Here’s the top lessons from Accountex

May 14th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized 0 comments on “Here’s the top lessons from Accountex”

written by alastair barlow [blog]

The past couple of days I’ve attended Accountex in London and I’m exhausted from it! If you read my previous newsletter on management lessons from my fitbit I absolutely smashed my steps over the 2 days and my calories target – I actually burned 4,000 calories on day 1 from walking around. It really is on a huge scale!

Accountex takes education, networking and innovation to a whole new level for accounting and finance professionals. There was so much to do, so many talks to see and so many exhibitors to learn from.

While clearly there is a continuing focus and push on technology to create process efficiency and deliver deeper insight, there seemed to be more on the agenda around the softer aspects of being a finance professional and accountant. For me this has been a very under-tapped area in the profession. Why? Well, it’s pretty hard to teach for a start and the traditional accountant has tended to focus on the harder, black and white, technical skills – that’s what we’ve been educated in. That side of the brain doesn’t necessarily lend itself to the softer side too.
Again, it goes to show how the profession is adapting and how business partnering, communication and relationships are becoming even more important. Our own view in flinder is that much of the technical side of things is either a given or something we can train our team with – it’s the softer side, the communication skills and the culture which are much harder to teach and thus so important to evaluate in the recruitment process.

This was also eminent in my own talk on How to be a Kick-Ass CFO (The password is: Accountex2019)… While there was some (very) technical content in there, the ultimate result was around human interpretation and delivering insight through telling the story to the business – the data and technology is just a route to delivering this much better where we act as translators to the business.

Other sessions such as The Entrepreneurial Accountant’s Mindset explored the often-overlooked softer skill around mindset and where that inspiration comes from. There were multiple sessions on presentation and speaking skill, and a session on authenticity – again all focusing on softer, interpersonal skills.

I would encourage you to think about the softer side of things because at the end of the day we are telling a story to the business and people respond to people.