The biggest issue facing accountants in practice these days isn't the rise of robo-accountants, AI or cloud computing. The challenge that seems to hold many firms back is the same old chestnut it's always been. It's the difficulty in finding good people to join the firm. Almost every week I get approached by the
Another journalist approached me recently, this time wanting some quotes for an article intended to help accountants who have been running their practice for one year. As usual I made some notes to inform my quotes and, as usual, I'm now able to share these on my blog. You should find the
When I ask accountants this question, they often struggle to give an answer. And many of those who quote a higher than average figure do not seem to have worked out what services they will need to provide to earn such a fee. If you are happy simply taking on more of
Accountancy firms need to evolve to address the changes that the future heralds. What changes? Well, there’s lots coming but the changes that will most impact your life and your practice depend on many factors. It is just daft, if not lazy, to suggest that the same issues will affect ‘all’ accountants
When I write and talk about the future for accountants I debunk the hype (and fake news) that suggests that compliance work is dying. It's NOT. However I do believe that within ten years or so, most of the compliance focused work currently done by general practitioners will no longer be required.
Weird question? I know. But stay with me for a moment. For as long as I can remember accountants have treated CPD as being synonymous with technical training - by which I mean technical updates and courses intended to explain new rules and regulations. And surely we have to prioritise such training?
I wonder if you make an all too common mistake. We all hope that clients will want us to provide a range of services to them. And we hope that clients will recommend and refer us to other prospective clients too... But, as I frequently point out, 'hope' is not a strategy.
The following observation on Facebook reflects a common perception. 'It's a shame that nowadays it isn't enough to just be good at what you do. You need to be good at all this other stuff (marketing etc.) otherwise you don't get anywhere.' My response was as follows: — It has NEVER been
When we talk about the future most of us struggle to recognise what changes are coming and the impact these will have on our lives and work. There is a common tendency to think only about the next year or two and to dismiss anything beyond that as science fiction. In my
Everyone's experiences are unique. One of the keys though is to ensure that the way you reference your experiences is relevant to those who are hearing or receiving your message. This is a point I often stress during my talks and mentoring sessions. There is another related issue that few people discuss
There is no doubt in my mind. The more focused you can be as regards your ideal clients the more chance there is that they will recognise you as an accountant they should approach. And, if you have a clear focus, the easier it will be for other people you know to recognise
I have never ‘swiped’ someone’s profile picture as online dating didn’t exist when I met my wife. The whole concept of swiping left or right is quite alien to me. I was curious though so asked a friend to show me how this ‘swipe left’ and ‘swipe right’ business works. It quickly became
One of the accountants I spoke with recently has been struggling for over three years to build their own practice. Although they had won a fair few clients in year one, some have since moved on. The accountant feels their service is good enough and that their fees were not excessive. They
A journalist asked me this question last month. “What will accountants be doing differently in 2019?” Before replying I gathered my thoughts which I now share below. For reasons which will become obvious I didn’t say all this when I spoke with the journalist! As usual there’s an implicit assumption in the
What are your top skills? The key question though is not what YOU think they are, but what other people believe you are good at. What do your contacts and connections say when they reference and recommend you? And what do your clients say? A few years ago I had a surprise
As the New Year starts I invite you to identify your top business achievements in 2018 and a few specific achievements you would most like to pursue in 2019. It's all too easy to dwell on stuff that's not gone as we would have liked. For example, if you still have dozens of clients' personal
When I ask accountants what they would like to be different in their practice, one theme is more common than any others. They frequently express the desire to have better quality clients, to increase their average fees and to be doing more interesting work. One sole practitioner accountant expressed this quite succinctly.
The ten mistakes I share below are based on the lessons I have learned from personal experience during which I was wearing one or other of the following four hats: 1 - A partner (in the past) in two large firms of accountants where I was responsible for writing pitches and fronting
If you've been thinking about blogging, or you've been advised you should do it (or to pay someone else to do it for you) you may find this interview of interest. I was approached to share my views on the subject by a journalist who had seen my blog was highly ranked
What is the real reason you are in practice as an accountant? This is a question many accountants struggle to answer when I ask them. Why do you do what you do? What is the first thing that comes to mind as to your motivation to be in practice as an accountant?
During my talks about the future for accountants I sometimes share a famous quote from Bill Gates. Before repeating it here, let me just offer some context. There has long been a tendency to over-hype new ideas and initiatives. Some accountants jump on the bandwagon early which is great. I don’t do
I know that my own career success owes more to the development of non-technical skills than it does to my knowledge and application of accounting and tax law. How do we gain our technical skills? No one is born a great auditor, tax adviser or accountant. We learn by working alongside experienced
I had mixed emotions when I read Della Hudson's book, The Numbers Business. On the plus side it is a superb guide to growing a successful cloud accountancy practice from scratch. I also felt a degree of envy and frustration. There's a part of me that thinks I should just stop offering
A Thomson Reuters survey of 350 UK accountants in June 2018 revealed six key areas to consider "as you step into the next decade". I have added my own commentary and views to the headline topics below: 1. Accept business model change The accountants believe that compliance will continue to sit at
Another day, another commentator bemoaning what they perceive as accountants’ resistance to change. I don’t see it that way at all. Busy accountants running busy firms have to prioritise. And preparing for the future is not a priority (yet). The accountants I talk with are tightly focused on keeping their best clients