Pricing for profit – who’s charging what?

At this week’s meeting of the Inner Circle, members shared their approach to pricing 6 specific client situations.

A variety of distinct entrepreneurial approaches became apparent during the round-table discussion.

In a clear sign of the times, none of the members referenced time-based fees or timesheets.

Most members quoted monthly fee rates, or annual fees – typically to be paid monthly. They also shared their views about how to deal with clients coming on board close to their accounting date or who leave part way through the year.

One member said afterwards that he now had the confidence to increase his fees by at least 25% almost across the board.

As ever, members shared freely what worked for them, what they’d tried and what lessons they’d learned through experience. This all means that everyone around the table moves up the learning curve that much faster. Everybody wins.

I have just sent the follow up notes from the meeting to all members, including those unable to attend due to pressures related to the 31 January deadline. The notes include a summary of the discussions, the key learning points noted by members at the end of the meeting, plus links to all of the services and facilities we discussed – plus links to related blog posts and articles. Copies will also be added to the members’ online archive for the benefit of future members.

If this sounds like the sort of exclusive group you might like to join, you can see more of what it’s all about here>>>

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Effective use of new tech in accountancy offices

This was the main topic for discussion at yesterday’s meeting of The Inner Circle for Accountants. I have summarised below some of the key issues members addressed.

We met at The Eight Club in Moorgate, London and Members again benefited from the sharing of knowledge and insights around the table. Inevitably we strayed onto related topics as will be seen from the summary below:

– Likes and dislikes about key practice software
– Software that members had tried but given up on
– Different approaches to CRM using software solutions
– Synchronisation issues and solutions
– Managing multiple client and prospect databases
– Workflow management tools
– Managing online marketing campaigns
– Pricing formulas and fee quoting software

One of our members is among, what he believes to be, less than 300 UK accountancy firms to have invested in a branded ‘app’. His views will evidently impact other members’ response to the heavy marketing push around this topic.

Half of the members present had been at Accountex last week and provided their feedback as to whether a visit is worthwhile and how to gain maximum value when you do go.

At the end of the meeting I invited members to share what were for them the key learning points and takeaways. I have since shared these with all members of The Inner Circle along with related links to save them time trying to locate them. I will also share a fuller note of the issues discussed and shared at the meeting in due course together with additional relevant ideas. In accordance with our Membership Principles all such notes will comply with the Chatham House rule.

The Inner Circle is a facilitated group of like-minded accountants in practice who share similar challenges – and are willing to help each other by sharing practical solutions.

Check it out and follow the link to watch the intro video and then get in touch so that we can discuss whether joining would be good for you and for your practice

 

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The Inner Circle – first meeting report

The inaugural meeting of The Inner Circle for Accountants was evidently a success last week.  I have summarised below some of the key takeaways.

We met at Soho House in London and Members clearly valued the mix of shared peer-led insights together with, as one said, “the independent common sense you always get from Mark Lee”.

It was a diverse non-competing group of sole practitioner accountants from different areas around London (eg: Rickmansworth and Wandsworth).

After members had introduced themselves we focused on two key areas:

  • Making efficient use of social media; and
  • Attracting and obtaining the right type of quality clients

In each case the discussion was focused on specific practical, relevant and commercial solutions. Those around the table talked about what they have found works and what doesn’t work for them. And, when appropriate, I shared my observations and experience too.

At the end of the meeting I invited members to share what were for them the key learning points and takeaways. I have since shared these with all members of The Inner Circle.  I will also share a fuller note of the issues discussed and shared at the meeting in due course together with additional relevant ideas and a recording of the discussions. In accordance with our Membership Principles all such notes will comply with the Chatham House rule.

A couple of the key takeaways shared at the end of the meeting, together with my supplementary thoughts, are included below for the benefit of readers of this blog:

Sample key learning points

  • Often it’s the little things that can make a difference (eg: shortkeys.com to save having to keep typing the same sentences or paras of text over and over again). NB: Amongst other things I use this when replying to requests that I receive on Linkedin – both when I’m agreeing to connect and also when I ask for for more info before I will agree to connect with a stranger.
  • We agreed that the best new clients are introduced or recommended by existing or previous clients – and sometimes by other advisers who know, like and trust you. Rather than networking to find strangers with whom you could try to build relationships, start with the advisers to your existing clients. Ask your clients to introduce (and to recommend) you.

The Inner Circle is a facilitated group of like-minded accountants in practice who share similar challenges – and are willing to help each other by sharing practical solutions. Check it out here and follow the link to get in touch>>> We can then discuss whether joining would be good for you and for your practice.

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Announcing: The Inner Circle for Accountants

I rarely use this blog to advertise my business activities. But this is a special occasion.

The Inner Circle helps accountants build a more successful practice.
Priorities –> Progress –> Profits

Over the last few years I have spent much time participating in and facilitating groups of tax experts and of entrepreneurs. In fact, when I checked back I realised I started running such groups back in 2001!

More recently I have had plenty of requests from accountants who have wanted to work with me. To date the only option was mentoring which some consider to be quite pricey.

Away from 1-2-1 mentoring I really enjoy the stimulation and idea generation that comes from running a group of people who are keen to resolve similar issues. And it was this idea that led to the creation of The Inner Circle for Accountants.

It’s exclusive (no more than 20 accountants in the group), it includes regular 1-2-1 calls with me and it’s London based initially – though I hope to be able to replicate the concept around the country later in the year.

Before launching The Inner Circle I sought feedback and expressions of interest through my weekly newsletter. This enabled me to ensure that it will satisfy a need and provide forward thinking accountants with a fantastic new resource and facility. One that has been proven to work in all sorts of other business contexts. So far as I am aware, no one has previously attempted this with a group of accountants.  I am committed to the success of The Inner Circle so I invite you to check it out and let me have your feedback and expressions of interest.

You want to develop your practice? You have challenges to overcome? You want more of the right clients? Whatever your issues or dreams The Inner Circle can help.

The following links should tell you all you need to know:

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