'What if I said I could transform your business?'

The world of accounting and book keeping is changing and at a rapid rate. So as an accountancy firm this affects us and our clients massively.

You have all heard about “The Cloud” but what does that mean for the exciting world of accounts and bookkeeping...ok ok I bet your thinking reading this, exciting is a pretty strong word to use - but what if I said I could transform your business and the way we help you - that's exciting...Right?

So I embarked on a three night trip to London as a QuickBooks VIP, to attend QuickBooks Connect and to learn more about their product, here's what happened, what I learned, how it inspired me, and why it's going to make your accounting experience exciting.

Flight was delayed a couple of hours and got to the hotel late - joy. Not a great start to the trip. The next day I was up bright and early to get to the venue, Printworks London, what looked like an old print works.....that's because it was Ross! Penny dropped. As a venue - it looked cool, mood lighting all over the place, smoke machines - the lot, one small problem - the beast from the east was biting hard and the place was FREEZING.

To kick the event off there was an opening Keynote from a couple of the QuickBooks executives to showcase some of the new features available to QuickBooks particularly the accountants platforms which allow us accountants to manage the work we do for you, our wonderful clients, easier and more efficiently.

That's all very well you will be thinking but how is that exciting for me?

A brief intro into QuickBooks (QBO) key highlights – Simply, it's a tool that you can use to gain better insight to your business affairs. It's cloud based so you don't have to have a server and you can access it from anywhere in the world at any time as long as you have an internet connection - just like your Facebook page, but it takes the pain out of pulling your books and records together. You know what I mean, when you're doing them late at night after a hard days slog in the trenches or you're doing it at the weekend when you'd rather be spending time with your friends and family. That quality time you're missing because you have to do your book keeping - that most likely you don't 100% know what you're doing because you ain't no bookkeeper.

At the event there were a number of QBO partners with stands varying in extravagance but all giving away goodies in exchange for a business card. I made lots of contacts from these apps and even signed up Acumen to a few services to trial and use in our business. I could be here all day banging on about apps that work seamlessly with QBO but I will list a couple that can make a significant difference very quickly:

Chaser - Remember that point after you are doing your invoicing at 8pm, and haven't spent quality time with your family, you move onto sending out emails and making calls to people that haven't paid you, chasing them for payment? Well Chaser takes all of that pain away. It automatically sends out chasing emails set to your own perimeters, different messages for different time periods. It gives you reports as regular as you want and basically does your credit control for you.

GoCardless - Do you have services where people pay you on a monthly basis? Well GoCardless takes the ease and pain out of setting up their payments. You set up the direct debit details, it emails your customer and they enter their details and sign it electronically. When the payment comes into QBO its instantly matched against the invoice - Job done. 

Paypal - Everyone wants to get paid faster, why wouldn't we. Attach a Paypal account to QBO and when you send out your invoice by email, your customer can hit the Pay Now button and pay's the email right there and then. 

Autoentry - No one likes paperwork, but remembering to keep every single purchase invoice for every expense is a pain, let alone keeping them in folders ready for handing to us as back up! Well that is a thing of the past, take a picture, scan a copy of the invoice or email the invoice to Autoentry and it takes out all the information needed and inserts it into QBO seamlessly. Whats more is you don't have to keep copies of the invoices as the picture is stored and kept in QBO. Never again will you get an email or call from us asking for a copy of X,Y and Z invoice because you will have already provided it….and more to the point - no more bulk folders to be kept for 7 years!!

Back to the event, the first day closed and left me full of ideas to use in our practice but also way more ideas on how we as a business can help you our customers - and that was only after day one! So it was back to the hotel for a quick change and then to meet for a mystery dinner: A river boat that sailed along the Thames with a champagne reception before disembarking alongside Swan, Shakespear's Globe for a three course dinner, which was extremely good btw, then back to the hotel to get ready for the following day. 

Next day was more aimed at business owners but there were loads of breakout sessions that were for all businesses. 

The first Keynote was from Sasan Goodarzi, who basically runs Quickbooks. He introduced some new features that are coming to the software for businesses. The coolest one is:

You are going to be able to talk to the app - “How much did I make last month” within seconds it tells you your profit and loss for February. “Who is my top customer”, “Who owes me money”, “how much did I spend on purchases the last three months” …on the screens within seconds…..he then asked the app “do you love me” - the reply of course I do if I had hands I would give you a hug” so if you're feeling down even your book keeping app will show you the love. When you're on the move this functionality will be very powerful and the more people use it the more intelligent it will get in returning valuable information. 

The event closed with a talk by Jo Malone. She revealed that she was so dyslexic that she couldn't drive! Yet still managed to grow a global brand. She used her creativity and unwillingness to give up to transform her business from one shop in London to a global brand all over the world – pretty inspiring stuff.

The best from the east helped keep me in London longer than I was expecting to be here and as I write this still working from my hotel room before heading to the airport to hopefully get my flight – fingers crossed!!

The biggest thing I got out of the event was that we as a business need to change the way we work with you. One meeting a year is not acceptable, providing you with year-end accounts and a tax return keeps you compliant with HMRC or Companies house but it's not valuable to you. Year-end accounts don't help you grow, don't help you work less, don't let you spend more time with your family and loved ones. We, and by we I mean us as your advisor and you as our customer, both have parts to play and most of it revolves around introducing new up to date technology into your working life. 

So watch this space, we are going to change and take you on a journey with us to make sure you are as successful as you can be. 

Finally if you are interested in a demo of the software or just want to chat about any of the content of this blog then give me a call on 01224 573904 or email me at ross.murray@acumen.lnfo