If you’ve been around a while I am sure that you find the constant articles, posts and commentators telling accountants you have to move into advisory services both boring and repetitive. I’ve been debunking the hype here for well over ten years. Many commentators have also been naively forecasting the end of compliance work.
Unlike some commentators, I entirely accept that many accountants have some clients who want nothing more than a basic compliance service. And that you get very frustrated to be told by consultants that you should offer your clients "advisory services". After all, you know your clients don't want, cannot afford and will
We have all heard the projections that compliance work is dying and that accountants must move into advisory services. This is not a new phenomenon. It started long before the pandemic. I first debunked the hype in 2009 so it really isn't new. What has changed though is the speed with which
Over the years I must have heard every reason there is as to why accountants cannot get all of their clients to behave properly. Many still pay late and even more continue to ignore repeated requests to supply their accounting and tax data in good time. Rather than rehash the advice I
Were you in practice in 2011? That was when I wrote an article about client meetings in a year I described as "an era of video calls and social media"! That era was underway in 2011 but it took the pandemic in 2020 for everyone to start using video calls. As the latest
No doubt some accountants found January 2021 was worse then previous years, some will consider it about the same and some will have found it less pressured than previously. The one thing that most accountants will agree on is that, regardless of the impact of the pandemic, some clients are beyond help. Previously
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 that business
We've all had them. The client who sends a detailed letter/email listing a load of issues and problems. Sadly I can recall having the odd one or two such missives when I was in practice. I remember the feeling of indignation. The frustration at the unfairness of the accusations. The unreasonableness of
A journalist once surprised me with a question I wasn’t anticipating: “What is the worst mistake accountants can make when they are trying to ‘close’ a prospective client?” When I later reflected on my instinctive reply I was satisfied it contained good advice. Thinking about the issue subsequently I quickly constructed this
I like the 3 As - Acronyms, Acrostics and Alliteration. Here's a shorter than usual blog post to help you structure conversations with clients as we start to come out of lockdown: As with all your conversations with clients in recent months you obviously want to help them to sustain, rebuild and recover their
Recently I was asked to prepare a quick list of ten common tax mistakes that business owners should avoid. The length of the article in question didn't allow me to expand very much on the mistakes I listed. This is probably the closest I have come to writing about tax matters for
Imagine you've gone to buy a second hand car and, after checking it has all the features you want, you agree the price you'll pay with the vendor. You are thrilled. They promise to give it a clean and bring it around to your house a couple of days later. That's all
We know we need to treat every client individually even though we may assume that what they want and need is pretty much the same - in general terms at least. Clients like to be treated as individuals, listened to and treated as special. A common mistake many accountants make is to
With over 700 blog posts here I have revisited many topics and may well have repeated myself at times over the years. Today however I am revisiting a post that I shared just 2 months ago close to the start of the lockdown. At the time I had already seen a number
There has to be a special reason for me to include an interview on my blog. On this occasion I wanted to follow up on a conversation I had with Phil Dewar Durie after I spoke at a recent conference for an international association of accountants. Something he said quite excited me
Classic. Talking with a partner in a top 50 firm of accountants, I asked how they get most of their new clients. It was no surprise he answered 'referrals'. Many accountants and lawyers, claim that they secure most of their new work through word of mouth referrals. This suggests that clients are
'Many commentators seem almost contemptuous when talking about accountants who focus on the provision of compliance services'. That is the first line of a post I wrote on this blog OVER TEN YEARS AGO in June 2009. Back then I, quite justifiably as it transpires, predicted that those commentators were being unduly
When I consider what the future holds for accountants I find it helpful to look back at predictions made in the recent past. Many other commentators seem to be unaware of the difference between genuinely new innovations and those that are variations on a theme. This is one of the reasons why
After I recently delivered a talk about the future for accountants I was asked a popular question: Do you see increased automation as a threat or an opportunity for accountants? I explained that I don't like giving a simplistic answer - although, if forced, I would have to say that automation, as ever,
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
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
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.
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.
What is the real reason you are in practice as an accountant? This is a question many accountants struggle to answer when I ask them. Why do you do what you do? What is the first thing that comes to mind as to your motivation to be in practice as an accountant?