Accountancy’s future: the Dutch view
Twinfield founder Andrew Kwakernaat tells John Stokdyk that UK accountants can learn a lot from their Dutch counterparts.
After meeting UK accountants at a series of ICAEW IT Faculty roadshows on iXBRL, Twinfield founder Andre Kwakernaat told AccountingWEB.co.uk he was “surprised by how far behind the Netherlands the UK profession is”.
A veteran of the Dutch on-premise ERP software company Baan (and later CODA), Kwakernaat set up Twinfield 10 years ago when Cloud accounting was still a laughable novelty for most UK accountants.
But things are different in the Netherlands. Blessed with a much more comprehensive and reliable broadband network, Dutch citizens and business people have enthusiastically taken to the Cloud. Twinfield already has more than 6,000 customers and is the default back-end system for accounting firms including KPMG Netherlands and BDO.
“I’m so surprised about the reactions of people [in the UK]. They look at iXBRL as an end result but don’t realise the whole A-Z stuff,” Kwakernaat said. “They only take the document and see how they can file with HMRC. That’s it.”
Instead, he argues, practitioners should seize the opportunity presented by the introduction of iXBRL to change the way they work with clients. “It’s happening in Holland,” he said, and is being driven by banks rather than the government.
Andre Kwakernaat spoke to AccountingWEB.co.uk after participating in an online chat iXBRL - beyond the deadline that examined how online accounting could streamline the production of iXBRL accounts. Click here to see the full transcript.