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ICAEW 2016

ICAEW Practice Conference – faster growth, greater capital value and new technology…

Two valuable days at the ICAEW conference revealed 3 key insights for accountancy firms I wasn’t expecting.

NB I also shared a few insights in my two presentations at the conference – you can get the reports from my presentation here...  

Here’s what I learned…

…Three insights with serious ramifications for your accountancy firm:

1. Michael Wood from ReceiptBank shared some interesting information about the adoption of technology by accountants from around the globe.

Two numbers from Michael’s session hit home for me and should hit home for you and your practice too:

a. Fee growth – firms that are warmly embracing new technology are growing more than 5 times faster than those who are lukewarm about adopting new technology

b. Greater capital value – firms embracing new tech are being bought at 1.5 to 5 times their firm’s total fees compared with 0.7 to 1.3 times for ‘normal’ practices

Michael pointed out a wide variety of reasons why technology speeds up growth and increases capital value. The real point though is – if you want to increase the value of your firm, your best bet is the wholehearted adoption of new technology – so are you wholeheartedly adopting new technology?

2. It seems pretty certain that the machines are coming! The use of mobiles, the use of cloud and the use of Artificial Intelligence are going to transform the accounting profession.

The only debatable point is when it’s going to happen. It’s soon though, check this out…

https://hellopegg.io/ is worth a look to see how Artificial Intelligence as a ‘chatbot’ (as opposed to a robot) is going to change the world of accountancy. Yes, Pegg is limited at the moment but it clearly shows you how a client’s expenses can be assisted by a machine to make your clients’ experience easy, smooth and hassle free.

If you were doubting whether technology is changing the accountancy profession Sage’s work on Pegg should remove all doubt (thanks to Rhys Bateman from Sage for sharing this). A few more insights worth taking seriously…

…Gartner, a credible source of insight into future technology trends, share their predictions for 2017 here - http://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/gartners-top-10-technology-trends-2017/

3. Two speakers on pricing – Paul Kennedy and Ori Weiner – also hit home hard about one of my pet subjects, conversations with clients.

How can you put prices up without having a conversation with your client (face to face) about value, about pricing and about additional services?

This was made even more valuable when one of the most successful sole practitioners I know expressed his reluctance to talk price!

Are you reluctant to talk price? If so you need to fix this because in a fast moving technology driven world, pricing and value is more of a moving target than ever. My suggestion is, talk price to every client every year in your pre or post year end meetings (ideally both).

I hope one of these three insights proves to be useful to you and your firm. If you have any questions about them please comment below or message me direct.

To get the insights I shared in my two presentations go here and download the reports I promised - https://remarkablepractice.com/icaew-conference-resources/

Wishing you every success


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