With the fourth annual flagship accounting event fast approaching, we thought it was a great opportunity to have a quick ten minute chat with some of the speakers we’ve secured to present at the Intuit theatre at Accountex 2015.
Over the next few days, we’ll be releasing our interviews with our speakers.
First up is Mark Lee. Recently described as “The most networked accountant in the UK”, he loves working with accountants who want to stand out from the pack.
A professional and accomplished speaker, author and mentor, we took five minutes out and spoke with him about Accountex and why small businesses are suffering more than ever with red tape and regulation.
What are you most looking forward to at Accountex 2015?
Sharing insights, ideas and advice with hundreds of accountants to during my speaking slots and on my exhibition stand.
What do you think the next 12 months is going to look like for the profession?
The next 12 months will look much the same for the accountancy profession as it has throughout my career. There will continue to be 3 types of accountants who will each approach the world differently:
1) The start-ups will adopt affordable new technology and systems faster than anyone else. They will win new clients that are themselves start-ups, but as ever, many such clients will be super price conscious and will not (yet) understand the value that a good accountant brings.
The more successful start-ups will be those who bring an existing client base with them from wherever they have been in practice before starting up.
2) The vast majority of firms where the owners have been making a good enough living, whether that’s £50k, £150k or £250k pa) will mostly continue doing what they’ve always done. They will continue to deferring investment in new tech whilst the majority of their clients come back year after year and seem happy with the service they get. Little will change until and unless enough of their client base walks away or insists on change.
3) The more ambitious firms will look to replicate what the more successful practices are seen to be doing so as to attract the best staff and most profitable clients.
I don’t anticipate that the next 12 months will see much of a shift from one group to another. It’s been pretty consistent over the last 30 years despite all of the changes and developments we have seen in the profession during that time.
What are the key changes you’ve seen in small business clients during your time in the industry?There are a few:
- They are suffering from ever more red tape and regulation that takes time and energy to satisfy.
- There is more encouragement to start up your own business than ever before.
- More people would prefer to run their own business than to work for someone else
- The move to limited company status is still too often made for tax reasons despite all of the administrative consequences and the fact that the tax saving isn’t always obvious in practice.
- LLPs were introduced as an attractive facility to secure the protection of limited liability but accountants did not embrace them for their small business clients
It is now even less attractive to employ staff as a small business than ever before – due to all of the payroll and pension related obligations on employers, together with employment regulations.
Based on these changes, what is the one thing accountants must do to adapt and remain successful?
Learn how to better evidence to clients the value of the services they provide, over and above the basic accounting and tax compliance work.
Why should attendees not miss next week’s session at the Intuit theatre?
Because they are frustrated by their inability to win new clients and to get referrals to new prospects. This session is where they will get to hear informed and independent insights about the easiest ways to win more clients without investing a fortune.
Mark will be speaking at the Intuit QuickBooks Theatre at Accountex 2015 on the 13th May . Find out more about the event here.