Day 1 at Accountex – 1 May 2019

We, Esmerelda and Annja, went to the Accountex Conference in London for the first time and honestly, we had no idea what to expect. It was AMAZING!

All the big vendors were there and we were able to quiz them about their products, get training and demonstrations and secure treats. It is all about the treats 😊

We loved the following vendors stalls because we got to learn more about their tools:

  1. FreeAgent – This is an online accounting package that works in a similar manner to Xero and is free for all RBS and NatWest account holders. It helps that it is an Edinburgh based company and they had Scottish treats in the stall. The price per month is actually slightly more expensive than Xero, but if you are an RBS or NatWest account holder it is definitely worth a look. If you are a UK registered business, it has sole trader and partnership account set-up that is cheaper and more affordable.

  2. Xero – They showed us how to add expenses to Xero by emailing the invoice to Xero and explained the difference between uploading and sending the invoice to Xero or using an information extraction tool like Hubdoc’s. We will definitely do a blog about this soon!

  3. Pleo – This is an expense management tool that works very well for employees that have expense cards and the company needs to manage their expense slips. You pre-load money on your expense card and then every time you use it, the app prompts you to take a photo of the receipt and then it saves the invoice and transaction together (so takes away the matching bit when processing). This can then be uploaded to most accounting packages and all the information is then saved together. The best part is that you only pay for the Pleo card if you use it that month, so you can have several Pleo cards and only pay £7 per month per card if any of the staff use it.

  4. Hubdoc’s – This looks like an amazing data processing tool, but it is priced at $20 per month and it is marketed as a Xero product. That seems a little expensive if you compare it to similar products out there, but we did like Hubdoc’s interface which is really easy to understand, and it’s easy to find information.  Even two blondes can understand it!

  5. Furtili – This is an integrated forecasting and reporting tool for small businesses and works very well with Xero and Quickbooks. It doesn’t seem to work yet with FreeAgent as the logo for FreeAgent doesn’t appear on the ‘connect’ screen. We have asked for a demonstration and have also started playing with this tool to see what it can do. The issue we foresee is that it costs £50 per month for a single business, and £250 per month for up to 20 companies. That is a lot of money and it will need to improve everyone’s life significantly to justify that investment.

We had a great time listening to seminars on the following topics:

  1. Using technology to grow your practice – The main thing we took away from this was that accounting as a profession isn’t very technology savvy and should get with the times.

  2. How to measure the unmeasurable – That marketing is a difficult thing to measure and we should have the discussion with our clients to ask what these expenses have given them and to link marketing efforts to give results.

  3. How to earn more, work less and make your family proud – That a practice that gives back to the community and to the world means more for everyone than a business that does nothing. Clients will support businesses that show that they care about changing the lives of people and the next generation.

  4. Deliver an experience that drives repeat business and maximises profitability – To acquire new clients through marketing is much more expensive than making sure your current client base is happy. Spend time to make your client’s experience a great one and build lasting relationships. This is after all what Anlo is all about!

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Annja Louca