17th March, 2023
This year’s Accountex expo covered the future of accounting and bookkeeping, including a deep dive into advisory and practice management.
Accountex 2023 has been and gone, taking place at the ICC in Sydney from 15-16 March. The expo delivered two days packed full of insightful presentations, engaging discussions and networking opportunities for accounting professionals from all over the country.
The speakers for Accountex 2023 were some of the most influential figures in the industry and included MYOB’s very own Valantis Vais (Head of Product) and Gavin Fernandes (Senior Partner Manager).
Day one of Accountex covered the tech stream of the conference, where we heard keynotes on industry tech and how to harness it to power digital accounting and finance. This included a panel discussion on the future of practice management in multi-office firms, featuring Valantis.
The second day of the conference covered the talent stream, with speakers discussing the pressures of finding and retaining skilled people. Gavin was a key speaker on a panel covering the need for people, products and processes to align as practices move into advisory.
Here’s a little of what Valantis and Gavin spoke about in their panel discussions.
Valantis explained that there is not one answer to this question. He said that whether you need accounting-specific practice management software will depend on your needs.
“With a practice management product like GreatSoft you have industry best practice out-of-the-box. With an ERP like MYOB Advanced Professional Services, you can define your own workflows and have more flexibility around how you want to work.”
Developers can build new features and integrations as required, Valantis explained, but the value for practices is in focusing on what is most critical and what will deliver the highest and quickest return on investment.
Adding more and more apps creates complexity and real challenges around integration, user training and security. Therefore, many practices are choosing to simplify their tech stacks, Valantis said, rather than try and integrate every best of breed solution.
“Sometimes it’s better to look for the functionality that’s most critical to the practice, rather than looking for perfection,” he said.
“What you really want is a business management platform that meets your needs today and will continuously improve and evolve to take you towards your target state.”
Gavin addressed this question by speaking about the importance of understanding the 4Ps, which are the problem, the people, the product and the process.
“If you get these 4Ps in the right order, it’ll allow you to not only define and deploy an advisory business but to grow it and scale it over time” he said.
He explained that the problem is about understanding a business owner’s needs and addressing them with a service.
“What keeps them awake at night? What do they want to be in the next 3 to 5 years? What are they looking for as a business owner and as a family person?” he said.
The second point is people: if you have a team in-house, don’t forget to bring them on that journey with you:
“They’ll be the people to build that service offering and take it to your clients”, he said. “Buy in from the team is absolutely critical.”
The product is the service you’re offering. “As you grow you can add more and more product or service lines to that offering”, he said. “This will allow you to take on more clients and scale the service offering over a period of time.”
Finally, the process is about having everything bedded down. “You want to ensure that you’re in scope and that everything you’ve promised your clients you’re able to deliver,” Gavin said.
“Don’t forget to review that process after every 3 months,” he added. “By reviewing you can learn, change things, and make your service even better over a period of time.”
As well as the two panel sessions, MYOB was proudly represented across other sessions at Accountex 2023. Gavin was joined by Leanne Berry, Community Relations Manager, Bookkeepers, for the Profit, life, balance: How to optimise your bookkeeping practice webinar.
Leanne and others from across the industry led an engaging discussion about the demands of practice management, and shared tips on how to best optimise your work for success.
You can watch this engaging CPD-eligible webinar here.
The MYOB team loved being on the stand, meeting accountants and bookkeepers, catching up with familiar faces, giving product demonstrations, and handing out free merchandise.
“It’s been great to be out and about meeting people. And just being here in person has been absolutely fantastic,” said Jody Sitters, Partner Manager, Accountants.
After seeing our products in action and meeting our team, we hope many more may return from Accountex as MYOBelievers.