The world of accountancy is going digital and into the Cloud. This enables a change in the way that accountants, business owners and managers can interact. Information and reports can be made available to all users from any location and the cloud based accounting packages such as Xero, facilitate the quick production of financial information to multiple users, accessed the Cloud.
Making Tax Digital is another example of digitisation changing the way accountants will operate going forward.
The digital revolution takes many forms.
As I have recently informed the world – well the few dozen friends I have on Facebook – I, that is The Fabulous Micky C, am about to release a double album of newly recorded songs, “Miracles”. 23 new recordings of songs both old and new.
This enterprise has been long – over a year and still counting - arduous, expensive, life affirming, difficult, socially disruptive and, by any reasonable measure, almost certainly futile.
If the aim of recording songs is either for them to be heard by an audience of a significant size, or as a commercial enterprise, which clearly was the intention at the outset, then my experience, and the advice received from those who know, should tell me that it just ain’t gonna happen.
In order to fund the recording I have sold 2 guitars, 1 car, tickets for Chelsea matches, used my annual bonus, and a redundancy payment, commission on a life policy, a regular chunk of my monthly pay, and dipped into joint savings – hats off again to my wonderful wife!
So why, then have I embarked upon this foolish enterprise. After all I have the proof of 2 (financial) failures, (artistic triumphs?) sitting in boxes (25 CDs to a box) under the bed and in the loft?
The answer is, I think, threefold, as follows:
1. Because I can
Yes it’s clearly been a struggle, as well as a joy, but it is almost miraculous that in the digital age I can go and record my own albums. Back in the day, group members pooled their resources to hire a studio to make demos that they sent to record companies, and if they were really lucky, they got signed to make a couple of singles. If they hit the jackpot they got signed to make albums – or LP’s, if you like. They would have limited time in a studio – analogue of course, maybe 8 then 16 and latterly 24 track - with a producer and maybe some session musicians.
I now record on effectively unlimited tracks, using real musicians as much as possible, but with a vast array of samples, sounds and tools available to my heroic, multi-talented and long suffering producer, Michael Tauben.
We record in his converted garage. It is how he makes his living. There are Michael Tauben type studios in garages, sheds, bedrooms and living rooms scattered liberally throughout the land.
We can all make music. We can all make videos. We have been blessed to live in an age where the tools have been given to us to be creative!2
2. Because I believe in myself
However small the chances I can’t help believing that the world will appreciate – and even be willing to pay for - what I have created. Apart from the year plus of recording, these songs needed writing, arranging, editing and rehearsing. I still believe that a publisher/record company/music svengali/critic will hear my songs, either at a gig, via a Youtube video or on a CD and will help me to realise my ambitions. Particularly, to do this full time! Or to find a singer for my songs!
Of course marketing has become digital and therefore available to all, and therefore the marketing channels…Youtube, Facebook etc are crammed full of wannabes. More expense and time, chasing that elusive prize, making promotional videos – another digital endeavour, playing gigs to promote the albums, blogging, and of course paying all the third parties necessary to distribute recorded music.
I live a double life. In my head I am always The Fabulous Micky C. I play gigs. I make records (or whatever they are called these days). I make videos that you can see on Youtube. So I occupy the same world and the same space as Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello and Bruce Springsteen. Just a very very small space in that world! (And I believe that my songs are every bit as good as anything they have written in the last 10 years)
The fact that my gigs are attended by audiences in the tens, not the tens of thousands, that my Youtube videos have been seen by thousands not millions, and that my CD sales or downloads do not register at all, is just a matter of timing and a lucky break.
I am ready to play the O2, to appear on Later and to be on that Pyramid stage at Glasto!
I am The Fabulous Micky C! Oh yeah and I go to work each day to my job as a Financial Controller.
So although I am faintly embarrassed to be announcing a new CD release, as I know that some people laugh at the futility and conceit of my efforts, I keep on doing it because I can. Because it is who, and what, I am. Because I can’t stop.
And finally I urge you, if you have any talent, any artistic ambition, any flicker of creativity, GO DO IT TOO. Write! Paint! Film! Play! Because you can! What have you got to lose. Money and dignity….Pah! Just Do It!
About The Fabulous Micky C
With 30 years accounting and finance experience in both public practice and industry, and a broad range of leisure interests The Fabulous Micky C brings a unique and somewhat sideways perspective to the world of finance.
Mr Fabulous aka Michael Cohen FCCA qualified in public practice and gained experience in small London firms. In his professional career Michael worked as CFO at Virgin Publishing, various independent book publishers and, somewhat tangentally, 5 very happy years as European CFO for a Nasdaq listed 3D printing US Corporation. He has also spent a number of years in Insurance and now counts beans for a Company Formations and Secretarial Services Company. A broad and varied career!
During this time Michael's alter ego The Fabulous Micky C was writing songs, playing in bands, living the life of the average Bob Dylan obsessive, playing and watching football (as a 45 year season ticket holder at Chelsea), following current affairs and the arts, and going through all those life events that most of us go though by the time we get to our mid fifties.
He also opened the world famous Helter Skelter Bookshop in Denmark Street (Tin Pan Alley) and its sister publishing company Helter Skelter Books.
The Fabulous Micky C and Michael Cohen continue to account, play music and football and live life to the full. As such he/they can bring an unusual, interesting and somewhat sideways view to the matters that concern accountants of, shall we say, an idiosyncratic nature.