Accountex Day Two: Cracking the UK market and beating the competition

PARTNERSHIPS, product launches and the fierce competition between cloud-based accounting technology firms was on the agenda during day two at Accountex 2016 in London’s ExCeL centre.

Following day one at the accounting professional exhibition, Accountancy Age interviewed some of the biggest players in the accounting technology sector.

‘Quite an intensive marketplace’

Based again at the Accountancy Age Jobs stand, the interviews kicked off with a conversation with Mark Woolley, commercial director at Australian accountancy software firm Reckon.

Reckon’s commercial director explained how difficult it is for a foreign firm to break into the UK market, how the cloud software sector is doing, and how his company plans to muscle its way past the competition such as Sage and Xero.

Gary Turner, Xero’s  co-founder and UK managing director, made his way over to talk to us, just hours after the technology company posted its full year financial results.

Turner came to the Accountancy Age Jobs stand to talk about all things cloud, how he believes Xero are surpassing the competition in the cloud accounting game, and all the developments at Xero over the past 12 months.

Addressing the competition, including the likes of Sage and Intuit Quickbooks, Turner said: “We’re not really seeing anything coming from the likes of Sage or Intuit,” who he claims are both trying to “make up for some lost time” in the sector.

“Nobody else is delivering the innovation and the value that we’re delivering to our customers and in spite of the noise of what is quite an intensive marketplace; competitively we’re still pumping out about 50,000 new customers every year.”

How accountants use technology

Former Accountancy Age editor Kevin Reed give his second talk of the exhibition, again talking about the power of award shows to an accountancy firm. Kevin discussed his experience of coordinating the British Accountancy Awards, with the show recently announcing that nominations are now open for for the award show’s 2016 edition.

Rich Preece, Europe VP and managing director of Intuit QuickBooks then discussed the refreshing of the firm’s cloud technology partner programme, how Intuit is helping accountants hop on the social media bandwagon and his concerns around making tax digital.

We also managed to touch on Intuit’s shirt sponsorship with recently relegated Premier League football team Aston Villa – find out if they will still be on the front of the Villains’ shirt come the beginning of next season.

Moving from one online accounting firm to another, we ended our time at the exhibition by speaking to Steve Cox, product director of IRIS, discussing how his company’s acquisition of a leading HR technology firm would benefit the accounting profession and the concerns from accountants about HMRC’s digital platform.

Thank you to everyone who visited the Accountancy Age Jobs stand throughout Accountex 2016.

Look out for our video interviews with some of the biggest accounting technology firms throughout the coming days.

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