The digital journey, first stop: Accountex

Accountex – the UK’s largest exhibition and conference dedicated to accountancy and finance professionals – was back at the end of May. Bigger and better than ever, this year saw over 7,000 attendees, more than 200 exhibitors – including Keytime – and 280 speakers, seminars and workshops all come together for an epic two-day event.

Now in its seventh year, efforts are made to keep the annual format and content fresh. A new ‘hot topics’ roundtable was introduced for 2018, covering everything from digital solutions, MTD, surviving as a sole practitioner, succession planning, technology challenges, to women in accountancy. The keynote speakers were an interesting and diverse mix of industry leaders, including HMRC’s Making Tax Digital Programme Director.

For those who made the trip along to London’s ExCeL, there was plenty to see and get involved in. Our team – based at stand 253 – was pleased to see so many happy Keytime customers there and meet so many other professionals keen to know what we offer. It was a brilliant opportunity to talk about the big industry issues, communicate with customers, get feedback and share ideas. Thank you to those of you who made the time to pop by!

The main buzz at the event, and from the conversations we had on the Keytime stand, centred around MTD and the digital journey. An increasingly big issue for practitioners that we spoke to, is keeping up with the changes that will come with MTD, embracing digital solutions across their businesses, and remaining relevant and competitive.

The Keytime and IRIS portfolio have various elements that, when combined, can help propel you into your digital future. Below are a few pointers to consider, if embarking or progressing on the digital journey is something that you are interested in:

  • Most accounts create and submit final accounts online – and the digital journey is about filling in the gaps from end-to-end, embracing digital solutions at every stage. This involves encouraging clients to join you on that journey, including submitting and approving content through shared tools and resources.
  • Consider how to eliminate the pain of paper! Banish the boxes and bags of receipts and invoices handed over by clients at the eleventh hour. IRIS Snap lets clients upload photos of receipts, invoices, purchase orders and bank statements. It eradicates manually sifting through paper and digitising it – a massive time saver.
  • Use online platforms to have a smoother, more collaborative relationship with clients – minimising fuss and delays. IRIS OpenSpace allows practitioners and clients to share documents with each other and get client approval electronically.
  • See how freeing up time and offering a more efficient service can help you build your business. Less pressure on you, your team and resources can provide the scope to focus on higher value work, such as added-value business advisory services.
  • Looking for software that can help you on the digital journey? All the tools mentioned, and a whole host of others, like Keytime Practice ManagerKashFlow and IRIS WebPortal, can streamline what you do, save you time, maximise your revenue and help you to become a paper-free practice; the cornerstones of the digital journey.

The Keytime team will share more guidance and information on the digital journey on this blog in coming weeks; we know it’s a topic you want to know more about – and something that can make a positive and lasting difference to practices. Or get in touch directly if you would like to chat to the support team for some advice.

Finally, if Accountex sounds like one for you next year, you can register your interest here for the event at ExCel on 1-2 May 2019. Of course, there will be a host of other business and accountancy trade shows that take place across the country in the meantime – go and make the most of them!