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Trends with benefits: The NTAC reveals its tactics for growth

Last week saw the return of the National Tax & Accountancy Conference (previously the CCH UK Conference), hosted by Wolters Kluwer at the plush, 5-star Grange St Paul’s Hotel in London.

This year’s conference theme was Tactics for Growth and the event was attended by over 300 tax, accounting and auditing professionals from around the UK. 

Delegates heard from various speakers throughout the day, including Business Analyst, Stephen Archer who quoted Georges Clemenceau – “We have won the war. Now we have to win the peace…” He looked at changes and trends in the marketplace – using the modern day view of relationships, including ‘friends with benefits’ and Tinder, along with other analogies to demonstrate the need to challenge clients and shift methods of customer engagement.

Throughout the afternoon, attendees were invited to attend various break out sessions. During which our very own Andre Kwakernaat took centre stage once again to share the ‘Twinfield Roadmap’. He revealed some exciting changes set for the end of the year, including a ‘managing by exception’ function, which will allow accountants to receive an alert if any incorrect data is entered into the system.

Allan Beaton, a self-professed ‘Social Scientist’ also presented his thoughts on how to build client relationships on the web. He explained that social media is a communication tool NOT a marketing tool – it’s all about P2P! He shared his 5 top tips for being a more social business and impressed delegates by sharing his Klout score of over 60, making him highly influential!

Thanks to all those that attended. We hope you enjoyed the event as much as we did and we look forward to welcoming you back next year!

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Tweet us your feedback @TwinfieldUK #WKNTAC

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Dare to change; innovate or die

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.”

The famous words of Henry Ford and Albert Einstein remain resonant today. But in the world of business accounting, they’re only partially true. In a competitive market where regulatory change has led to a reduction in audit work and downward pressure on price, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’re likely to be going backwards. It’s quite literally the law of diminishing returns. To progress, businesses need to look at adding value; to dare to change, innovate or die.

A recent CIPD report claims that many UK organisations are not keeping up with the pace of change, and that radical action is required to avoid companies being overtaken by more nimble, insurgent competitors. So why are so many organisations happy to stay right where they are, and keep doing what they always do? The answer: fear of change. But the approach is stifling growth.

The most effective growth driver in the next decade will almost certainly be technology. How businesses harness the digital age will determine whether they accelerate growth, or terminally decline. Whether you’re an accounting practice, a large corporate or medium-sized organisation, the challenge is ubiquitous: how do you align for growth?

Ahead with the Cloud

Cloud-based accounting, using software as a service, can help transform the practice/client dynamic – and cement new value-added models for efficiency, profitability and growth. 

For accounting practices, a reliance on traditional compliance and audit work may no longer be enough; a mindset shift is required. Compliance work is a necessary evil, but it doesn’t add value to a client’s business. It’s time to be entrepreneurial. Practices should consider extending the services they offer; could you provide back office services such as bookkeeping, or help process bill payments? Could you extend your portfolio to offer cash-flow forecasting, help with refinancing or the management of operational risk? Could you become a Virtual FD? Or could you provide software-as-a-service to help reduce pressure on your clients by automating processes whilst generating valuable, accessible data that can inform future growth strategies?

Cloud-based accounting systems help businesses become forward-looking, rather than reactive and ponderous. And they are much easier to implement than traditional software.

Margins and marginal gains

The perceived headache of change is a red herring; change can be broken down into incremental, manageable phases. A good partner will not only sell you the technology, they’ll work with you to develop a comprehensive implementation plan that minimises disruption, engages all stakeholders and transforms your business model.

The most successful companies are those where senior decision-makers are not content to stand still, but have the entrepreneurial desire to diversify, explore new opportunities and drive growth. Don’t fear change; embrace it.

 

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Accounting by design: Broadway Malyan

Discover how Broadway Malyan is saving time and money since joining the cloud with Twinfield

Anne Howard, Head of UK Finance, Broadway Malyan informs us as to why their award-winning design company has made the leap to the cloud and how Twinfield is enabling them to supply a more efficient, flexible and progressive service.

