“Accountancy right now is in a real state of flux,” said Steve Cox, the chief evangelist at IRIS, ahead of the software vendor’s annual event.
It’s hard to argue with him. In recent years, accountants have contended with legislative changes, with the biggest shake-up being Making Tax Digital. But now firms have got in the rhythm of quarterly reporting and are surviving the post-GDPR world, bleary-eyed accountants have the chance to finally take stock.
“The profession is now feeling the aftershock,” continued Cox. “Firms now have a chance to breathe after all of these waves of legislation. It's time for a bit of reflection on where their strategies and goals are at.”
Appropriately then, the IRIS World theme, ‘look forward with certainty’ will play a big part in newly appointed CEO Elona Mortimer-Zhika’s keynote.
As the country enters a post-Brexit world, IRIS has also undergone some major changes recently. Mortimer-Zhika will discuss these and what IRIS customers can expect over the next 12 months.
Sure to be a focal point is IRIS Elements. IRIS unveiled the integration platform back in September last year and through customer input, it’s maturing into a crucial framework for the vendor.
Moving the event to February may also encourage attendees to reflect on their business and personal goals. Most accountants would have worked long hours throughout December and January and will have come to the realisation they would like more of their time back.
Work-life balance is a subject dear to the heart of IRIS World speaker and founder of Prime Entry, Kevin Whitehouse. As Whitehouse recently commented on AccountingWEB: “Most of us think: ‘If I work hard enough and fast enough and get all my tasks completed, then I’ll have time to think and plan and create and generate ideas’. No, it doesn’t work that way. You must make time to think, plan, and create or it will never happen.”
Cox also explained that not only will firms have the opportunity to hear about the latest developments affecting the profession but see how other professionals are using this period to strive for excellence. For them, February is a time to consider how they can increase the value of their firm, their client list, or their turnover or profit margins.
“For us, whilst people are in that right mindset, now is the time to talk about the things we are doing to support them to hit those goals,” said Cox.
Many of those go-getting accountants will be celebrated at the black-tie gala IRIS customer awards in the evening of the event.
For the past 15 years, IRIS has run the event as a forum for its accountancy customers, but this year the software vendor is also bringing together customers from payroll, HR and education into one space.
The synergised approach makes sense considering the acquisitions IRIS has made in these sectors in recent years, whether that’s snapping up Star Payroll in 2018 or education software PS Financials.
“Bringing all our customers together will demonstrate the importance of compliance, productivity and engagement - all the key components needed to help accountants further their relationships,” said Cox.