Xero launches Equivalency Certification to train the next generation of accountants and bookkeepers

Brought to you by Xero

AAT, IAB, ICB, ACCA, ICAEW, REED, Kaplan, GetMyFirstJob, AVADO, Premier Training  and NotGoingToUni among the first to sign up students and members to the new certification

Xero

Xero, the global small business platform, has unveiled its Xero Equivalency Certification to give budding accountants and bookkeepers in the UK the online accounting skills to succeed in the digital age.

Xero has partnered with 15 professional bodies and organisations, including AAT, IAB, ICB, ACCA, ICAEW, REED, Kaplan, AVADO, Premier Training, GetMyFirstJob and NotGoingToUni, with 2,000 members registered at launch to the new Equivalency Course. For the first time, the six-hour course will be accessible to professionals outside the Xero community, giving them access to world-class accounting tools, and a greater understanding of cloud accounting.

The announcement follows research that finds 83% of practitioners believe that understanding technology is now as important to their job as understanding the practice of accountancy. But more than a third (35%) do not think there is currently enough education or training available to ensure that UK advisors will be able to keep up with the pace of digital change and upcoming legislation, such as HMRC’s Making Tax Digital.

Mike Day, Director UK Education Sector Xero commented: “It’s never been more vital for the accountants and bookkeepers of tomorrow to get a good grounding in online accounting. These courses are about so much more than learning how to use the software. The relationship between business owner and accountant or bookkeeper is built on trust and empathy, even more so as they move into advisory roles. And anyone taking this course will get a really good grasp of how this relationship is changing.

Despite this shift, access to the right talent continues to be a challenge. In completing our course, accountants and bookkeepers will be in a far greater position to get a job at a progressive practice. This will also help firms enormously as they seek out the right talent to take their business to the next level.”

Claire Bennison, Head of ACCA UK added: “With HMRC’s Making Tax Digital initiative mandatory for businesses over the VAT threshold (£85,000) from April this year, an increasing number of accounting firms will be required to embrace cloud technology. Research shows that rather than putting an accountant’s job on the line, cloud technology is helping firms grow, which as well as increasing revenue, expands teams and evolves roles.”

Pierre Vangrevelynghe, Courses Director at REED: “At reed.co.uk we have always prided ourselves on delivering market-leading service for people searching for their next role, and a large part of that includes offering jobseekers the opportunity to further their skill-set and advance their career.”

“It’s essential for candidates to be able to demonstrate they have the right skills to a prospective employer. And with companies willing to pay higher salaries for employees with the right digital knowledge, jobseekers can ensure their skills are always in demand. This is why we’re partnering with Xero, so people registering with us can get certified for free and boost their chances of finding their next role.”

Amy Crawford, Chief Operating Officer at AVADO: “The digital skills gap poses a major threat to the accounting sector: digital capability just isn’t keeping pace with the rate of technological change. As one of the UK’s leading providers of online accounting qualifications, AVADO are delighted to be partnering with Xero to make sure that those entering the accounting profession have the knowledge, the practical skills and the digital confidence they need to be effective in the workplace.”

Xero is inviting established education providers and accountancy bodies to provide the accountants and bookkeepers of tomorrow with digital accounting skills. Once an organisation has shown an interest, Xero will provide valuable support and the right tools to enable them to engage with current and prospective members and students.