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Business Development for Accountants – AIT Conference

I was lucky enough to attend the AIT Annual Conference last week, held in Old Windsor.  The 4th excellently organised conference is aimed at the IT Directors and senior IT staff of large accountancy firms.  I attended as part of the BStar Business Development Team and my background in this sector.  Despite the title, this is not a geek fest, but more of an opportunity for IT Director’s to network and discuss the business challenges that they face and how they have addressed those challenges.

The conference was sponsored by Mike Francis of Practice Engine practice management and Mike gave an address that covered the history of IT and how accountancy firms have adapted to these changes.

Brian Coventry, MD of APS and BStar Business Development gave a presentation on his company’s future development, including the launch of Symphony CRM.  Brian also covered off the launch of the BStar programme – a programme established in Australia, with hundreds of accounting firm’s using it to enhance their service offering to their clients.


There were a range of brief company updates from the sponsors of the show – software houses including Jon Martindale of IRIS talked about their cloud based Open Audit, Tikit talk about the benefits of being acquired by BT and Thomson Reuters Digita talked about three major product advances; the launch of Corporation Tax Advanced, automated Workflow and hosted Document Management.  Other talks had the eloquent Ian Thompson from Star run through a case study – the implementation of Star PM into Crowe Clark Whitehill and CCH had a double presentation; Wendy Rowe, the well-respected UK Head of Product Management from CCH, talked about forthcoming improvements in software automation and Barbara Kroll, MD of Twinfield talk about the advantages a cloud based bookkeeping product can offer.  Other presentations were delivered by Moneypenny and Gamma.


What I enjoy , and have enjoyed, in previous conference’s is the chance to see some business led presentations from the IT side of the business table, rather than software houses waffle on about the latest, fastest, widest, quickest, gee whizz feature.  The conference is organised by Jim Greenfield, late of PKF , but an IT Director, who was always focussed on the business benefits and outcomes to a project, rather than IT bits and bobs.  Jim proved this by the successful creation and maintenance of a software product – PKF P11d.  This year’s conference also had Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC Technology correspondent give the keynote talk,


Whilst we are now in the midst of the conference season, with IRIS World, Xerocon and 2020 all due by the end of October, AIT holds a unique space in the conference season.  Immaculately organised, IT led, driven by business outcomes, with the right amount of time given to sponsor’s, but also the attendees having the correct amount of time given to networking opportunities.


Congratulations to Jim and team.



For more information on AIT – go to:@JimAGreenfield


For more information on BStar – @LangdonHamblin or email Dermot.hamblin@bstar.uk.com

Published by on September 24, 2013. Comments Off on Business Development for Accountants – AIT Conference

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