Poole Group has been operating on the Sunshine Coast since 1980, providing accounting and investment services. It launched its Zerobooks.com platform in February 2014, providing online bookkeeping and administration services such as data entry of supplier invoices, payroll, bank reconciliation, debtor management and reporting.

Now with more than 50 staff, the Poole Group was named Xero Australia Accounting Partner of the Year in 2013.

Director Greg Tuckwell grew up on the Sunshine Coast but left in 1981 to work in Brisbane and Adelaide. He returned to the Coast in 1991 following an opportunity to work with Poole Group and focus on business management.

What are the operating advantages and challenges to being based on the Sunshine Coast?

Advantages include the lifestyle and the region’s proximity to a capital city, international airport and major highway.

A disadvantage is current internet speeds, which can affect some of our remote clients.

How are you using digital technology and systems to evolve your business practices?

We have been using Cloud technology since 2011 and created Zerobooks.com as an online platform to help businesses improve their efficiency. We already service more than 300 clients with the Cloud-based services (with 90% of them based in South East Queensland).

What are the key digital innovations changing your industry sector?

The Cloud is changing the world and the way we communicate to our clients, for example using Skype and Google Hangouts, online marketing, Twitter, LinkedIn and electronic newsletters.

With Zerobooks.com there is a huge opportunity to help businesses streamline their operations to be cost effective and more efficient.

Do you have sufficient access to broadband and/or WIFI facilities for operational purposes?

Yes. However, faster internet speeds would make businesses more efficient.

How do you think the expanding digital economy will benefit the Sunshine Coast region for businesses, families and communities?

Online marketing has changed the way we reach and deal with customers and has given businesses the opportunity to expand into areas they thought were not possible before.

Social media is also connecting businesses in new ways, while it helps families keep in touch and communicate regularly – for example, you can video Skype anytime.

If we can expand these digital technologies and the opportunities available, we can generate a new sector for the Sunshine Coast economy, create new jobs and income which are not just tourism or retail-related, and move away from the traditional boom-bust cycles.

The University of the Sunshine Coast and Innovation Centre are leading that charge through projects such as Startup Weekend to increase awareness of these digital opportunities.

For more details about the Poole Group visit https://poolegroup.com.au/