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
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
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
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
Think about ten top accountancy brands. Or at least the ones you can remember. How many of those do you think your typical client would be able to name - or would even recognise? Once you move outside of the accountancy and finance professions, brand awareness drops off very fast. Even the
What are you selling as an accountant? This is a simple enough question, and knowing the right answer could make a profound difference to the success of your practice. Let’s start with what you’re NOT selling. As I explained in a recent blog post, You’re not selling your time. And you’re not
Many of the accountants I speak with ask me the same question. How can they best attract new clients? I will rarely offer advice however until I have found out enough about the accountant, their firm, their services, their likes and dislikes and what they have tried previously. The simple reason is
It seems I've not updated my generic advice on this blog about accountants' websites for ten years. This is because I routinely say pretty much the same things to almost every accountant I talk with. And few of my views have changed. If anything I was ahead of my time and others
Most general practitioner accountants I talk with (and I talk with a lot of them) are, obviously, generalists rather than specialists. They started out as general practitioners and stay that way as their client base has always been quite disparate. Many of those who specialise do so only because they originally trained
I've addressed the subject of Networking many times before on this blog. I make no apology for returning to the topic as it's a key business skill for accountants who want more clients. And also for those seeking their first clients too. Networking is not something covered by our professional training. But it has
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
This blog post contains something I rarely do. It references a book I have read and want to recommend to accountants who are looking to the future. The Digital Firm is written by an accountant, Will Farnell, who also published it in 2018. The book is subtitled: How to change your accounting
When you are approached by a prospective new client it is tempting to simply give them what they say they want. Most often this will be a fee quote to help them with their annual compliance obligations. As this area of work becomes more commoditised so you need to distinguish yourself from other accountants.
A good few years ago I spent some time researching why so many people assume accountants are boring. I distilled their views down to ten key reasons which it seems I have not shared on this blog previously. So here they are for posterity, in no particular order! Accountancy and auditing seem boring -
Most established Accountants running their own firms claim to get most of their better new clients via referrals. is this true or relevant to less established practices? Experienced accountants claim that no other activities and no marketing investment ever seems worth the effort. The following sentiment is typical of what I hear: "I get all
Networking is not for everyone. Whilst some accountants enjoy attending regular networking events, I regularly hear tales of woe from those who find it a frustrating waste of time. There are also plenty of accountants who do not like the idea of chatting with strangers very appealing. You will rarely meet someone at a networking
All too often I encounter another accountant who is lacking in confidence. And this invariably holds them back from achieving the success they seek. Just last week an accountant emailed me back after receiving a message I'd sent out on a totally different topic. Included in her reply was the following: I know I lack