What do accountants, adrenaline sports, a monk, an Olympic gold medalist, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world have in common?
They were all part of the annual Proactive Accountants Network conference (PAN) held last week in Queenstown, New Zealand. With ‘Revolution’ as the conference theme, it was certainly that and more.
PAN is an industry-leading coaching network that helps Australian & New Zealand accountants and their clients improve organisation and financial performance through coaching content and technology.
When Hindu priest and former monk Dandapani took to the stage, it became obvious this was not your average accounting conference. Years of spiritual learnings were condensed, translated and applied to business practices.
Rob Nixon gave an insightful and thought provoking session on remaining relevant amid the simplification of compliance services and shifting technologies. He talked about how technological shifts such cloud computing, rapid adoption of mobile devices and resulting innovative changes are not only affecting business, but also the core compliance services offered by accounting practices. He shared a great video on digital disruption and highlighted the technologically proficient new generation with this video.
To quote Rob, ‘”The cloud tsunami is coming” and it’s time to learn how to surf this new wave of technology. He talked about how 80% of accounting revenue is tied up in compliance work. The simplification and streamlining of this compliance work could see as much as a 32% decline in practice revenues.
Remaining relevant will depend upon how accounting practices apply these new technologies to their advantage, and add value to compliance work. This is an integral part of Xero’s strategy and vision. Through Xero’s single ledger, we have eliminated many of the old ‘data file’ friction costs. We have also eliminated much of the costs charged by traditional incumbent software suppliers by providing our established partners with free practice management software.
Experiences were shared by delegates. One practice reduced his accounting staff dedicated to doing compliance work by half through streamlining this work by moving his clients to Xero. Another lost a $30k p/a client as his client was committed to moving to Xero, however the practice weren’t up to speed with Xero.
Five time Olympian and gold medalist Natalie Cook inspired and educated delegates on sustained motivation while chartered accountant Colin Dunn interviewed PAN high achievers and Xero partner Alloitt NZ Ltd on workflow management and Koschel Simpson Matter on people and culture. It was fantastic to see Xero partners leading the way in this area and some wonderful insights into how Xero has helped streamline, standardise and improve process efficiencies
Added to the mix were high adrenalin activities available for attendees, like jet boating, white water rafting, huge canyon swings and bungee jumping between sessions. Evening and night activities also provided plenty of networking and socialising opportunities.
As much as fun as the week was, Rob Nixon and his network of proactive accountants really are at the forefront of revolutionising their practices and the industry. The holistic approach to this conference was certainly refreshing and complemented well the hard work the PAN delegates put in throughout the year as part of the network.
Congrats to Rob, Colin and the incredible team at PAN for a putting together a fun and inspiring conference.