In 2017, I co-founded a new digital accountancy practice, Youtopia Solutions. My passion has always been understanding how a company operates then implementing improvements through project/change management. We use technology to automate and streamline as many processes as possible, integrate the software and provide training. The technology allows us to provide real time information to business owners, but by creating a narrative around the numbers we are able to add real value to our clients.
Mark Telford is founder of Telfords Chartered Accountants an award winning practice based in Kent. In 2018 Mark was voted Xero’s MVP.
After successfully growing his own accountancy practice, Mark is now using the experience he has gained to focus on coaching accountants, helping them to build better business and lifestyles. By still running an accountancy practice Mark is able to provide relevant and practical insights, support, advice and coaching to other accountants looking to grow their own practice.
Alastair Barlow FCCA
Alastair is Chief Dreamer and founder at flinder – an international and multiple award-winning accounting, consulting and data analytics business. He is a certified chartered accountant and ACCA UK panel member and has over 20 years’ experience practising accounting and finance consulting across a number of sectors and countries. He spent 16 years at PwC in various roles across Consulting, Assurance and latterly led PwC My Financepartner in London & South East working with growing businesses.
His experience and expertise includes: Business strategy, finance operating model, optimisation and transformation, complex businesses, modelling, data analytics, management information, business-wide performance management, business plans and working with start-ups and SMEs at the Board level. Alastair acts as CFO on a select few of flinder portfolio clients and coaches & mentors CFOs in mid-sized organisations.
Francesca is co-founder of Future Cloud Accountancy, a cloud-only accountancy firm based in Newark in Nottinghamshire. Having worked for a top 20 firm of accountants for 6 years, Francesca and her business partner Charlotte finally decided to take the plunge and started their own cloud practice. The business is growing rapidly and they are keen to do the same for their own clients using technology to fuel growth. They have already implemented Xero, Receipt Bank, Accountancy Manager, Tide for business banking and Futrli within their practice.
Francesca runs a networking group with over 60 business members and is embracing social media to generate exposure for herself and her brand. You can follow Francesca’s story by following the #journeyisreal on social media.
Darren has a huge amount of experience in working in practice and cloud technology. Whilst at PKF Francis Clark Darren formulated the member firm’s digital strategy and cloud offering; leading to a take up of over 1,200 clients on cloud technology.
He also sits on working groups with the ICAEW, HMRC and software vendors. Recently he spent 6 months employed by Receipt Bank rolling out software projects within Top 20 accountancy firms.
Darren has now become a Partner at Statton & Co where he is currently transitioning this rural practice and its clients towards a digital future.
Caroline is a Chartered Accountant and Fellow of the ICAEW. She has over 20 years of experience advising both high tech and traditional businesses, working with small owner managers and entrepreneurs as well as larger multinational companies. More recently, after five years working alongside leading edge cloud accounting innovators in Australia, she returned home in 2017 to become a lead member of the digital strategy team in a top 20 UK practice.
Now working as a Director in a fully digital firm, Caroline specialises in cloud strategy and app advisory, focusing on the successful migration of clients onto cloud accounting platforms. She is a recognised leader within the cloud accounting industry and a frequent contributor to cloud accounting publications such as XU Magazine.
Nicola had completed her AAT by the age of 19. By 23 she was ACCA qualified and five years later was running her firm, Effective Accounting, full time.
Nicola believes that good accountancy is about helping her clients sleep soundly at night knowing that they are being tax efficient and taking home the maximum amount of money possible. Nowadays, Nicola does so much more than just churning out tax statements, year-end accounts and submitting the numbers to HMRC. She helps her clients feel more empowered and confident about running their businesses, whilst making the number work for them and their families. She prides herself on running a vibrant, approachable and progressive firm.
Effective Accounting engages, equips and empowers their clients through technology, and the firm embarked on its digital journey in late 2017. Since then, the team has been heavily focused on making use of all digital software and tools to transform and drive the business forward, offering a tech-powered service to their clients.
Kieran started the firm ‘K Phelan & Company’ 9 years ago in 2010. He decided to start his own firm after discovering Xero and upon seeing the new bank feed technology in action, Kieran knew this was an opportunity to be a market-leader and innovator in Northern Ireland. Upon starting his new practice back in 2010, Kieran founded the first cloud accounting firm in Northern Ireland and became the first Xero Certified Advisor at that time.
In 2017, Kieran rebranded the firm as ‘Cloud 360 Accounting’.
Kieran now offers his cloud expertise to other accountants, to help firms transition to become cloud-based, digital practices modelled on Kieran’s own firm. No other firm in Northern Ireland has the success or experience in this field to offer such services.
Kieran has become the “go to” person in practice in Northern Ireland in terms of cloud accounting. He has been involved in a panel discussion for Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI) in March 2019 and was a guest on the Q&A panel at the Xero Roadshow in Belfast in June 2019.
Ryan is a Chartered Accountant and self confessed tech geek. He now heads the Software Advisory service line as a Director at Scrutton Bland, assisting business owners in utilising cloud technology to streamline their business processes, reducing waste and cost whilst improving management information. Prior to joining Scrutton Bland, Ryan was involved in cloud strategy plans in a top 20 firm as well as a small local firm, so has experience of the varying struggles different sized accountancy practises have when transitioning clients to cloud solutions.
Ryan is passionate in ensuring businesses utilise the right tech for them, employing change management to make the process as smooth as possible.
Andy heads up the Virtual Finance Office (VFO), which is the outsourcing arm of mid-tier firm PEM in Cambridge. He has been in this role since 2016, and has overseen a period of rapid growth in the cloud and digital offering to PEM’s clients. VFO look to utilise the latest accounting technology to proactively provide efficient process solutions to a varied client base.
In the past, Andy qualified ACCA in a small practice environment and has worked in industry, leading
the accounting function of multiple businesses.
The continued drive now is to provide slick client service in this digital age, in terms of both
compliance and advisory, supporting business growth.
Katy is Cloud Lead at a Top 30 UK Firm – Duncan & Toplis based in the East Midlands.
Katy has been pivotol in the uptake of the firms digital strategy. Katy heads up the cloud development team which enables cloud champions to deliver frontline training and support to clients across multiple offices around the country.
Katy also leads the client onboarding strategy where she is responsible for moving hundreds of clients across to cloud based accountancy software and integrated apps via the firms new app advisory service.
Katy’s outside the box thinking enables her to drive change and challenge the traditional process to influence better and more efficient ways of working thus delivering a new and improved client experience.
In addition to all this Katy is an AAT lecturer at Boston College, mother of three undeniably beautiful children, and all-round superstar!
Richard is a Partner at Xero Award winning accountants Tyrrell and Company. Richard moved from Touche Ross (now Deloitte) back in 1995 and has been instrumental in helping the firm evolve and grow from a back bedroom operation as well as introducing new technology and mindsets needed for a modern accountancy firm.
Although he has experienced a wide range of practice work, Richard now manages the operations at Tyrrell and Company and is always looking at ways of improving efficiencies within the practice through the use of technology.
Richard also works with clients helping them streamline their own financial and business management through the implementation of cloud accounting and integrated apps.