The world of accounting is often characterized as boring, but Joe David and his accounting firm Myna have proven they are anything but.
Yes, Myna has all of the processes and efficiencies you would expect with any accounting firm, but where they stand out is with their strategy as they walk with their clients down new paths.
This desire to walk new paths and push towards innovation led Joe into crypto accounting, and position Myna as the leading crypto accounting firm in the UK.
Myna walks their clients through, not only compliance with crypto, but the strategy of using crypto to drive growth for the company.
Our own Andrew Nielsen sat down with Joe David of Myna to talk crypto, personal heroes, and his plans for the future on a recent ArCast episode. Here is an edited version of that interview:
What is exciting about accounting?
Accounting and accountants are seen to be boring. If you see yourself as solely a number crunching individual you do pigeon yourself into that corner.
For me, knowing the numbers in your business is the most fundamental thing any entrepreneur, founder, business owner should know. I believe it gives me a huge advantage in business because I am savvy with numbers - I do understand how to run my business from a financial perspective.
Numbers drive strategy. If you look at it from a strategic level it is quite exciting because knowing the numbers and interpreting them can really help businesses and entrepreneurs make exciting decisions and grow into great things. Looking at the numbers from the strategic side really helps over just crunching the numbers.
We want our clients to be able to talk to us. We want to be a friend on the other side of the table - not just a number cruncher. A lot of time we end up being a counselor - you will be amazed at the conversations that come out from starting with the numbers.
How did you get into blockchain and how has adoption been in the UK?
I have been running an accounting business for 10 years, and 4 years ago one of our existing partners said that they are setting up a new tech company, which meant a decentralized OTC crypto exchange. It was an eye-opening experience.
The most interesting thing wasn’t understanding the accounting for this exchange, but the data we were given. It was really fascinating. On one hand you didn’t want to spend too much time researching it, because you only had one client in the space, but it intrigued us and we wanted to learn more.
So we kept on going with that client and in 2020 (with the COVID slowdown) it was a good opportunity to research the crypto blockchain world. I got really fascinated by it, got lost in it, and wanted to keep going deeper. I completely went down the rabbit hole.
At the end of 2020, we decided to launch Myna as a crypto-only accounting firm. We had no idea what the size of the market would be or how many people have crypto - that number is just really hard to figure that out.
The UK wants to be a hub for crypto but has a lot of work to do on regulation and tax at the moment. They are trying to pigeonhole existing legislation into a brand new world, and hope it fits. But it doesn’t.
But there are still signs that the UK will be a place where people can come and build and grow, and hopefully that happens.
Where does the name Myna come from?
The UK has a strong mining heritage, and a lot of towns that are synonymous with mines. Historically, when people go into the mine they would send canary down into the mine to see if it is safe.
The bird on the Myna logo is a canary. So we see ourselves as guiding people through crypto; we will be their canary. We will go before them into the mine and make sure it is safe, really lead the way, so they do not have to be thrown in and just hope for the best.
How has blockchain functionality/ ArDrive helped you?
Adopting blockchain functionality within the business is separate from the challenge of crypto accounting. In principle, decentralized storage is a fantastic concept. The challenge is to get people to put it into practice - to move away from Google or Microsoft and having their whole digital life in these ecosystems to apps like ArDrive. We are trying to get clients to change their mindset, but it will just take time.
So, again, the concept of Arweave is great - if you can store permanent data and have all your records kept forever. If the IRS comes along you can say "Here it is," and not worry about lost data or emails.
Clients still need some more awareness and education around how this works, but it will come with time.
What are your hopes with Myna and crypto in the future?
Ultimately we want to be the biggest independent crypto accounting firm - largest in the UK, and international expansion is in the works including Dubai.
Want to decentralize our whole business and ArDrive is part of our plan. Ultimately we want to say "We don’t use Google, we use Arweave," and "Everything we do is web3 based."
For example, we just launched a professional services NFT to take away the theory that an NFT can only be an image. Our professional services NFT allows our clients to buy and use them for our services. So our very business and how we grow will be rooted in web3.