Day 2 at Accountex – 2 May 2019

In which our heroines set out in search of wisdom, knowledge and more treats

Today was different because we had an idea of what we wanted to go and see, and we were more focussed. We started off by getting a demonstration of what Receipt Bank can do, where it fits into the business process and how it can be useful. It’s a great document processing tool and it integrates well with most online accounting packages.

After this demonstration from Receipt Bank we will be doing feasibility studies to see which clients could benefit from Receipt Bank if we as a practice get a Receipt Bank Partner Account. Watch this space!

We had a chat with a company called Practice Ignition; it’s a great package that will help significantly with administering new clients by allowing them to sign up for the engagement without any need for paper documentation. It also connects with Xero to facilitate invoicing; either one-off, monthly or taxation clients. It has a payment plan section where clients can select if they want to pay via credit card, debit card or standing order and it sets up the whole payment process. The problem for us is that it will not currently work with South African banks, but it does work with UK bank accounts. However, the seamless process of client acceptance and signing of contracts are something we will be looking into.

Lots of clients have asked us about Unleashed and how it works as a stock management tool. We have asked for a product demonstration over the next 2 weeks to see how this can be useful and help clients with stock in their business and using an online accounting program. Unleashed is used more by businesses looking to grow and who have a need for extensive stock management capabilities like expiry date checks, slow moving stock items etc.

We also spent some time listening to the guys at Worldpay explaining how businesses can get paid via their platform for a nominal fee. This can ease cash flow management and budgeting because their clients can pay invoices more quickly.

Auto-enrolment into a Pension scheme is old news in the UK and a vendor called SmartPensions explains how their Pension scheme helps the employees of employers and why it will be useful for us as accountants to suggest them as an auto-enrolment partner. We will leave this decision up to the client to make, but it is helpful to be more informed about providers and how they can help their staff.

Some of the interesting talks we listened to were:

  1. Accountancy Firm Apps – They design apps for accountancy firms that help communicate deadlines and important information to their clients. It uses push notifications to send notifications to your clients and you can customise it online to be specific to your country, deadline or requirements. It makes life easier for clients and accountants in practice and it also helps clients with mileage tracking and doing simple tax calculations. It is quite expensive, and the cost is based on the number of clients on sign-up, but what we have seen so far suggests that it will make life much easier. The question is, at that price how much easier?  We will revisit this topic soon.

  2. Blockchain, Accounting and the Future – This was such an interesting topic because what is happening now with things like crypto currencies and AI is that there is a whole area of transactions not being accounted for at present. This will only happen more because of blockchain technology and we as accountants should embrace the change and teach ourselves how technology works. There will be an ever-increasing need for auditors and accountants that understand why and how transactions originate and if the controls surrounding this technology are working. The traditional auditor that reconciles and relies on paper-based documents will be eliminated. This is not the case yet, but the change is happening whether we like it or not.

Our main takeaway from today is that there are sooooo many suppliers and vendors that offer amazing suites of programs that just blow your mind, but that doesn’t mean they are right for all businesses.

As an accountant, it is good to know about all these programs and what they can offer; that there is value in building a relationship with vendors to help our clients to determine what is the best program for them, their business and their budget.  There is nothing more frustrating that paying for something you don’t use or don’t know how to use.

If you have found these blogs useful, please contact us if you want to learn more about any of the topics I have written about!

Annja Louca