Last week we attended Intuit Quickbooks Connect in the industrial setting of the Printworks.
The venue just by the river thames in Surrey Quays, felt a lot like the host of a post apocalyptic accounting show and in some ways it was the perfect setting.
This was where some of the UK's biggest newspapers until as recently as 2013. It now spends it's time as a huge club and events venue, times have changed and the building had to adapt to stay relevant.
It's well known that technology is threatening the traditional business model of the accounting practice and the whole industry is having to adapt, and fast. Those that change their model and adapt to their clients needs have a real opportunity to grow.
88% Small businesses told Intuit that the cloud would enable them to work closely with their accountants
The message wasn't change or die, but the undercurrents were there amongst the many buzzwords.
The one buzzword that stood out above all others (to me at least) was the 'Virtual Finance Director' and it's easy to see how small businesses without the budget or perhaps the need to employ a finance director full time, could benefit.
The term Virtual Finance Director isn't a new one and it has been around for years, but now it feels more relevant than ever.
Cloud accounting software and tools have matured to the point that accountants can, with increasing confidence recommend new tools and processes to their clients that will save them time and money, whilst being able to better advise them on strategic business decisions.
96% of clients need business advice from their accountants, or expect to in the future
So with the plethora of tools potentially at an accountants disposal, they can virtually be their clients Finance Director, assistant or adviser.
Tools like our own expenses management and company spending solution takes this even further, by giving businesses and accountants a real-time view of company spending and with added security. Plus reducing the admin burden for employees, businesses and accounting practices.
By adopting new cloud based technology, forward thinking accountants can get even closer to their customers and focus on offering more high value services. The rise of accountants as a Virtual Finance Director and a trusted business adviser is quickly becoming a reality for those whom choose to embrace it.