allow us to focus on the balance of FY18 targets over the coming weeks.
In addition to the ability to edit the chart of accounts and further improvements to the Centralised Transactions Screen, this quarter will see improved support for managed funds and equities:
- Automated population of dividend/distribution & franking credit percentages
- Reconciliation between dividend/distribution paid versus dividend/distribution expected
- Asset allocation reporting against Fund investment strategy
Subject to delivery against the above we expect a number of large administration firms – with whom we have been working closely over the last 12 months – to announce their migration to Mclowd for FY19.
Existing and prospective users looking for an update on all this new functionality are welcome to join our next Introductory Webinar, scheduled for Thursday February 8th at 12:30pm AEDT.
Based on user feedback we will also be introducing a premium version of the Trustee Edition. It will attract the same $33 per annum price point as the Practitioner Edition, and will have the following features included by default:
- Centralised transaction screen
- Online lodgement
- Ad free interface
It is due for release next month.
In many sectors of the economy our collective microeconomic future will not be one of cosy oligopolies. As one fund manager recently pointed out it will be characterised by a winner-take-all journey. The last person / entity standing will be the one that can operate at a price that is closer to marginal cost than anyone else (all other things being equal).
Very few people understand that journey better than Jeff Bezos, and it is the key reason why his wealth is approaching US$100 billion.
Bezos has no more intention of sharing our microeconomic future with Myer than he does with Macy’s, and for the same reason.
Because he doesn’t have to.
Mclowd Pty Ltd