Would you ever think that a former accounting firm owner from Australia, a Champions League Club soccer professional and a reality TV star would be able to provide perspective on the future of cloud accounting in Canada? Unlikely, unless your name is Will Buckley, Country Manager at Xero in Canada.

I sat down to have a chat with Will about to talk about the future of the profession in Canada, his views on what makes up a modern accounting firm, examples of firms in Canada leading the way, upcoming trends that he’s monitoring and that other firm owners should monitor as well plus some big news out of Canada with regards to the H&R Block acquisition of Wave Accounting and how he sees this affecting the market. Interested in the future of cloud accounting in Canada? Give things a listen below.

The Future of Cloud Accounting in Canada with Will Buckley of Xero

Show Highlights

7:10 – Will Buckley started a firm in Australia called buckleybrown years back. Online he describes the firm as “non-traditional” and “modern”. I ask Will what his definition of “non-traditional” and “modern” is, why it’s important and whether there’s a future for traditional firms.

10:00 – Will comments on while many forward-thinking firms have done a great job at bringing lots of new clients through the door quickly thanks to automation and technology, that the next phase for these firms is to start leveraging their existing client base better, offer more value-added services and increasing the value of the existing client relationships rather than just focusing on external sales.

13:23 – I ask Will about the state of cloud accounting in Canada. Among his responses he notes that huge opportunities still exist since only 10-15% of businesses in Canada are using a cloud based accounting system. Wow.

21:33 – Will gives his take on whether firms in Canada are lagging behind other markets and why some markets are moving faster than others when it comes to innovation.

25:54 – I was curious to know some good examples of firms that are leading the way in Canada and what some good success stories have been. Will lists a few that have started from the ground up and others who have only recently started adopting more modern ways of working. Interestingly he notes that many firms that have not modernized are now recognizing the importance & the feasibility after seeing some of these success stories.

28:33 – Will provides advice to smaller firms on shifting services to the cloud.

31:40 – A look into the trends that Will is following and that other firm owners should be following as well.

33:55 – We dive a bit deeper into the open banking trend and Will gives an overview of what it is and what it means for firms.

39:00 – Will and I chat about software companies rolling out services in the bookkeeping space such as QuickBooks Live (which I talk a bit about here) as well as rumblings of H&R Block acquiring Wave Accounting for $500m CAD for the potentially the same purpose. We speak about Xero’s position on this and I ask why not jump on board as well if online, on-demand services seem to be picking up speed. I also ask what impact this might have on firms.

47:14 – And finishing off this future of cloud accounting in Canada interview with Will, I ask the most important question of them all for anyone living in Canada – what’s Will’s favourite hockey team?

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