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James Solomons

Accounting, Business & Technology; Advocate, Entrepreneur & Educator

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Business Planning

What the next generation of accountants really wants

Read Time: 4m 55s

Millennials are often portrayed in the media as entitled, frequent job switchers and interested primarily in monetary gain. But the reality doesn’t quite match up.

The next generation of accountants want to be exactly that. Accountants.

They studied accounting because it interests them, not because it is a stable career they can fall back on if ‘Plan A’ fails. They’re also not afraid to call themselves accountants. In fact they relish breaking the stereotype of a boring accountant.

They do however expect something from their employers that previous generations didn’t ask for. They want to be engaged. They want to use their minds to solve problems for clients. They want to challenge themselves on complex tasks or projects.

Millennials want to use technology. You won’t keep an accounting graduate for long if they are set to work coding and posting bank statements – which was my first task on my first day of work sixteen years ago. Even the date is etched on my mind – there I was, on 29 January 2001, coding and posting a quarter’s worth of bank statements. I fell asleep and woke to my head hitting the desk. I thought there had to be a better way and set out to find it. Continue reading “What the next generation of accountants really wants”

Did desktop DIY accounting software nearly destroy an industry ?

Read Time: 3m 55s

Sometimes you find it’s the simple systems that work the best. Back in the day, manual ledgers were the accounting hero for most SMEs. The retro green ledger book, ruled up and reconciled each period, may have been labour intensive, but it worked, pure and simple.

More importantly, the regularity of the work allowed accountants to spot trends within their clients’ data, and to keep track of potential future problems, not to mention the kudos they received for translating green ledger book balances into a GL system, preparing P&Ls and balance sheets, and spending time with their client.

Not only demonstrating their value as accountants, they were performing an advisory service.

Continue reading “Did desktop DIY accounting software nearly destroy an industry ?”

Better SMEs create better accountants: the benefit of working with your clients in the Cloud

Read Time: 3m 30s

Back in the day of desktop accounting, both clients and their accountants were somewhat disconnected from the true financial events taking place behind the scenes of their company. SMEs ran their business based on gut feel and measured their success on how much cash was in the bank. But that is a volatile and risky method.

Before Cloud accounting, receiving daily live data updates was prohibitively expensive, and only really feasible for larger corporations. This in turn meant businesses were being run based on old financial data – 30 days after the end of the month, or even six months after the end of the financial year. Anomalies were missed, small issues snowballed, and all too often alarm bells rang too late.

Continue reading “Better SMEs create better accountants: the benefit of working with your clients in the Cloud”

Why cloud technology is an accountant’s best sales tool

Read Time: 4m 15s

It’s a beautiful thing when an accountant and their client build a working relationship that is efficient, productive and mutually beneficial. But it hasn’t always been that easy to achieve.

Prior to the Cloud, accountants spent a prohibitive amount of time managing the flow of client data between desktop programs and their accountant’s ledger. Being able to convince small business owners to invest in value-add advisory-type services was something left to the few, and even then, such programs remained un-appealingly expensive and took time to prepare. Continue reading “Why cloud technology is an accountant’s best sales tool”

A career of two halves…. Pre and Post “The Cloud”

Read Time: 3m 27s

When looking at my career retrospectively, it’s clear to me that it’s been a game of two halves; pre- and post-2011. As a small business owner and consultant running my accountancy practice, my primary role pre-2011 focused on problem solving for clients based on past events. As much as I wanted to help clients look forward, the tools available didn’t allow me to offer proactive and affordable advisory solutions.

Let’s also not forget the general consensus (back then) of what an accountant is or does; a boring maths nerd who spends all day filling out tax returns! So, flying in the face of stereotypes, in 2010 I began writing – lots – with a view to helping SMEs and providing practical and easy to understand nuggets of advice.

Frustratingly, while SMEs certainly did find what I wrote to be useful, most of them did not have the resources to engage me to help make a difference to their business.

And then, in 2011, like a billowy God from above, the Cloud emerged. And the game changed…..

Continue reading “A career of two halves…. Pre and Post “The Cloud””

“Colour by Numbers” – My chat with Southern Cross University

To predict where the future of the accounting and business professions are heading, it’s important to equip yourself with the skills and knowledge to challenge current industry operations. I sat down with Southern Cross University to discuss my views and predictions, as well as give some advice to those looking to advance in their careers within the profession.

Check out what I had to say below 

http://online.scu.edu.au/blog/colour-by-numbers-with-james-solomons/

Chatting about the concept of “Continuous Engagement”

In August I sat down with Steve Major from Pricing Power and we chatted about a concept that has been evolving called “Continuous Engagement”.

Listen to the interview here https://pricingpower.net/james-solomons/

Acting in our clients best interests when it comes to technology… my views

At Xerocon 2016 I had an interview with Accountants Daily and we discussed whether accountants were failing to act in their clients best interests if they didn’t help them move to better technology to run their business

This is what I had to say http://www.accountantsdaily.com.au/technology/9547-technology-lag-may-hurt-clients-best-interest

Technology lag may hurt clients’ best interests

Written by Katarina Taurian

Accountants typically hold the mantle of the ‘trusted adviser’ with their clients, but that position can work to the detriment of those who take it for granted and aren’t on the front foot with new services and technological opportunities, said Xero’s head of accounting and director at Aptus Accounting and Advisory, James Solomons.

Continue reading “Acting in our clients best interests when it comes to technology… my views”

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