Our UK team had a fantastic time at this year’s QBConnect, which saw accountants and businesses braving the ‘Beast from the East’ storm to come out and celebrate the future of accounting. We’ve put together a little recap of some of our favourite moments, learnings, and interactions we had during the week. Kudos to Intuit for hosting a brilliant event!
Expensify Announced As Part of the QBOA Product Launch!
The key themes of this year’s conference were still very much around Making Tax Digital, moving to value pricing, and of course, the digitalisation of firms. We were able to sit in on Rich Preece’s walkthrough of the new QBOA product which directly ties into preparing for and acting on these industry movements. With 500,000 accountants worldwide already using QBOA, and 13,000 ProAdvisors in the UK alone, Expensify is very proud to be among the first six partners joining Apps in the QBOA dashboard!
QBOA allows accountants to manage your clients more easily from a centralised platform. Now with the new Apps section in the dashboard, cloud advisors can choose from a curated list to provision amazing apps like Expensify for their clients and install this for them at wholesale billing or with discounts. No hassle, no stress!
“Business GP” Model is the Future
One of our favourite sessions of the conference was presented by Jo Tomlinson from Business Works, who deservedly won this year’s Firm of the Future by being “problem solvers first, accountants second”. During her presentation, Jo explained that while tax returns have historically been most firms’ bread and butter, forward thinking firms are now moving into value-add activity. Value-add activity includes processes like cash flow analysis, management accounts, and providing due diligence.
Jo used an excellent analogy of equating accounting firms as the “Business GPs” for their clients. Similar to a patient going to their GP for medical advice, clients now feel they can go to their accountant with their financial questions. Accountants can refer clients to IFAs, HR, Legal, or app partner specialists within their network, much like a GP prescribing a patient medicine or referring them to a specialist.
It’s clear that building such a network is increasingly key for the future of accounting – and while most firms have now adopted the cloud, clients are looking towards accountants for recommendation and optimisation advice on a more personalised level.
Firms are Moving Towards a Value-Based Pricing Model
Hearing from Paul Shrimpling on the importance of value pricing was incredibly topical. Shrimpling’s research shows how customers are far less price sensitive when it comes to high value accounting services, and how accountants have to get a better at knowing their clients and measuring feedback. Every firm is doing timely data processing and business intelligence now, (i.e. sharing KPIs, management and accounts, and app stack suggestions) however those moving up the value chain to encourage and review decisions, and actually implement the app stack can command higher value pricing rates.
Gathering Everyone Together at the Expensify After-Party
Finally, we want to send a huge thank you to our wonderful partners for braving the cold and joining us at our after party drinks celebration at Leadbelly’s. We had a fantastic time, and it was great to catch up with both current partners and interested parties over a beer (or two!)
Sidenote: If you didn’t get a chance to stop by and you’d like to find out more about our ExpensifyApproved! Partner program, click here to schedule a call.
Keep warm, and hopefully see many of you soon!