They’re not ‘soft skills’ for accountants, they’re Key Business Skills

By |2018-11-12T17:39:40+00:00November 13th, 2018|Accountants, Business advice, Career development, Key Business skills, Reputation, Speaking skills|

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

If you cannot ‘close the sale’ you’ll struggle to win new clients

By |2018-07-12T07:59:06+00:00June 12th, 2018|Accountants, Following up, Key Business skills, Marketing and promotion, Networking, Starting out|

In an ideal world, you would simply tell people that you are an accountant and your ideal prospects would then find you and ask to become your clients. Life isn’t like that. Even when these people do find out about your practice you need to have a process which brings them onboard

Are technical skills enough for sole practitioner accountants?

By |2018-07-12T07:28:09+00:00July 13th, 2016|Accountants, Key Business skills, Networking, sole practitioners, Speaking skills|

Most sole practitioners are justly proud of their technical skills. It is also common to find that some sole practitioners undervalue the importance of ensuring that they have all the business skills they require to be profitable in the short-term and successful in the longer-term. At best only lip-service is paid to the development of non-technical

What are your top skills and expertise?

By |2018-07-12T07:56:33+00:00January 15th, 2015|Appearance, Business messaging and branding, Career development, Key Business skills, Linkedin, STANDING OUT|

The top ranked personal skill or expertise on my Linkedin profile is currently 'strategy'.  It has been moving up the list over the last year. I am flattered that hundreds of people have endorsed me for ANY skills and expertise on Linkedin. Until recently 'Accounting' was top - presumably by reference to my background in

How naturally good are you at what you do?

By |2018-07-12T07:29:41+00:00October 29th, 2013|Accountants, Key Business skills, Productivity, Servicing clients, STANDING OUT|

Some people assume that all of the important non-technical skills evidenced by successful accountants and partners can be developed merely by working alongside experienced colleagues or learning 'on the job' , through experience. Another common view is that some people are naturally ‘good’ at things as though their experiences, background and training were irrelevant.

What skills set does it take to be successful as an accountant or tax adviser?

By |2018-07-12T07:56:50+00:00June 13th, 2013|Career development, Key Business skills, STANDING OUT|

Some years ago I routinely highlighted the need to build and develop personal and business skills in addition to technical skills. It's all very well to understand accounting and tax rules and how to produce a set of accounts and tax returns, but ambitious accountants need a wider skills set if they want to be

Accountants need to show they really are business advisers

By |2018-07-12T07:57:11+00:00October 30th, 2008|Accountants, Key Business skills, Uncategorized|

I've just been reading in Accountancy Age about how a senior official at HSBC considers that Accountants are better at advising distressed businesses than are banks. Piyali Williams, head of professional proposition at HSBC is reported to have also said that: "Accountants are in a better position than banks... We've always viewed them [accountants] and

Become a rainmaker for your practice

By |2018-07-12T07:58:19+00:00February 19th, 2008|Business messaging and branding, Career development, Key Business skills|

The term 'rainmaker' means different things to different people. In professional service firms it tends to be used to refer to a partner who brings in lots of fees. In some firms the rainmaker has no other repsonsibilities. This is increasingly unusual however. In my role as the Accountants' Business Coach I have often used

Strong technical skills are not enough

By |2018-07-12T07:57:32+00:00September 11th, 2007|Career development, Key Business skills|

Taxation 2 Magazine often includes useful tips for ambitious (tax) professionals. Most of the time these are relevant to a wider audience too. The current issue (7/9/07) contains an excellent piece by Sheila Mandel of BLT in which she notes that "The emphasis on marketing and relationship building has resulted in the existence of (and

Memories of being mentored

By |2018-07-12T08:15:02+00:00September 21st, 2006|Accountants, Key Business skills, Mentoring|

Mentoring seems to be flavour of the month all of a sudden. I was approached today by a journalist who wanted a quote from someone with experience of the traditional internal style of mentoring that some larger firms provide. Here's what I said: ” As a junior partner many years ago I was allocated