Australia, with its vast reserves of natural resources, its agrarian origins, and its geographic isolation, has been considered a primary production economy from its earliest days. This view is changing. With development, Australia's service industries are contributing an increasing proportion of Gross Domestic Product. This report analyses the literature on one of those service sectors, the pub lie accounting industry.
Initially, the report examines the public accounting profession and its developing role as a service provider, and then considers the profession as a service in the marketing environment. Public accounting suffers from the common problems associated with service marketing as opposed to product marketing. It markets a service that is intangible. This intangibility is associated with a inability of consumers to determine service quality. Service quality perception problems are compounded by the high degree of heterogeneity of accounting service offerings. Also, public accounting services are inseparable in terms of production and consumption, and subject to the service feature of perishability;- they cannot be stored after production for future consumption.
After examining the marketing weaknesses of services in general and public accounting services in particular, the report poses the question;- "why marketing?" Why do we need to market the service at all? Four areas are outlined:-
1. A revised legal and ethical climate, where restrictions against the use of advertising, solicitation, competitive bids, and certain promotional tools have sparked a wave of intensifying promotional and competitive activity in most of the professions, threatening the survival of those who do not follow suit.
2. An oversupply of professionals, which, while it has not yet affected Australia to the same extent as it has the United States and the United Kingdom, will become reality here as Federal and State governments intensify their efforts to educate more accounting and business administration professionals. The emergence of the "tax houses", offering alternatives to the engagement of professional accountants, is another associated factor.
3. Increased dissatisfaction with professionals, resulting largely from the popular media image of solicitors as ambulance chasers, and accountants as tax loophole finders.
4. Rapidly changing technologies in data processing, communications, and other areas are causing clients to demand faster and more timely data. Those firms which keep up with the new technology thrive, while those who fall behind are struggling. A prime example of this is the……