During the congres it is all about inspiration, education and interaction. Sharing knowledge and expertise with your peers and see which direction Exact is going. Off all delegates approximately 1.000 of them were accountants. At the beginning of this year we announced the election of the first Cloud Accountant of the year. At Exact Live I was entitled and honored to hand over this award to the winning accountancy practice. Many practices signed up for this competition and a jury of three people considered all inquiries. The jury was consisting of:
- Frans Heitling, chief editor accountancy national magazine
- Jim Stolze, entrepreneur and producer TEDx events
- Mark Appel, global marketing director Exact
With this composition of jury members we were able to approach the selection from various angles. Frans was taking care of the profession itself, accountability and trust. Jim, who wrote books about customer care, was able to challenge practices how they approach customers and till what extent they are the center of their operations. Myself really looked into the way the practice embraced the cloud. From a technical perspective but also more from a more human perspective. The cloud for me stands for 24/7, always on, always online and accessibility to everything. Openness and sharing of knowledge, full transparency about all that we do.
Short List Of Two
In total seven practices were shortlisted based on some strict criteria e.g. online presence, collaboration in the cloud and transparency. During a series of 15 minutes Skype calls all practices were able to convince the jury why they should win the award. Two of the big five, KPMG and Deloitte, were part of the short list. Also smaller practices signed up who use the cloud utmost to compete with their bigger competitors. During a series of 15 minutes Skype calls all practices were able to convince the jury why they should win the award.After conducting the online interviews it became clear that two practices were in the race for the cloud accountant award, KPMG and Beace. The last one a small practice focusing on entrepreneurs who want to make the next step in their business to become more mature and prepare for further growth.
And The Winner Is
Finally the jury came to a unanimous decision. The first cloud accountant award is entitled to Beace. In the public available jury report the entrepreneurship has been rewarded with all risks related with this approach. ‘The way Beace is embracing the cloud is extraordinary. Not only accounts production is highly standardized also the data that comes available is interpreted in a real time and pro active way. Beace is rewarding their client for specific online behavior that makes them grow but also optimize the way of collaboration in between accountant and entrepreneur.’ I must say I am very happy with this result and congratulate the industry with Beace winning this title. It shows what the cloud is up to. It is an example for many other smaller practices to see how they can really compete with the bigger ones. Offering entrepreneurs what they are asking for, insights that makes them stronger that goes beyond the financials. I can’t wait to announce the cloud accountant next year in the UK. I am sure it will motivate the industry to get the most out of the cloud and even more important, serve their small and medium enterprise customers the best.