After a 2 year hiatus, Accountex London was back in May 2022, and Lara and Kat took the opportunity to mingle with around 8,000 other attendees at the ExCel Centre London. In addition to the 250 exhibitors, there was an interesting schedule of talks on a range of topics – from making tax digital to cybersecurity, to what the future of accounting looks like.
No expense was spared by the software suppliers to the accountancy sector with some very impressive stands and lots of worthwhile giveaways.
A key theme that was shared time and time again was the increasingly important role of accountants as a trusted partner following the pandemic, with Xero stats showing that 45% of small business owners believe their advisor is more important to them than ever (The future of small business). Economic uncertainly and the fall out from the pandemic have meant that demand for accountancy services has been at a high and is not showing any signs of slowing down.
No longer are accountants seen to perform solely the compliance and transactional part of their clients’ financial and tax affairs, but they are now also expected to provide in depth and proactive advice around cashflow, minimising losses and improving revenue.
Another hot topic remains digitisation and automation, and how these can be embraced to enhance the role of accountants and the value they provide to their clients.
Recruitment is an ongoing challenge for the sector, with talent retention and attraction a key focus area for accountants this year. Prospective and existing employees are looking not only for a competitive salary but more flexible working practices, and a good cultural fit.
Making Tax Digital
Getting clients ready for Making Tax Digital remains a challenge for most accountants, with a recent study by HMRC showing that many smaller businesses incorrectly assume that MTD doesn’t apply to them, and that there were some key misunderstandings in terms of processes and compliance. Whilst some steps have been taken towards getting ready for MTD – such as discussing the changes with their accountant or researching MTD compliant software – a high number have not yet invested in software.
Feedback on Accountex
Lara said: “It was great to catch up with some existing contacts in the industry and meet lots of new people. There was a great buzz at the show, and for us it’s been a really useful way to gain insights into what’s going on in the wider industry. These insights can be passed on to our accountancy clients, help start new conversations or bring their attention to new tech. In addition to the core marketing support we provide, we are always trying to add value to our clients by looking out for ways they can streamline or improve their business.”
Lara was interviewed by Rob Brown of the Accountancy Influencer Roundtable, and featured on his podcast where she shared her thoughts on the show and what is next for the accountancy industry.
Following the team’s impressions of Accountex in 2022 they can’t wait to get back there in 2023!
Will you be there?