TechnologyView from the board: the online accountant

View from the board: the online accountant

What do Vanilla Ice, the managing director of HM Revenue and Customs and Philip Woodgate, a partner at a small firm of accountants in London’s West End have in common?

All, in very different ways, are persuading more and more accountants to do
business online.

Readers of a certain age and questionable musical taste might remember
one-hit-wonder Vanilla Ice. Now he’s fronting a web-based competition to find
the best tax rapper in the US, for which there have been an astonishing 370
entries so far. Go to youtube.com/contest/TheTaxRap if you want to make it 371 –
or just laugh at the others.

Last week Accountancy Age revealed that HM Revenue & Customs policy
supremo Dave Hartnett was to start podcasting. On the back page, cartoonist
Colin was a little unkind in his reading of the likely outcome (somnolent would
be the kindest description of his expectation) but the taxman deserves credit
for being willing to use all the media available in broadcasting a message.

So far, so superficial you might think. But Philip Woodgate might change your
mind. Woodgate accepted the Best Use of Internet by a Practice gong at last
year’s Accountancy Age Awards. And the Goodman Jones partner hasn’t rested on
his laurels since. His blog a few days ago indicated just how integral
technology is to the way in which the firm deals with clients or, indeed, how
SMEs deal with the firm.

One example: the firm hosted a wiki event for clients, which Philip describes
as: ‘A perfect online collaboration tool. A wiki can be a complete repository of
knowledge that evolves as a business grows. Just think of all the emails that
get lost in space, especially when the team changes over time. Wikis can capture
all the vital information to benefit new team members as they join.’

Then it gets interesting. From customary links through to a more detailed
description of the day’s events, there were additional comments from some who
attended, photos (hosted on a photo-sharing website) and a link to a mindmap
chart distilling the content further. It was fantastically impressive stuff. And
not a little scary.

But maybe we should all aim to embrace one technology today. And if it’s a
straight choice between taking Vanilla Ice’s advice and following Woodgate’s
lead, I know which one I’ll choose.

Damian Wild is editor in chief of Accountancy Age

Related Articles

Is predictive analytics the end of the annual audit?

Audit Is predictive analytics the end of the annual audit?

4d Martin Herron, MHA MacIntyre Hudson
Cybersecurity webinar: how protected are you and your data?

Security Cybersecurity webinar: how protected are you and your data?

1w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Back to the Future: why financial transformation just hasn’t happened

Technology Back to the Future: why financial transformation just hasn’t happened

1w Workday | Sponsored
GDPR: Don’t forget the human touch

Security GDPR: Don’t forget the human touch

2w Neil Patrick, Director of GRC and Centre of Excellence EMEA for SAP
5 key tech innovations helping accountants transform their businesses

Accounting Software 5 key tech innovations helping accountants transform their businesses

3w Heather Darnell, Founder of Ask the BOSS
HMRC scaling back digital projects to ‘release project capability to EU Exit work’

Brexit HMRC scaling back digital projects to ‘release project capability to EU Exit work’

4w Alia Shoaib, Reporter
What is the role of governance, compliance, and control in financial transformation?

Corporate Governance What is the role of governance, compliance, and control in financial transformation?

4w Workday | Sponsored
Grant Thornton joins with Immersive Labs to increase cyber talent

Career Grant Thornton joins with Immersive Labs to increase cyber talent

1m Lucy Skoulding, Reporter