250 Accountants Gather in Central London for Annual Wolters Kluwer Event
Nearly 300 firms gathered in central London today for the fourth annual CCH UK Conference for accountants. Organised by Wolters Kluwer, the global information services provider, the conference presented a series of keynotes and sessions on the pace of change within the profession.
The conference theme, From Evolution to Revolution, questioned whether accountants are evolving to meet changing customer demand - or if in fact revolution is in the air.
From online accounting and the use of social media, through the latest news on accounting standards and software development, to business building through better client relationships, presentations and interactive sessions helped equip delegates for the future of accounting.
Tim Harford, renowned author, Financial Times columnist and presenter of Radio 4's 'More or Less', delivered the conference keynote presentation. Tim explored the two key ways in which innovation happens - evolutionary and revolutionary, discussed the importance of trial and error in a complex world, and explained why individuals and organisations find productive trial-and-error such a challenge.
Simon Crompton, Head of CCH Software, hosted a live poll on the conference delegates' own use of social media. The results were compared to Wolters Kluwer's 2012 findings of the largest-ever survey of UK accountants into the social media revolution sweeping the professional world.
Simon Crompton said: "After perhaps a tentative start, there is now little doubt that accountancy as a profession is catching up with the field on its use of social media.
Firms are recognising the positive impact it can have on creating closer collaboration with their clients."
Wendy Rowe, Head of Product Management at CCH Software, and Barbara Kroll, Managing Director of Twinfield UK, the online accounting business of Wolters Kluwer, delivered a thought-provoking presentation on the connected world, explaining how rapidly developing technology is forcing practices to change the way in which they collaborate with their clients.
They revealed a revolutionary model that allows accountancy firms to integrate client data with data from multiple online information sources, cloud-based applications and software.
Talking about the problems facing the profession today, Wendy Rowe said: "Practices are looking at issues of data security, in particular whether email is the right way forward to exchange secure financial data and confidential documents.
"They also want to work closer with their clients. Research carried out by Wolters Kluwer suggests that accountants are spending more time keeping up to date with regulation than spending it with clients. As a result they're looking at ways that technology can help."
Delegates were shown how Wolters Kluwer can help practices become more efficient, develop closer relationships with customers and grow their practices through their range of online and cloud-based accounting solutions.
The conference morning session closed with a panel discussion on the topics raised.
Joining CCH's Head of Information, Douglas Broom, were Douglas Rintoul, IT Partner at Johnston Carmichael; Laura Ambrose, Business Services Group Partner at Haslers, Paul Hopwood of Paul Hopwood Consulting; and Julia Penny, Chair of ICAEW's National Technical Advisory Committee.