After looking at a number of other systems, Twinfield really won us over. It was the perfect fit for us and we knew it would cope with the global structure of our business.

So far we have implemented the system throughout our global offices: The UK, Spain, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Abu Dhabi and we are close to completing the process in Singapore.

Using Twinfield’s cloud-based system has helped us to simplify processes, reduce costs, improve accuracy and provide us with flexibility in our reporting.

Since the implementation we have significantly cut the time it takes to complete our UK accounts production from two weeks, down to two days and after taking the charge of implementation into account, we’ve still reduced our annual costs by half.

The lack of need for paper systems, in conjunction with far less manual input has seen a definite improvement in the accuracy of the data and we’ve been able to use the reporting and analysis function to add value to the business which was difficult prior to using Twinfield.

Twinfield worked closely with us throughout the implementation process; always being at hand when needed with a professional, fast response which still continues today.

The system has been a success, and I’ve had encouraging reactions from all over the world with users liking the ease and simplicity of the system. 

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2014 NTAC Conference on the horizon

As the days are ticked off and we move ever closer to the 2014 National Tax & Accountancy Conference, here at Twinfield we are full of anticipation for what is set to be a productive and rewarding day.

Hosted by Wolters Kluwer at the 5-star Grange St Paul’s Hotel in the heart of London on Thursday 12 June, the event returns for its fifth year (previously the CCH UK Conference) and is the pinnacle of the calendar within the tax, accounting and auditing professions.

The theme for this year’s conference is Tactics for Growth, which should be of high interest to most, if not all of the delegates in attendance.

Once again, our very own André Kwakernaat will take centre stage; providing a session on our Online Accounting Roadmap, including his vision for Twinfield’s cloud-based bookkeeping tool.

Of interest to anyone who would like to know and learn more on the subject of Online Accounting, Andre’s talk will be one of ten separate breakout talks available on the day.

During the morning, keynote speakers with decades of combined experience in varying fields will take to the stage to deliver their unique look on varying topics, including:  

The speakers and their respective topics are:

  • Stephen Archer, www.stephenarcher.eu – Growth and Profit without relationships - In this keynote presentation, Stephen will examine the changes and trends in the marketplace, offer provocative ideas about challenging clients and look at how firms could shift their methods of customer engagement.
  • Allan Blair Beaton, www.allanbbeaton.com – Building Client relationships with the web – In this presentation Allan will look at how practices can help their business build value-added relationships with clients by putting the ‘social’ back into social media campaigns to dramatically increase visibility and engagement.

It is also worth noting that The National Tax & Accountancy Conference from Wolters Kluwer is worth 6 CPD points.

Follow @TwinfieldUK or search for ‘Twinfield UK’ on Facebook for the latest updates or use the hashtag #WKNTAC.

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The challenge is on: You have 48 hours

It was great to see so many faces last week at Accountex. The event, which is the UK’s only National Exhibition for Accountants and Finance Directors, was as successful as ever for the Twinfield team!

As well as a range of informative seminars, live presentations and workshops, our very own CEO, André Kwakernaat took to the floor on both days at the ExCeL, London. His first presentation explored why it’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the ones who are the most responsive to change.

André revealed his 48-hour rule – if you’re going to do something, you must do it within 48 hours in order for it to make a difference.

His presentation challenged accountants to move away from traditional accounting practises and embrace change through the use of online accounting technology. More and more SMEs are relying on the financial knowledge of accountants. Compliance work is a necessary evil, but it doesn’t add value to a client’s business. It’s time to be entrepreneurial.

Delegates heard an anecdote of how André persuaded his local clothes store, Broekman to use Twinfield to process their accounts – with the promise that it didn’t save them money, he’d pay them!

André concluded by explaining how business models are changing – many accounting providers are offering clients a ‘fixed fee’ for their advisory services. It’s therefore as crucial as ever for accountants to embrace the change. The most successful organisations will be those that have the entrepreneurial desire to diversify, explore new opportunities and drive growth.

So, what are YOU going to do TODAY? 

Do you have a question for André following his presentation? Tweet us @TwinfieldUK (#accountex) or search for ‘Twinfield UK’ on Facebook.

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