#AAYP 2015: Seeing through the cloud

I JOINED Dennis & Turnbull as an apprentice in 2006 and quickly began to realise how important my role would be in our clients’ businesses – which goes beyond preparing a set of accounts.

The introduction of cloud accounting software revolutionised how I viewed the profession. Automation of the book-keeping process meant that I needed to concentrate on adding value to help our clients and their businesses succeed.

This advance in technology required me to learn and develop new skills that I hadn’t realised would be essential for the role when starting out as an apprentice. I quickly needed to improve my communication skills and commercial awareness to stand out and progress within the firm.

Beyond compliance

The profession is continuing to advance beyond providing a compliance service, and instead focus on the analysis of the numbers to deliver intelligent strategic advice to help our clients’ businesses grow. The technological advances allow me to pursue new ways of adding value to our clients as well as improving internal efficiencies and productivity.

As a young professional, I recognise the significance of embracing technology and social media to keep up with rapidly evolving markets. It has given me the opportunity to connect and share ideas with other like-minded professionals in the marketplace as well as evolving how I communicate with our clients.

We can communicate instantly and through more channels – which has increased the quality and relevancy of our conversations. I can keep up to date with the latest news in my client’s industry at the click of a button.

Competition without borders

Hopefully the change to tradition encourages competition in the marketplace where clients no longer choose an accountant based on locality, but instead focus on the best value service for them and their business.

I also support younger colleagues entering the profession by encouraging them to expand their skillset, which is now required at a much earlier stage of an accountancy career than ever before.

The qualifications and experiences I have had to date have widened my career options. It has encouraged me to aspire to a career outside of that of a traditional accountant. Since joining Dennis & Turnbull as an apprentice, I have moved through the ranks into a manager position and I now head up the accounts team.

As an employer, the firm has encouraged the research and implementation of new ways of doing things to increase both client and staff satisfaction. I would like my employers to continue to build the technical expertise of young recruits but also to develop and nurture the skills that have become expected from an accountant.

I would like the marketplace to invest in young professionals and encourage new ideas outside of what has always been normal practice.

Jessica Shears is a client manager at d&t

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