Chartered accountants told to embrace e-business or be left behind

Over three hundred delegates from across the UK heard a panel of speakers call for speed in taking up the e-commerce challenge.

Jyoti Banerjee, who Chairs a Cabinet Office sub-Committee on e-business and is the Chief Executive of TBC Research and one of the main speakers at the event said: ‘The big issue is simply this; will America?s businesses be better in the new economy than Europe’s, given the head-start they are getting in learning the tricks and trades of the new economy. Right now, the Americans are building a digital economy while Europe is watching on.’

Delegates at the Conference heard that the speed of e-commerce development is unprecedented in the UK as new ventures start up on an almost daily basis but the fact still remains that Europe is significantly behind the US in capitalising on the new business environment.

Paul Taylor former editor of the FT and now an internet entrepreneur said: ‘Whilst electronic commerce is growing rapidly, it still only accounts for a tiny proportion- less than one per cent- of total retail sales.’

He also had a warning for companies and organisations that were slow to take up the e-commerce challenge: ‘If they wait too long, they could miss the boat altogether and whither away or die. Ten years from now companies will be e-companies or they will probably not be in business’.

The other speaker, however, Dennis Keeling Chief Executive of BASDA, disagreed that Europe was lagging behind the US and listed a number of areas in e-commerce and communications where the UK and other European countries were at the forefront of IT development.

Dame Sheila becomes Tory baroness

Related reading