The buzz, energy and sheer numbers of accountants at Accountex this May shows that our profession is now energised for change. The big question is, will this energy turn into action? To help you reach this step, let me first take you back to 2013.
Walking around Accountex 2017, it’s easy to think of 2013 as a lifetime ago. But 2013 was only four years ago! And four years back, two previously dominant household names of business died a tragic death, thanks to technology changes:
This is directly relevant to you and your firm of accountants. The last four years working exclusively with accountants (and 11 more years before) has shown me two types of accountant in the UK:
Be very wary of feeling comfortable. Kodak held an almost monopolistic position as supplier of celluloid film for cameras. And even though they invented the digital camera, they failed to drive the adoption of their new technology fast enough. This is because of their comfortable position. Their competition then beat them hands down and they died a death in 2013.*
Being happy with your lot now could mean your firm ends up like Blockbuster. This video and DVD rental business was world No.1 but failed to adopt new technology (streaming) and so withered away and eventually died.
If you’re uncomfortable, you’re in the right emotional state to make the most of the opportunity that is cloud accounting and Making Tax Digital. This is a positive, because discomfort drives your curiosity, which drives your willingness to learn, and drives your desire to take action and change. Discomfort comes when you aren’t making enough money; you aren’t getting enough free time away from your practice, or you aren’t growing fast enough; because your competitors are stealing a march on you; or you want to change but don’t know how to.
You’re uncomfortable, but what actions do you need to take?