Being on the other side at Accountex

louise bowman

Louise Bowman is Partner Implementation Manager at FreeAgent. Previously she was Head of Accountancy Services at a large accountancy practice that had over 2,000 clients using FreeAgent. Louise joined the team of FreeAgent staff who attended the 2015 Accountex exhibition. Together with FreeAgent’s Business Development Director Kevin McCallum, Louise delivered a seminar on “how to take back control of your clients’ books and improve your business” to a packed audience.

On the 13th & 14th May I made the familiar journey to East London for the annual Accountex exhibition. Rather than wearing my usual accountant’s uniform of trousers and a blazer, this year I was dressed in jeans and a FreeAgent rugby top!

My clothes may have been relaxed, but I was far from it - the anticipation of speaking to hundreds of people is daunting! It turned out there was no time for nerves though, it was all go from the moment the doors opened at 10am. We were delighted that so many accountants came to visit our stand and it was such a thrill to introduce fellow accountants to the software and give them a demo for the first time.

The theatres all seemed to be busy, which was great for my talk with Kevin about taking back control of your clients' books and improving your business. I have to thank all the friendly faces who came and watched the seminar. I really appreciated the opportunity to talk with other accountants about my journey onto the cloud.

Interestingly, around half the seminar attendees each day didn’t have any clients using a cloud solution; however, everyone I spoke to was eager and open to learn more, which was great news! I really believe the developments in cloud accounting are exciting for the accounting profession.

Something I found especially interesting was that more and more people are looking at multiple cloud products to ensure they can offer the best solution for their clients’ businesses - one size definitely doesn’t fit all when it comes to cloud accounting! Some accountants, however, were still concerned about allowing their clients to manage their own bookkeeping. I had several discussions with accountants about the importance of choosing a solution that was simple for their clients to use. Software that doesn’t assume any accounting knowledge for the end user can save a huge amount of time and administrative overheads but it’s also important to have functionality for accountants to provide added value.

My two days at Accountex flew by and the FreeAgent team all had a fantastic time. My only regret was that due to how busy Accountex was this year there was very little time for me to explore and visit some of the other stands. There was a great buzz around the area where we were exhibiting and I have to say I had an excellent time on ‘the other side’ of Accountex!

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