Accountex 2017: This year's quest
Well I have just boarded the train to head down to Accountex 2017 and its looking like this year is going to be a busy one.
My email inbox and Twitter are pinging every few seconds with details from exhibitors to drop by and sample what they have to offer.
This year I am keen to look at some practice software. Since moving from Digita, I have been let down so I am planning to take a less hasty look at something that will fit the bill for me and MTD. I dont need all the singing and dancing tools (or the price) from the big boys, but have short listed BTC and Taxcalc, with maybe Gbooks and Taxfiler as possibles.
What I also enjoy about Acccountex is actually meeting the suppliers you already deal with. As I have said before I am unlike FirstTab in that I like to know and meet the people I deal with. It's always good to meet these guys face to face instead of just via remote emails with your account manager.
I will be dropping by the lads at AutoEntry, who seem to be doing really well and signing up a lot of new cleints. I am looking forward meeting my account manager, Wayne.
The meet-up with the AccountingWEB and Sift crowd is also worth the train ticket alone, as I have had some great help and support from various members over the years. I just hope the legend that is FT can make it, unless he is too busy now that he is a man of property.
As with any conference its essential you get a fresh supply of "merch" when down. I always raise a smile when I see my mother in law off shopping down the street with her TaxCalc shopping bag or my wife drinking her tea in Sunderland A&E from an IRIS mug.
Perhaps we should have a top 10 league post accountex of "Best Merch" at the show.
I give all my contractor clients an AM branded thermal mug and a branded power pack at sign up. Strong coffee and power for your phone will be essential to survive in a post-MTD world so I am gearing my clients up to be ready. Speaking of which, I am running short on mugs for the office, no doubt I will return fully stocked, although water bottles maybe better these days in an attempt to drink less hot drinks.
MTD is sure to dominate the show and I will be looking to catch a few workshops on it. I am also keen to see what tools will be available to take the sting out of it. I see TaxCalc are launching a MTD-ready version of their sofwtare, which is sure to grab a few headlines, and seems to be first to the market with anything like a finished product (subject to HMRC agreeing final details presumably). I am sure there will be a few other big annoucements along thes lines that have been kept under wraps until Accountex.
I am not fully aware of speaker line up this year as I did get the usual magazine so will see on the day who is there. I will probably stay away from the marketing stuff as done it to death, but am always keen to see what Xero have to say. I see the HMRC chief has pulled out last minute.
I felt 2016 was a touch flat but I suspect this year will be a belter and it seems to be at almost fever pitch now with a real buzz to this year's events.
Anyone who is going have a great day or two and see if you can get to the "after party" on the night.
See you there.