Head of Branded Content, AccountingWEB
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2021 Digital Accounting Show at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Digital Accounting Show_Jake Smith

Digital Accountancy Show spurs high tech buzz

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The first big live event of the year, the Digital Accountancy Show (DAS), took place in London this week. AccountingWEB’s Jake Smith joined the throng.

3rd Sep 2021
Head of Branded Content, AccountingWEB
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After the trials and tribulations of the last 18 months, the opportunity to attend my first industry event since lockdown was too good to turn down. 

I probably wasn’t the only attendee with lingering concerns about mingling with the London crowds and finding my way to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium venue. Though not a Spurs fan, I was more than a little curious to see the inside of the gleaming new billion-pound stadium (pictured above). 

There was a buzz around the stands from the moment I got there with tech vendors keen to show off their latest developments to real accountants. Most of all, though there was genuine relief at meeting people face-to-face, with not a Google Meet, Microsoft Teams or Zoom session in sight.

People were pleased to network with old friends and colleagues and enjoy the chance to chat, laugh and learn. For me the event offered the opportunity to meet many of accountancy’s leading players in person - including several new colleagues from the PracticeWeb team, who were at the event.

New product harvest

Among the product launches at the event was Arex Markets, which was rolling out its online invoice financing solution, the  Automated Receivables Exchange. 

As the champagne flowed (soft drinks were also available), Arex CEO Airto Vienola, co-founder and CCO Perttu Jalkanen and chief capital officer Nikolai Hentsch spoke about transforming the attitude towards factoring. Their mission was to use technology to “democratise financing” for UK small businesses and partnering with accountants is how they plan to take the service to market.

Glen Foster, Xero’s UK sales director, also introduced the online accounting software’s personal tax solution, now available free to advisers on Xero’s partner programme. Sharing insights from Xero’s latest research, Foster revealed how Covid has impacted UK accountants and how bleeding edge firms are managing. There’s an opportunity to dig more more deeply into the findings in a practice healthcheck webinar on AccountingWEB on 14 September.

Supporting the advisory trend

While the old advisory vs compliance debate simmers elsewhere, the momentum at DAS moving firmly in the advisory direction. Capitalise has ambitious plans to grow the market for capital advisory services and joined the parade of big announcements, with news of a £10m investment to fund growth and the launch of a new Capital Reports product using data from Experian. 

Futrli was also showing its AI-powered Futrli Predict tool, aimed at helping advisers by automating mundane tasks and giving them forecasting nudges and insights across their client portfolio. In a keynote talk, Futrli CEO Hannah Dawson flagged up another popular theme of the day: the need to attract and retain staff to help your business grow.

The day ended with more time to catch up with friends and acquaintances old and new in the main atrium along with free beer, including from the onsite Beavertown brewery. It was great fun and an informative, if exhausting day. 

Now that events are back on the calendar, it is time to look forward to more opportunities to network and learn, including our own inaugural AccountingWEB Live Expo on 1-2 December. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

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