Key cybersecurity issues for accountants

By |2019-11-14T10:09:23+00:00November 12th, 2019|Accountants, Technology|

A recent conversation with cybersecurity expert Francis West prompted me to interview him about the risks of cybercrime affecting accountants in practice.  Francis  has been involved in the technology sector for over thirty years, for the last 10 years running Westtek Solutions, providing IT support to a range of sectors including finance,

Future Focus: How strong and evident are your human qualities?

By |2019-10-29T15:50:43+00:00October 29th, 2019|Accountants, Career development, Future, Key Business skills, Marketing and promotion, Strategy|

In recent years a number of commentators have suggested that we need to adopt a new mindset. Instead of distinguishing our marketing and sales activities dependent on whether our focus is 'B to B', or 'B to C', they want us to recognise that, today, everything is 'H to H'. The idea

If it’s not a lack of technical skills that is holding you back…..

By |2019-10-08T10:17:29+00:00October 8th, 2019|Accountants, Career development, Key Business skills, Sole practitioners|

Most accountants are justly proud of their technical skills. It is also common to find that some accountants 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. What’s your position? Are you one of those accountants who

Nothing much will change for accountants in two years, but what about ten?

By |2019-08-28T09:29:10+00:00September 10th, 2019|Accountants, Future, Sole practitioners|

An increasing number of journalists and podcasters want to interview me about my views of the future for accountants. On reflection though I suspect I am sometimes a disappointing interviewee. This is not due to excess modesty as regards my conversational skills or my ability to explain and justify my predictions. On

Could your complacency cost you your future?

By |2019-08-25T17:11:51+00:00September 3rd, 2019|Accountants, Future, Strategy|

My conversations with sole practitioner accountants over the years suggest that many are happy enough once their practice is generating sufficient income for them. They have reached the stage where they feel comfortable, some might say, complacent. To the outsider the practice, the business, has plateaued. 'Happy enough' is hardly an enthusiastic

Are you undermining your credibility by being too modest?

By |2019-08-20T11:11:24+00:00August 20th, 2019|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Dependability and trust, Referrals, Reputation, Sole practitioners|

Some accountants I know are proud of how efficiently they look after their own business affairs. Others though are embarrassed at their inefficiencies. And there are some who do not appear to give any thought as to how they are perceived. We all know the old adage that you never get a

Being Known, Liked and Trusted is not sufficient. There are 5 steps in the chain.

By |2019-08-12T11:46:07+00:00August 13th, 2019|Accountants, Appearance, Dependability and trust, Experience and expertise, Facebook, Linkedin, Marketing and promotion, Networking, Referrals, Reputation, Social Media, Starting out, Twitter|

You have probably heard the old networking idea that it's important to help people get to know, like and trust you.  Only then will they buy from you. Only then will they even consider becoming your client. This idea originated in the book ‘Endless Referrals', written by Bob Burg, who said: “All things

How to do better than simply say that your business grows through referrals

By |2019-07-16T09:52:45+00:00July 16th, 2019|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Marketing and promotion, Networking|

Most of the accountants I meet claim that most of their best new clients come through referrals.  When I dig deeper I find this is typically for one of the following reasons: They remember that their most recent new clients were initially generated by referrals; They don't get many new clients and also

Which Competitive Force will most challenge you and your firm?

By |2019-06-19T12:55:27+00:00June 19th, 2019|Accountants, Business advice, Future, Marketing and promotion|

Whilst I pose this question about competitive forces in the context of accountants, you might also find the concept helpful when talking with clients. Michael Porter first published his five forces model in a 1979 article published in the Harvard Business Review. In the context of an accountancy firm looking to the future,