As Accountex 2015 draws nearer, the annual showcase aims to help accountants chart their course through an era of unprecedented change.
Sage, Xero, Intuit and 170 other exhibitors will all be looking to catch the eye of the 6,000 visitors expected at London's Excel Arena on 13-14 May.
According to the Accountex organisers, this year’s event is all about how accountants can gain the edge in a crowded, competitive market. In an Accountex survey, 86% of exhibitors identified standing out in a crowded market as a major challenge. It was seen as the single biggest challenge by 18%, more than any other option.
“Accountancy practices must aim to be distinctive, particularly through new services combined with strong marketing and sales, and to strongly back this up with up-to-date technology to deliver a great client experience,” said Scott Hider, the exhibition’s director. “There are quite a few who are only just realising that the market is only going to get better for accountancy firms that invest and adapt.”
Exhibitors were keen to amplify Hider’s opinion and focus on the future. “A key theme of this year’s exhibition is the way in which technology can improve efficiency, increase client collaboration and help accountancy practices to grow,” said Simon Crompton, Managing Director of CCH Software.
“[Sage’s] main theme for Accountex is ‘accountants for the future’,” said Becky Green, marketing campaign manager for Sage Accountants’ division. “We’re really looking into the future of accountancy.”
As always, Accountex’s show floor will be brim full with elaborate stalls. “Accountex is very important to us,” said Green. “We’ve been planning for this since the end of last year’s event. It’s a full year’s worth of work.”
Xero has confirmed the return of their ‘add-on village’. The village will be populated by their add-on partners such as Practice Ignition, Chaser, Receipt Bank, Spotlight Reporting, WorkflowMax, LEAP, CrunchBoards, RocketSpark and Datamolino.
Intuit is also emphasising technology and how it can it aid the modern accountant. “Our focus this year will be on enabling success for UK accountancy firms, through the products we’ll be showcasing,” said Elisabeth Gettelman, head of communications at Intuit. It will be demoing QuickBooks alongside some new fully integrated apps.
Away from technology, Accountex will be abuzz with keynotes and lectures.
The Wolters Kluwer theatre is just one of the locations which will feature presentations over both days of the exhibition. The seminars will be looking into recent tax and accounting changes, including new UK GAAP, and exploring opportunities for growth within the accountancy profession.
Intuit’s lineup of speakers includes Mark Wickersham, Value Pricing Expert, Mark Lee, and Jonathan Margolis, Columnist and Tech Guru for the Financial Times. “In addition, we're hosting ‘ideas that inspire’ mini-talks that will get accounting professionals thinking in a new way about work and life,” said Elisabeth Gettelman, press officer for Intuit.
The CIOT will be tackling the nitty gritty of tax with lectures ranging from R&D tax relief to tax penalties and capital allowances.
Closer to home, AccountingWEB will be out in forcein its role as Accountex's official media partner. Look out for managing editor Robert Lovell and community editor Rachael Power, who will be giving a keynote on practice excellence.
About Francois Badenhorst
I'm AccountingWEB's business editor. Feel free to get in touch with comments, tips, scoops or irreverent banter.