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On 11th and 12th May this year, 8000 delegates were welcomed to the ExCel Centre in London for the first Accountex in over 3 years. And it was a spectacle! Mocktail bars, live music, golf games and after parties ran alongside some compelling speaker events, with topics ranging from crypto to recruitment, and everything in-between.

So, what did we learn at the event?

Here are our five top takeaways:

1. It’s tech or nothing for new accounting recruits

Recruitment! It's big on the agenda for 2022. Gen Z is entering the market and they're bringing with them preconceived expectations of the technology they'll be using. Remember - this is a generation that has never had printed statements and barely even remembers email! Their world belongs in the cloud, or in an app. To appeal to this candidate pool, accountants will need to underpin their offerings with a robust tech stack that will attract and retain the right calibre of new accounting talent.

2. Relax, your clients trust you!

Implementing change with clients is tough. It can often lead to thoughts of ‘my clients won’t want this’, or ‘there’s too much resistance’. But as was pointed out by Will Farnell of App Advisory Plus – accountants are the third most trusted profession in the UK after doctors and nurses. So, if that level of trust already exists, then there’s scope for you to capitalise on it to drive that change. Once your clients are on board and using your new tech solutions, they’ll wonder why they didn’t have it sooner! It all comes down to presentation. If you can present the idea of change to them in the right way, then half the battle is won. It was also mentioned that the accountant/client relationship has evolved from one that was primarily transactional to one that is now more collaborative. Which creates even more possibility to grow and enhance your client offering.

3. Payroll is no longer a loss leader

Payroll is still mostly undervalued by the accounting sector. Seen as just a process, it’s often not considered as the strategic, profit-generating function that it could potentially be.

Plus, with the accounting industry is moving on from being cyclical to being one that is year-round, the opportunity to provide payroll services means a steady stream of client income – particularly with the advantages that payroll technology provides!

4. Don’t wait for a catalyst for change

Another excellent point made by Will Farnell around change. And that waiting for a catalyst for change is the reason so many accountants remain with the status quo. Instead, shouldn’t clients need be the reason for change? The pandemic brought change, and rightly so. But shouldn’t change come as a result of what’s best for clients, rather than an event over which we have no control and that necessitates sudden, reactive measures? It’s better to take a proactive approach, keeping your clients at the heart of those big decisions.

5. Tech, but with a best-of-breed approach

Accountants are embracing technology and becoming more progressive in their approach. And this is great! But, when weighing up the options, it can be tempting to consider an end-to-end payroll solution for your firm or bureau. However, there are more benefits with a best-of-breed approach using agnostic solutions working together through an open API, rather than the inflexibility of entire end-to-end solutions.

So why is this?

Being best-of-breed means you have the flexibility to change elements of your tech stack without affecting its core functionality. Payroll software is a good example. If you have an agnostic payslip solution (like PayDashboard!), you can change your payroll software as many times as you need to, without interrupting or affecting your payslip delivery.

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Conclusion

Technology is not only here to stay, but it's a business imperative that can no longer be avoided if accountants want to attract the best talent, and remain profitable at scale. Change is inevitable, but keeping your clients at the heart of those big decisions will ensure you continue to remain aligned with their needs and provide a world-class service.

About PayDashboard

PayDashboard's scalable, cloud payslip solution gives you the flexibility to expand your client payroll service with little extra cost or additional resource. Custom branding and extra platform features enable you to provide more value, both for you and your clients. Our dedicated Client Success team remain with you from the onboarding process and beyond - to ensure you continue to get the most out of the PayDashboard product. Why not get in touch with us today or book a demo at a suitable time and experience the product for yourself.

We look forward to assisting you to continue to provide a world-class client payroll service!

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