A great part of the last few years in accounting were spent anticipating whatever maybe coming for us down the line. From a slow unfolding Brexit to MTD, IR35 and New Holiday pay laws – we have braved through all the waves in the profession and waited with bated breath for a time of more stability and structure.
So as we begin this new decade, we are ditching the pillow of doubt and coming together to create a future of clarity and confidence for ourselves on the ocassion of QuickBooks Connect London this year under their prime theme: ‘own the future.’
In the spirit of this ‘autonomy’ that comes with the feeling of owning our futures in our own hands , we’ve gone around the industry and asked prolific experts, our fellow exhibitors and Quickbooks event organisers to impart their wisdom on how to own the future in accounting and business. And here are the powerful pieces of advice that once-for-all puts an end to all arduous anticipation and makes way for more clarity, rational planning and above all, hope for the future.
1. Mark Wickersham, CEO, Wickersham Training International Ltd
“The accounting profession is changing. We have to change with it. However, many accountants already find themselves overworked and not making enough money.
The root cause of this is largely down to the way we price. We have to price better.
With the wrong pricing we are continually struggling to make ends meet. Winning more clients is not the solution. If you win more clients when your pricing is wrong you just become busier.”
2. Karen Reyburn, Founder, The Profitable Firm
“I don’t believe anyone can truly “own the future”, because it’s always ahead, and all we can take responsibility for is what we’re doing in the present to get to that future. So, my advice is to look at what's frustrating you, or blocking your way, or just not happening in life the way you had hoped: and ask, 'What's on me? Where can I take responsibility so the future (as it is set now) changes?'
The biggest breakthroughs in my life - business, emotional, relational, spiritual, financial - came when I looked at the current choices I was making, over and over again, and then projected those into the future. And then said, “Oh. I don’t like that future. That future is not okay with me. What changes do I need to make now which will give me a different future?”
I still don’t own the future, but I can own today’s choices. And then as far as it depends on me, the future does look different. And better.”
3. Ria-Jane Lincoln, Owner, Ria-Jane & Co
“Being open to innovation and thinking outside the box as opposed to sticking to the way its always done is key if you want to keep up with all the advances that we have seen and are yet to see in the future.
There are advances in technology that make work resources a lot more available than ever before, often at competitive prices and without geographical limitations. With the use of technology you can reduce the burden of repetitive tasks that take up valuable time whilst having ways to monitor and review business performance in real time.”
4. Rob Brown, Founder, Accounting Influencers Podcast, Business Development Academy
"Your network is 'who you know' and your reputation is 'who knows you.' People who own the future will build both because people and what they think are at the heart of all relationships, buying decisions and monumental achievements."
5. Alex Davis, Sales Enablement Performance Specialist, Intuit
“Don't try and predict the future, just make sure you are ready for it.
That means you create a culture and mindset of 'what if' ... what if we could create an even better experience for our clients? What is important to them? What will drive their loyalty? What will solve their challenges and problems? The idea is to bring intentful innovation to your firm.”
6. Carl Reader, Small Business Expert
"Simply take control. You can only impact the things within your control, so work out what they are and do what you need to do. Everything else is noise!"
7. Eve Davis, Marketing Executive, Reducer
“The digital takeover of the accounting world is by no means slowing down, so embracing the tools on the market will be key in continuing to add value to your clients in the future.
As app directories are growing longer with one-click management solutions, the time it takes to complete tedious tasks is shortening. This is opening the doors to a wealth of time that can now be used to create more meaningful relationships with your clients.
Build up a bank of these apps - from data entry to cost management solutions - to help ensure that you're maximising the chances for your clients to grow.”
8. Samantha Sandiford, Marketing Executive, Fluidly
“As a cashflow forecasting tool, we are all about looking to the future. Our advice is to make use of tools to help make most of your data so that you could maximise your time to build relationships and have a better work-life balance.
No more modelling or stress – today’s artificial intelligence loves to crunch the numbers and predict the future.”
9. Mohammed Sajid Khan, Head of International Development, ACCA
“Technology as an enabler is at the forefront, transforming the very meaning and nature of work. Not only is this transformation challenging the traditional roles, but also creating a roadmap for future skills and abilities.
For future finance professionals, this transformed world of work demands them to augment their skills with emerging technology and adapt to fast-moving and varied career paths. Today’s professional quotients represent the must-have capabilities needed in this changing environment as the profession continues to transition, and as roles and responsibilities morph and evolve.”
10. Cameron John, UK/I Leader, Silverfin
“The key to owning the future starts with owning the process and taking control of your business model. Firms should standardise as early as possible in the process to drive efficiency. Next, take control of their client’s data to drive a new business model. And finally, start crafting a new range of service offerings to evolve their business models based on data insights.”
11. Pom Chakravarti, UK Country Head, QX Ltd
"We are all moving toward a future where we are constantly looking for ease and control in our businesses through tech while still being able to retain the human touch. The key to owning such a digitised future is by striking up the right balance between tech and resources. With the right technology stack and the right innovative, agile minds – smaller and mid-size firms will find the time to grow, focus on business and get more out of their relationships with clients.
I also feel that as we make our way through this digitally enhanced world of work, work-life balance and prioritizing self-care should be at the fore-front of our professional lives. We should become wiser about making the right use of the time we save by not doing more work but by developing ourselves and our businesses."
It's true that despite all meticulous plans and strategies, we can't ever exactly tell what the future holds. However, the recurring themes in all the expert opinions - like adapting to tech; thinking out of the box; and valuing the people in our professional spheres and our lives - help us realise that as long as we keep up with these, whatever unfolds, we will – broadly – be fine. And in that feeling, we somehow ending up owning the future.
My name is Rishmita and I’m an aspiring journalist and blogger. I love telling stories – of people and brands. When I’m not too busy typing out incessantly on the computer, you’ll find me reading some old American classics or petting some furry stray cats.