Accountancy is an excellent flexible career now especially with the advent of cloud accounting. I considered moving from accountancy to teaching in my mid-20s but I was not accepted onto the teacher training course. They obviously saw something that I didn't as I couldn't imagine being restricted to only taking holidays in school holidays, having to attend work rigidly for the whole school hours etc and would not have enjoyed that at all. I enjoy the fact that accountancy is reasonably well-paid and you can work from anywhere at any time to fit around your life.
I think this is exactly how we should all be working and the software houses should be more open to allow us to cherry pick the software to suit our clients and then match them together using API. However a lot of the big software houses don`t seem to think we deserve this choice even with their new cloud products.
Sage, however, are happy with this approach for their new cloud offering BUT you can't actually use it yet so that's not much help for this year!
I think we have to all keep asking the software houses for this functionality and hopefully eventually they will listen.
If you`re going to Accountex this year, do please badger them all about this :)
We`ve just launched a practice management software in October 2016 which we`ve established over the last 3 years in Pillow May and is similar to Senta but built on Salesforce CRM package so will give you Insightly capabilities too. It integrates together many standalone packages such as Outlook, Google, Xero, Dropbox, Companies House and we`re building new integrations all the time. See our website for further information - www.mtrio.io and do contact Ashley Leeds if you`d like a demo :)
I'd recommend using Hosted Desktop Uk instead of having an on-premise server as I found that halved my IT costs & time phaffing with Digita upgrades. The guys at Hosted are Digita experts having come from there. If you use the Digita Hosted version you are very restricted on what other software you can run on the server whereas there are not these restrictions with Hosted Desktop UK.
I would say make sure that you use Digita Support properly and keep telling them if you are not finding the software easy to use or are still stuck. They have got very good support and account managers too but sometimes a strongly worded email/phone call is a good way to get their attention and a bit more support. Don`t be afraid to shout (in a nice way)! The software is excellent but it does take a little bit of time and effort to learn how to use it in the best and most efficient way. However, I`ve found that this training & implementation time and building relationships with the Digita team has more than paid off over the 7 years that I`ve worked with them.
Freeagent and Receipt Bank work well together
We've been using Freeagent and Receipt Bank with our smaller clients for the past 4 years and they love both softwares! We don`t always use Receipt Bank if it's a really small client and they are doing their own book-keeping as they can attach their receipts within Freeagent themselves if they don`t have too many.
Freeagent is much easier to onboard clients onto than Xero as it's much more restrictive to use so they can't really go wrong. Clients also love the dashboard which tells them everything including their deadlines.
I'd say keep going as you're doing :)
Digita's great too but it's not the same
Yes I wouldn't argue that the Digita conference is excellent and I`m very pleased to see its return this year. However, the Digita conference is really more about the internal running of your practice and how to be more efficient and manage it better. Obviously an extremely important element of running an accountancy practice so I`ll be taking along 3 members of staff to ensure we`re making the most of Digita's software.
However, Xerocon is learning about technology that will help your clients. It will give you access to software which will allow your clients to manage their businesses better and make them more efficient. In my opinion, this is why Xerocon is so different from the other conferences.
My clients seem to want business advice from my practice more and more as well as the compliance work completed efficiently. Xerocon is one of my main sources for getting this business advice (particularly business systems improvement ideas) which mostly comes from listening to the spiels of the add-on partners and working out how that software may, or may not, help my clients.
The evening event at Xero is the best party of year in my opinion but of course you don`t have to come along. However, part of Xero's aims as I understand it, is to great a strong group of Xero partners who share ideas and work together, particularly through the myriad of add-ons available. You will only get the benefit of this culture if you take the time to meet and get to know other Xero partners and the evening event is the perfect setting for this as well as obviously the breaks between daytime sessions too.
Xero like to do things differently which is how they have created their great product. So why not run with it this year and then give them feedback after the event if you really did not find the evening event of any value to you? Xero do listen to their partners so if we collectively don`t like the new format, I know that they will change it for next year.
Best conference of the year by far!
Xerocon is a fabulous way to meet lots of add-ons partners and forward looking accountants, happy to share ideas, all in one place. It`s must attend event in my opinion if you want to keep up with the latest trends and technology in the accounting world. Plus it`s great fun too! Hotels don`t have to cost the earth - travelodge isn`t too bad, or wasn't if you booked your room quick enough!
Pre-registration input VAT if flat rate registered
I had a fight with a tax inspector on this one just now. But on reading VAT guide 733, he conceded that he was actually wrong and you can claim full pre-registration input VAT if the client is VAT registered under the flat rate.
Thanks for the help with this :)
I`d say Paul Dunn as he certainly changed the way I looked at running my practice. He is giving back so much now through his initiative B1G1 and still speaks worldwide when most people would be slowing down!