A London-based accountant rides the wave of digital transformation

As the managing director of Majors Accounts in the UK, Eriona Bajrakurtaj embraced financial technology to capitalize on the government's decision to digitize the tax system.

A brunette woman in a blue sweather speaks at a conference wearing a headset mic.
A brunette woman in a blue sweather speaks at a conference wearing a headset mic.

Growing up, Eriona Bajrakurtaj had a unique dream compared to other kids her age.

“I wanted to be this businesswoman where I walk into a boardroom and everyone respects me because I have knowledge and things like that,” Eriona says. “I had a very different outlook from my friends.”

In fact, very little about Eriona’s childhood was typical. At 13, she started bookkeeping for her father’s fledgling accounting business. Her dad, a Major in the army, was a man of rigid discipline. When she complained about doing bookkeeping on top of her school homework, he told her she had to learn to juggle both. And as she struggled to learn the accounting ropes, he simply told her to figure it out.

“Obviously there were a lot of tears,” Eriona recalls. “I’d go to him thinking I’d figured it out, and he’d have a look at it and delete it and say, ‘Start again — it’s wrong.’ That was the only feedback I got.”

Over time, Eriona did figure it out, along with a long list of other tough challenges. Today, she is managing director of the business her father started—a small accountancy practice named Majors Accounts, after his military title. Based in Southeast London, it employs a team of about 20 with a client base around 1,600.

A multitasker extraordinaire

Eriona’s experience juggling school and bookkeeping set the tone for a habit of overachieving and multitasking.

While most would-be accountants get a university degree before diving into the challenging task of earning a six-year accounting qualification, Eriona jumped straight into the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) from high school.

She didn’t stop there. Even before she completed the ACCA, she started a master’s degree in accounting and finance—all this while working and raising her daughter. When she was done with both study programs, she embarked on a master’s in law, which she followed with a post-graduate diploma in financial strategy at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School.

“It was a lot on my plate, but I think that’s what kind of pushes me to succeed,” she says. “I’m a bit weird like that.”

A whole new outlook

As a passionate accounting professional who thrives on change, Eriona was excited by one of the biggest shifts to ripple across the UK accounting industry in decades: the UK government’s 2015 decision to digitize the tax system.

This change was designed to make taxes more accurate while boosting productivity for businesses by encouraging them to go digital. In researching compliance solutions, Eriona came across Intuit QuickBooks. But it wasn’t until she attended her first QuickBooks Connect conference that the magnitude of the opportunity hit home.

“It just completely changed my outlook,” she says. “I came out of there thinking, wow, we can make such a difference!”

Beyond compliance, she saw the benefits of digitizing all business processes—eliminating mundane data entry for her team and forging closer ties with clients who’d soon be required to submit quarterly tax updates. Furthermore, Intuit QuickBooks Online handled much of the heavy lifting.

“Within six months we transferred a thousand clients into QuickBooks Online,” she says. “It was a huge job, but we got there with a lot of help from our QuickBooks account manager.”

The business-accountant relationship

Eriona says she’s seen an increase in new kinds of digital-native businesses springing up and being propelled to profitability with the help of technology.

A notable example—and one of her company’s clients—is Rising Ballers, which bills itself as the UK’s biggest Gen Z football brand. Starting as an Instagram account that shared stories of rising football talent, the company has grown rapidly since its founding in 2015.

The founders of Rising Ballers: (left to right) Brendon Shabani, Jamie Pollitt, and Eni Shabani

Throughout the process, Eriona says Major Accounts has been a constant partner, from helping the startup become conversant with QuickBooks, to consulting with it on everything from tax liabilities to investments.

“All of these conversations were super important in the decisions that they then went on to make,” she says. “We are our clients’ most trusted advisor, but a lot of them don’t know what we can do to help and what kind of advice we can provide because they don’t speak to us as often as they should.”

Eriona says she’s already looking ahead to what new changes may come next, though she’s often grateful she can’t see what’s coming because of the challenges it might bring.

“You learn along the way,” she says. “When I look back and see what I’ve done, I just think, wow, I was able to overcome all of that! I think my 13-year-old self would be pretty proud.”