Welcome to the Digital Accountancy Magazine
Hello from the Editor
Hello and welcome! I'm Caroline and I'm the editor of this wonderful new magazine! Our aim is to give you a digitally focussed magazine aimed specifically at accountants. We want to keep you up to date regarding the technology available and to inspire you to use this exciting new technology with confidence within your daily working lives.
Technology is changing the world around us with advances happening so quickly and across so many sectors. Accountancy is one of those sectors where technology has revolutionised the way we do things in both practice and in business. We no longer have to manually process invoices, wait until a paper copy of the bank statement arrives before we can do the bank reconciliation or chase the sales director to approve an invoice before dashing to the bank before it closes as you need to pay a supplier urgently. Technology has changed all this – or it can.
Not everyone is aware of the possibilities out there for accountancy and different people are at different stages in the journey. Accountants tend to all have one thing in common – they are busy and are short of time. This makes it very difficult to keep abreast of these technological advances around them. However, many firms are starting to adopt these new tools and are pushing ahead and growing as the new, and often younger, business director today wants an accountant who embraces this technology and is forward thinking.
This gap in knowledge, combined with a desire to spread the word and get more accountants using these technology enhanced tools and processes, led to the creation of the Digital Accountancy Show and the Digital Accountancy Magazine.
I love everything to do with technology and I am genuinely excited by these amazing changes that have happened and are happening in the accountancy arena. I am also passionate about spreading the word and helping other accountants use these new tools and also helping businesses adopt the technology and implement new improved processes so saving them time, reducing their costs and allowing them to gain clarity and insight into their financial data.
This is the first edition of the Digital Accountancy Magazine and we have designed the magazine to provide you, as the accountant, with updates and information on the technology that now exists and the key news and developments in the sector. The technology arena is vast so, in each edition, we will focus on one area and give you more insight and information into that area. The first feature focusses on the hot topic of forecasting and reporting which is relevant for accountants and can allow them to develop and enhance their advisory services.
I really hope you enjoy reading the magazine and you get some great information, ideas and advice that you can take and use for your clients and for your firm. Change is always hard to implement and it can be frustrating and time consuming. Please do not give up. Take it one step at a time and use these tools and soon you and your clients will see the benefits and they will want to adopt more of these new technologies.
Enjoy issue one and see you in issue two!
Counting Clouds Cambridgeshire - The Story So Far....
Having recently set up her own accounting practice, Counting Clouds Cambridgeshire, we are going to catch up with Caroline in each edition to hear about the progress of the firm and get an insight into what the firm has been up to as they venture into the world of digital accountancy!
I have always loved technology. From a very young age apparently I was always taking things apart to investigate how it worked and then asking my parents 101 questions about it! They were not surprised when I went to university to pursue a science degree and achieved a first class honours in biochemistry but they were surprised when, upon graduation, I threw away my lab coat and said I did not want to do a PhD. Why? Because I said I wanted to go into the business world and go and help organisations achieve their goals.
I joined PwC in the Thames Valley and after qualifying as a chartered accountant and spending some time in both practice and industry (unsurprisingly in the high tech sector!) I decided to start my own firm offering finance director services to small and growing businesses.
I did this for over 10 years then, a few children later, an opportunity came up for the family to move to Australia for my husband’s work and that’s where I had my eyes opened to a different way of practicing accountancy!
Arriving in Australia at the just the right time when products like Xero were bursting onto the scene, I returned to the UK five years later with an overriding mission to help accountants embrace the digital revolution in our industry.
I joined the Peterborough office of a top twenty accountancy firm initially managing their outsourcing department but then moved into a new role as cloud manager. Here I was responsible for migrating their current clients onto cloud products ahead of MTD as well as new cloud implementations, training and supporting the local and UK wide offices in their use of the new software and apps. I also was a key member of the firm’s digital strategy board responsible for the roll out and development of the firm’s cloud strategy.
After a few years there, I became the director of a smaller fully Xero based firm which focussed on high tech start ups where we worked exclusively to transform their clients’ businesses to more digitally based solutions.
Since returning home to the UK, I have had a clear vision of wanting to help both business and other accountants use the technology available to them and have had a burning ambition to set up my own business again. Therefore it came as no surprise to my friends and family when I decided to strike out on my own and set up my own accountancy transformation company – Counting Clouds Cambridgeshire – to spread the digital accountancy message.
I genuinely love the technology and I want to help both businesses and accountants embrace and succeed through using this technology. I am passionate about helping other accountants transform and grow their practices and help them on their digital journey. Technology is all around us and evolving at a tremendous rate. I feel those entering the accountancy profession today are doing so at a very exciting time and I have to say I am a wee bit jealous that they are just at the start of their careers - unlike me who has a good few years of post qualification experience!
In addition to running my business and being the editor of this magazine, I am also a member of the Digital Accountancy Show Advisory Board, active contributor for both XU magazine and AccountancyWeb and ICAEW Cloud Champion for East Anglia.
Since starting my firm, I have been on the panel at XeroCon with Soldo, also on the panel at the Advisors Assembly hosted by Fathom and I have run my first digital lunch event for the ICAEW East Anglia. Needless to say, I have thoroughly enjoyed every second knowing that I am helping others on their digital journey and I look forward to continuing this in the future.
My business provides services to help accountancy practices embrace the digital revolution and through the Digital Accountancy Magazine I will be sharing my experiences with you as I grow and develop my new business. This will be both the positives and negatives but I hope together we can all embrace this technology and transform and grow our practices.