On today's deep dive special edition episode of the Accounting Influencers Podcast, Rob sits down with Kevin Lord (Head of Practice Enablement at FreeAgent) to discuss the changing landscape for accounting firms and the effects of digital tax initiatives like MTD.
Kevin has worked with small businesses for nearly a decade to raise their awareness of the benefits that digital tools can bring and to assist them through times of change. At FreeAgent, he works with accountant partners to promote awareness of the revolutionary business improvements that cloud accounting software can offer. With a career that spans a high-growth technology company and the SME banking industry, Kevin has a wealth of business knowledge and experience to inform the advice and insight he provides. This includes how online accounting software like FreeAgent can help to keep clients compliant and how accountant partners can maximise the opportunities that digital tools can bring to their practices.
Key shownotes from the whole interview include:
➜ The importance for accountants of having fintech experts who can simply the language of tech
➜ The need for good advice on legislation, tools and resources around digitisation for accounting firms
➜ How the landscape is changing for accounting firms and how the profession is in 'a perfect storm'
➜ The effect of the data hungry 'passion economy' and consumerism on accountants and their clients
➜ The problems with how little the accounting profession has advanced over many years
➜ What questions business owners are asking accountants who they want to be a lifeline
➜ Ways in which accountants have been at the forefront of change but how that leads to overload
➜ Who is driving the change agenda for businesses - vendors, accountants, regulators?
➜ The impact of the younger generation of entrepreneurs making different demands on accounting advisors
➜ The restrictions of fintech vendors not being able to innovate faster than accounting firms can adopt
➜ An honest assessment of what shape the general ledger and practice management accounting vendor landscape is in right now
➜ Why FreeAgent's proposition works especially well for small and micro businesses
➜ A response to some vendors trying to marginalise the role of accountants in serving their business clients
➜ What makes FreeAgent a great place to work and how it keeps hold of its best talent
➜ Why accountants play such an important part in the success of small businesses
➜ The future for FreeAgent, particularly after being bought by top UK bank Nat West
➜ The special link between accounting software and the banking sector for business success
➜ Why, amidst the tech, it's the people who make selling accounting software fulfilling
➜ The biggest frustration in the accounting profession (hint - it's on the qualification/academic side)
➜ Advice to accountants dealing with the overwhelm of tech choice and client demands
Kevin Lord on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinlord1986
Kevin Lord website https://www.freeagent.com/aip
NOTE TO LISTENERS:
This is a condensed highlights version of the full interview (usually 20-30 mins long), which you can catch as a bonus episode at the weekend.
Martin and Rob love to hear from the show's 5000+ listeners in 136 countries around the world. If you have any questions, suggestions, comments or success stories, just type sayhi.chat/aip into your browser and leave us a quick and easy voice message. We may just feature you on the show!