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Find out what it takes to be a tech adviser

12th Jun 2015
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The clamour from accounting firms looking to diversify their services get louder every week on AccountingWEB. With all the changes taking place with smartphones, apps, social media and cloud computing, technology is an obvious area to explore.

Technology conversations with clients no longer start and stop with “What kind of accounting software should I use?” Accountants need to start asking the client about what other systems they use, how often and how they would like to access their records and management information, and the ways in which they hope to grow their business.

Technology plays a major part in addressing all of those topics, and many others in the current business environment. No one knows this better than Microsoft, which still supplies the lion’s share of the software used by UK small businesses. According to Microsoft’s Mark Deakin, accountants need to keep up with tech developments so they can point clients in the right direction.

But having made the effort to explore the options for their clients, he adds, “Accountants can use the technology themselves to understand its benefits. This helps them pass on advice.”

To help continue this process Microsoft is holding a free seminar at its London headquarters on Friday 19 June for accountants who want to deliver IT services. The morning event follows on from Microsoft’s collaboration with AccountingWEB last year on this subject. Speaking at the event will be AccountingWEB publisher Ben Smith, who will reveal some of the adoption patterns and technology habits of Practice Excellence Award-winning firms.

“The important point you need to understand about the latest technology is that you need to focus on how it can help you improve your service for clients,” says Smith.

His message will be amplified by accountant Paul Rolison, CEO of Yellowpring IT. “You need to understand the business to provide the right advice. In the same way that the accounting, tax and commercial advice a business needs has to be matched by the accountant, the IT advisor must draw from the wealth of experience and the huge range of technology to find the mix of solutions that match and fit the business,” he said.

The IT advisory seminar is open to any accountant who wants to widen the scope of the advice they offer clients. Book a place now to continue the discussion with Ben and Paul on Friday 19 June.


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