In our 2020 CMD, we presented our new growth strategy to investors, with the vision of producing superior accounting and payment and account services for SMEs. With the new growth strategy, our target market expanded to both medium-sized SMEs and small customers in the SME sector. At the same time, we expanded our strategic goal to exporting our expertise to new markets in Europe and growing through acquisitions.
We issued in October 2022 our new medium-term financial targets, which emphasize net sales growth. Growth is expected to come primarily from the international markets and is based on active sales development, digital sales and acquisitions.
Our medium-term (2023–2025) financial targets are as follows:
For years, we have focused on improving process efficiency. Progress has been made, especially, in simplifying the accounting process, where we have successfully eliminated intermediate stages.
In recent years, the focus has been on automation development. Our goal is to raise the automation rate in accounting and payroll to 100%. In our 2021 half-year report, we stated that the automation rate for accounting was 75% and 50% for payroll.
The working time saved through automation speeds up our journey from accountants to consultants, and the share of consulting in our accountants’ workload is steadily increasing. Automation has reduced manpower needs and improved our capacity to receive new customers without hiring additional accountants. The increase in automation will free our resources for proactive and more demanding advisory work requested by our customers.
We want to stand out as an active player that is on the side of the entrepreneur, that helps its customers not only with accounting services, but also with value-added financial, taxation and administration services. The way to achieve the goal of superior customer experience is, e.g., by investing heavily in developing our expertise and continuous training of our personnel. In 2016-2020, over 100 KLT (accounting) experts graduated through Talenom's own KLT coaching program.
Over the last few years, we have taken decisive steps toward internationalisation. Our aim is to continue growth and expansion in Sweden and Spain. In addition, other European countries offer opportunities to expand our business into new markets.
There are several very interesting countries in Europe, with a huge number of SMEs, traditional financial processes, and fragmented accounting services markets. We are striving for international growth both organically and through acquisitions over the next few years.
We want to continue growing strongly. Our aim is to increase the number of sales personnel and franschising enterpreneurs, and to seek comprehensive geographical coverage also through distance selling. In addition, TiliJaska small customer concept opens a channel for efficient digital new customer acquisition.
Our significant software investments and proof of efficiency development support the growth of business volume, also through acquisitions. The rapid digitalisation of the industry and the tightening regulations require substantial investments and administrative resources, which may pose challenges for smaller operators in the industry.
Acquisitions can support profitable growth. In the short term, acquisitions depress relative profitability, but the profitability of the acquisition target will rise to the level of our core business in an estimated three years after the new systems have been implemented.
In October 2020, we reached an important milestone in our growth strategy as we launched the small customer concept TiliJaskaTMservice on the Finnish market, which brings a free accounting app for small businesses, payment and account services (IBAN accounts and cards) and accounting services that scale to the customer’s needs. In addition, we launched a new Talenom Light Entrepreneur service for the smallest companies, which enables the company to offer services to all kinds of entrepreneurs from part-time light entrepreneurs to listed companies. In summer 2021, a service similar to TiliJaska (KontoKalle.se) progressed to a pilot phase in Sweden.
The small customer concept opens a completely new target market in Finland, SMEs’ small customer sector, which includes companies with net sales under EUR 400,000.
The work started in 2019 to offer payment accounts and cards to Talenom and TiliJaska customers and the project was completed in spring 2021 when we launched our first comprehensive product on schedule. With the new product package, we can offer our customers the accounting and payment services they want under one roof. Up-to-date information about the customer's financing needs will enable us to provide the right services in a timely manner. We offer clients financing through partners and at the risk of our partners. Additionally, we offer consultation to support financing decisions, both for the recipient and for the issuer.