New Sage boss sees return of confidence

Steve Dinneen
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NEW Sage boss Guy Berruyer says confidence is returning to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) but that those in western Europe are struggling to get hold of funds compared to their US counterparts.

Berruyer, who took control of Sage in October, was tasked with turning around the fortunes of a firm struggling to drive revenue growth after its core market of SMEs were holding back on spending. Last month Sage’s half year figures showed a gradual return to form and Berruyer says the market is continuing to recover.

He told City A.M. he believes confidence is returning to the sector, with a new survey by the firm showing 41 per cent of SMEs are more optimistic about 2011, compared to just 19 per cent who are less optimistic.

But he said one of the biggest stumbling blocks remains the difficulty small firms have accessing capital markets.

He also called for an easing of government bureaucracy, which he says impacts on the confidence of small businesses. This can partly be achieved, he says, by standardising reporting mechanisms and making systems more efficient.

He said Sage is now looking to the “new frontier” of cloud-based software, which his firm will be at the forefront of.

Berruyer believes the new systems will compliment, rather than cannibalise, existing accountancy software platforms.