Key Business skills Articles

The Future of Accountancy: The importance of ‘Soft Skills’ in the age of AI

Accountants, bookkeepers and tax advisers study for years to qualify in their chosen profession. You build up crucial technical skills and knowledge and, over time, related practical experience - which is also important. And, if you’re like most decent professionals...

How to deliver advisory services for maximum success

'How to deliver advisory services for maximum success' is the sub-title of a superb new book for accountants that I read recently. I'll share the author and title later in this post. Let's just say that I wish I had written this book, as I am already recommending it...

14 biz dev mistakes I wish accountants could avoid

A journalist once asked me “What is the worst mistake accountants can make when they are trying to ‘close’ a prospective client?” Normally I have prepared for the most likely questions I will be asked when I am being interviewed. This one was not on my list as it was...

What is the key to accountants’ survival in the AI era?

One of the biggest changes to be heralded by the introduction of AI so far as accountants are concerned, links to one of my long-term messages for accountants. How can you stand out from the competition? And, as a result, win more of the business you really want?...

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7 survival skills for sole practitioner accountants

Many of the sole practitioners who contact me are feeling isolated, frustrated and/or overwhelmed. During our initial conversations I always ask what has prompted them to get in touch 'now'. The details will vary but typically there will have been a catalyst - even...

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Being Known, Liked and Trusted is not enough!

You have probably heard the suggestion 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...

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What matters to clients – real-life feedback

Below you will find a ten point list of what matters to an accountant's client who has just posted a glowing and comprehensive testimonial for them. The client shared the list on Linkedin and I have copied it here and added my related observations. I know the...

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Beware the risks of being Unconsciously Incompetent

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing and a lot of knowledge is empowering. The problem is the gap between the two can be quite large!  This is something it took me years to learn when I was in practice. Let's consider a simple example. What do you know about the...

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What is holding you back?

Most accountants are justly proud of their technical skills. No doubt you make time to keep your technical knowledge up to date. Most accountants I know focus a majority of their CPD efforts here. Equally most accountants seem to undervalue the importance of...

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Why it’s not enough to just be a good accountant

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...

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This book will help boost your non-technical (soft) skills

You might think that business is all about facts and figures. In truth, as the world and business get more uncertain and complex, successful leaders need to embrace soft skills to get the best out of their people and themselves. These are the opening words on the...

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The importance of people skills and KBS generally

Today I share with you the transcript of a recent conversation with Joanna Gaudoin. I hope you will enjoy reading her perspective on a number of issues I have previously addressed on this blog. In summary Joanna's view is that your marketing, business development...

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Ten Resolutions for Accountants in February

Now that January 2021 is behind us, perhaps it is time to consider any resolutions or promises you might want to make to yourself. Certainly you should have more time now than you might have done at the turn of the year.  Here are ten resolutions that I think many...

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My top 5 blog posts from 2020

In this penultimate post of the year, I offer you a reminder of five of my most popular blog posts (out of the 50 posted, one each Tuesday) in 2020. I’ve included the links in case you missed them originally or want to take another look: Ten common tax mistakes...

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Media training tips and insights for accountants

I recently spoke with Guy Clapperton, an old friend, and I thought it was worth sharing his media tips with the accountants who read my blog, and those who receive my weekly 'Magic of Success' emails. In this short interview you will find your preconceptions...

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