TechnologyAccounting SoftwareBright lights, big Softworld

Bright lights, big Softworld

Phew, Softworld was a bit of a scorcher! The event might appear to a layperson as mild-mannered - especially given that the accounting and software industries have less than sexy reputations - but the reverse is true. Plenty of excited punters headed to Olympia, which was a good sign.

Over the two day event, it became apparent that visitors were determined to make the most of the masterclasses and product demos. Customers also kept the exhibitors’ salespeople on their toes.

My own attempts to visit exhibitors ad hoc and speak to the bigwigs were curtailed as they were too busy. However, the general consensus was a positive one – accountants in practice and those in business are both prepared to upgrade accounting systems.

Why is this the case?

Well, for starters, there is a raised awareness of how IT can be used to complement good corporate governance policies.

By using software to make reporting lines more transparent, a business meets regulatory requirements and hopefully improves its business processes.

Secondly, software ‘solutions’ that have appeared over the last few years, such as enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management systems, are maturing. Customers are finally learning to use these software products to their full potential, while the providers have thought more about offering products to customers that are reliable and easy to use.

As one prominent figure in the software industry said about his company’s performance at Softworld: ‘The hard work we’ve put into grooming potential sales over the last year has paid off.’

Whether this was trader’s puff remains to be seen – but there weren’t many ‘brave faces’ being pulled.

The increased confidence in the economy and UK Plc means that businesses are looking to invest their hard-earned profits. Obviously, IT spend is on the agenda. Accountants also need systems in place to deal with the accounts of an increasing number of small businesses – unless Brown strangles entrepreneurial spirit in the upcoming Budget.

If you missed out, don’t panic – Softworld Birmingham is in just six months’ time.

  • Kevin Reed edits the technology page.

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