Beverley-based practice Hemingway Bailey is the UK’s representative in Intuit’s global Firm of the Future competiton.
Alan Hemingway, who founded the East Yorkshire practice in 2010, attended QuickBooks Connect in California last year and looked on with envy as Knoxville, Tennessee-based Two Roads carried off Intuit’s Firm of the Future award with all its attendant publicity and $10,000 prize money.
When the US accounting software company took the competition global this year, Alan Hemingway thought it was worth entering.
In July he started getting emails asking about his travel plans to the US and discussing arrangements for a video shoot. At first he was sceptical, but it transpired that his firm had won the UK Firm of the Future award, and was going forward to take on representatives from the US, Australia and Canada.
Voting is now underway at Intuit’s Firm of the Future site, based on the video presentations for all four finalists:
- 24Hour Bookkeeper of Hibbing, Minn, United States
- Hemingway Bailey of Beverley, United Kingdom
- Moore Details Bookkeeping of Quinte West, Ontario, Canada
- New Wave Business Solutions of Broadbeach, Queensland, Australia
The deadline for voting is Friday 15 October. Alan Hemingway pointed out that with the more than 750,000 US QuickBooks users, he could use all the support he can get from British accountants.
“We are just a small five-person accountancy practice and we are very proud to be representing the UK for this,” he said.
Hemingway reckons the firm’s whole-hearted commitment to cloud accounting is what helped bag the nomination. “We’ve been fully cloud-based for the past 18 months. We ditched desktops and Microsoft Office and said to clients that we were going to move them on to the cloud too,” he told AccountingWEB.
“We do a lot of apps, value pricing and monthly payments, and are active on social media. I’ve got a very good team - that helps.”
Hemingway’s attitude is to understand new technology and exploit it.
“With my background as an accountant in industry I didn’t come in with Sage or IRIS baggage, so I’ve been very open to the software that’s out there. I think that’s helped. We can compete with bigger firms because we’re more nimble and leaner. They’ve got partners who still need to be convinced.
There were a few grumbles from clients about switching to online accountant, but with one exception they accepted the new regime.
“I had one client who wanted to carry on working with their spreadsheets, but I told them digital tax accounts are coming and that they’ll need to change anyway to file with HMRC. That’s quite a good marketing thing - it’s going to happen. You can’t fight it.”
About John Stokdyk
AccountingWEB’s Head of Insight has been with the site since 1999 and likes to spend his time studying accountants’ technology habits. When not nerding out, you can find him exploring obscure indie music and searching for the perfect organic sourdough loaf from his base in Brighton, UK.