The UKCBC recently attended the AccountEX National Accountancy Exhibition & Conference at the ExCeL centre in London to extract any beneficial information we could use to help our current and aspiring accountancy students climb the ladder from graduation to employment.

The event which spanned two days (10th & 11th May 2017) saw hundreds of accountancy professionals, business owners and leading suppliers gather to discuss their latest innovations and solutions, and also gave participants the option to listen in on a number of interesting seminars hosted by accountancy professionals.

The UKCBC attended a number of seminars within the ‘Future & Growth’ sector of the event. The first was hosted by James Akrigg, Head of Technology for Partners at Microsoft’

James Akrigg

James named his talk the ‘Digital Transformation within Accounting’ and the essence of his seminar was to open the audiences’ eyes up to the technology currently available to them.

James highlighted a number of applications that Microsoft currently have to offer, with the sole purpose of making day to day working life just that little bit (or a lot) more streamlined.

One application brought to the audiences’ attention was Microsoft’s newly updated Cortana service – a ‘personal assistant, always ready to help you in every situation’, and ‘the world’s most personal smartphone assistant’ – an ‘assistant’ similar to Siri which is used on Apple products.

James gave live examples of how an assistant like Cortana could help professionals coordinate their working week, by, for example, updating their calendar or notifying them of the current weather forecast and transport updates, which could potentially hinder the course of their day.

Announcing that new technologies “can make the whole world of working much, much better”, James explained that Cortana was literally “making ‘talking to robots’ happen.”

The UKCBS’s take away

With new technology and discoveries being made daily, it can be a difficult time for today’s aspiring accountants to keep up.

It was clear to see James’ passion for technology within accounting, and that his aim was to demonstrate how what may seem like a complex mix of technologies could deliver much-needed solutions in today’s business environments.

What UKCBC took from James’ lecture was that if candidates want to get noticed by hiring managers, they need to be clued up on these new technologies, such as Cortana.

Knowing about these programs may just give candidates the upper hand over their competitors, and employers will be impressed that applicants are aware of the latest updates in their industry.

In fact, a recent survey taken by one of Britain’s leading online accounting software, Xero, revealed that 87% of SMEs prefer to work with tech-savvy accountants. The report explained that most accountants think that in-depth knowledge of technology and automation will be crucial to the success of the profession within the next three years.

AccountEX, the ‘UK’s largest exhibition and conference dedicated to accountancy professionals’, will be back on the 23rd and 24th of May 2018.

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