The countdown to QuickBooks Connect is on. This year, we’re heading to Melbourne to bring our annual flagship event to life, with showstopping speakers, innovative breakout sessions and many more surprises. We sat down with accounting technology journalist, Sholto Macpherson, to find out more about his business, upcoming industry trends and why he keeps coming back to QuickBooks Connect.
Tell us a little bit about you
I’m an accounting technology journalist, the editor of an accounting tech blog called Digital First, a tech writer for various magazines, head of content for the Accounting Business Expo and Accountech.Live, and I’ve recently been experimenting with software development.
I started covering cloud software for small business enterprises for 2011 and quite quickly realised that accounting technology was going to be hugely disruptive. I’ve been researching and writing about it ever since.
Tell us about your business
For a long time, my business has mostly been solo consulting and freelancing. For the last three years, I’ve been heavily involved in getting up the two biggest, independent accounting technology expos in the country up and running. Most recently, I’ve taken on a couple of staff to help build some tools to help accountants make sense of the technology ecosystem. Watch this space!
As an expert in the industry, what trends are you watching this year?
I’m interested in a couple of general themes that revolve around helping improve the survival rate of small businesses. I believe that accountants have a huge opportunity in front of them that extends beyond compliance.
Small business owners need help so badly; even just teaching a business owner how to do a cashflow forecast can make an enormous difference. Specifically those themes are app advisory – how can accountants stay on top of all the apps their clients need without blowing billable hours/margins; industry benchmarking – so much potential here to give business owners advice on which parts of their business need improving; and mixing financial and operational data in business intelligence dashboards – some accountants are doing amazing stuff in this area.
You’ve been to QuickBooks Connect before. Tell us about your experience.
My favourite part is the people! As a journalist, the best thing is meeting the QuickBooks team who are making the big decisions or making the product. Also, these events tend to draw accountants and bookkeepers who are curious about technology and interested in building better businesses. Curiosity and investigation are great traits to have in anyone (as well as a journo).
Any advice for those attending QBC for the first time?
Come with an open mind, talk to the app partners on the floor and watch the presentations for productivity ideas that you can use in your firm. Try to commit to one project to improve your firm within the next six months. Measure the ROI, decide whether to keep the project going and then move onto the next one. Continuous self-improvement is the best way to maintain a high level of interest in your own business, positively surprise your customers and engage your staff in your mission.
Don’t miss out, register for QuickBooks Connect 2019 today!