In June 2009 I wrote a blog piece titled: "The future of compliance services for accountants" I didn't go for big headlines in 2009. I didn't say anything outrageous and I didn't look to attract attendees at high-priced seminars to help accountants survive and thrive in a brave new world. I did
An accountant I know (‘Jeremy’) is heavily reliant on his two full qualified staff. For the reasons explained below I suggested that Jeremy do something unconventional as a form of risk management insurance he’d never previously considered. Background In addition to his two full time staff Jeremy also has a couple of
If you've been following me for a while you'll know I like to debunk the hype around many issues addressed by other commentators. Sometimes they are right on the money but often they are way off the mark - and this can be for any of a number of reasons. Are you
When I suggest to accountants that they call clients and ex-clients to 'keep in touch', my advice is often received with a shiver. If you are comfortable picking up the phone and calling clients and ex-clients for a chat, you won't get anything from this blog post. On the other hand, if
What does CPD mean to you? Do you consider CPD to be short-hand for post-qualification technical update courses? Ahead of Accountex 2019 I referenced the wide range of free CPD that would again be available at this major annual event, now in it’s 8th year in London. A couple of other commentators
Do you consider yourself to be a confident person generally? What about in terms of your ability to attract and win over prospective clients? And to keep clients happy and willing to pay you the fees you deserve for the work you do? Whilst many accountants I work with have a fair degree of
Accountants have a distinct advantage over most other service professionals. Your clients need your help on an ongoing basis, at least once a year and often more frequently than this. When we discuss the lifetime value of clients at meetings of The Inner Circle for Accountants we have to consider how long
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