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Software provider proposes new models for SMP to tackle regulatory and recruitment challenges

Uber like and hybrid model at the cross road of Amazon and Linkedin are tomorrow’s solutions for today’s challenges, the audience of Intuit QuickBooks global conference was told.

Held in London on 6 and 7 March, the conference brought together  small businesses, accountants, developers and the self-employed to discuss the upcoming challenges and key trends of accounting and online accounting software.

In particular the conference’s agenda aimed to assist in the upcoming implementation of Making Tax Digital (MTD) in the UK in 2020.

At the event QuickBooks announced their plans for upcoming technology advancements to their system, this included QuickBooks Online Accountant, increasing its practice management capabilities and its Find-a-ProAdvisor directory “the Uber of finding an accountant”.  Also, it was revealed that in the next two or three months that we can expect a platform that seems a cross between LinkedIn and Amazon, for accountant shopping with reviews, star rating and directly linked to information and services provided in Online Accountant. Additional plans included PayPal payment integration, invoices on the go with QuickBooks Self Employed, and business ‘mileage’ tracking.

Dominic Allon, vice-president and managing director of Intuit Europe said that we are in the middle of a technology revolution which is changing all spheres of our lives such as social, political and professional, this includes accounting. “We need to become more aware of machine learning and artificial intelligence, especially with filing reports 5 times a year instead of once a year,” he continued in reference to MTD.

The keynote speaker was entrepreneur James Caan, of BBC Dragon’s Den, who addressed concerns that many seem to have in the accountancy profession, of hiring great people as the most important challenge.

Caan said “Back people not the product. Attracting talent with new skill sets can be done in multiple ways in todays market, this is through social media, LinkedIn and outsourcing to specialist recruitment agencies.”

Caan outlined that in light of the upcoming MTD, accountants and UK businesses need to upgrade their practice to accommodate new technology, restructure their services, and expand value added offerings to SME’s.

Allon added: “The UK’s entrepreneurs and accountants may feel like they have to fight harder than ever to succeed, particularly with Brexit concerns and an imminent rise in business rates. We want to help by bringing them together where they can learn from experts and each other.

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