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

By |2019-10-08T10:17:29+01:00October 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+01:00September 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

Are you undermining your credibility by being too modest?

By |2019-08-20T11:11:24+01:00August 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

How self confident are you, really?

By |2019-04-30T20:54:32+01:00April 30th, 2019|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Conversational impact, Experience and expertise, Marketing and promotion, Networking, Sole practitioners|

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

Solving your recruitment and resourcing challenges

By |2019-04-16T10:31:13+01:00April 16th, 2019|Accountants, Future, Outsourcing, Productivity, Recruitment, Servicing clients, Sole practitioners, Strategy|

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

Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction

By |2018-11-20T16:48:23+00:00November 20th, 2018|Accountants, Business advice, Cloud accounting, Conversational impact, Experience and expertise, Future, Servicing clients, Sole practitioners|

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

Debunked: Building brand awareness for your accountancy practice

By |2018-10-11T09:49:19+01:00October 9th, 2018|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Linkedin, Marketing and promotion, Sole practitioners, STANDING OUT, Twitter|

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 the options when you need help with client work?

By |2019-04-16T09:52:31+01:00October 2nd, 2018|Accountants, Outsourcing, Productivity, Recruitment, Servicing clients, Sole practitioners|

When you need additional help with client work in your office, do you look beyond the idea of simply recruiting a new member of staff? Many of the smaller accountants I speak with are struggling to do everything themselves. And those who have regular help, want more but are reluctant to take on

What are you really ‘selling’ as an Accountant?

By |2018-09-16T16:44:37+01:00September 18th, 2018|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Experience and expertise, Marketing and promotion, Networking, Sole practitioners, STANDING OUT, Starting out|

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

What’s the best way for an accountant to win new clients?

By |2019-01-15T09:16:02+00:00September 11th, 2018|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Experience and expertise, Marketing and promotion, Social Media, Sole practitioners, STANDING OUT, Strategy|

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

Are you a specialist or a generalist accountant?

By |2018-07-23T15:56:13+01:00July 24th, 2018|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Career development, Marketing and promotion, Sole practitioners|

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

Key ways to improve profitability

By |2018-05-22T23:05:41+01:00April 17th, 2018|Accountants, Inner Circle, Pricing, Productivity, Sole practitioners|

At last week's meeting of The Inner Circle for Accountants our headline discussion topic was: "Improving the profitability of your practice" I offered an early observation that “If you don’t have profitable clients, you don’t have a profitable practice”. What I mean by this is that if your clients do not generate a profit for you,

Debunked: The one thing you must do….

By |2017-12-12T10:31:22+00:00December 12th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Marketing and promotion, Sole practitioners|

A popular approach to getting your attention (and often your money) is to instruct you that there is 'one thing' you must do. What do they say? Many journalists, consultants and sales people assert that there is just 'one thing' you must do to remain in practice, to generate new clients, to increase your fees or

How can accountants use Linkedin for marketing purposes?

By |2017-12-05T09:06:51+00:00December 5th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Linkedin, Social Media, Sole practitioners|

This was the headline to a question I was asked recently. I have summarised the question below and expanded on my reply and advice as this may help other accountants too. Question How can accountants use LinkedIn for marketing purpose? I have a company page, I have a profile, I am in some groups but

Cloud accounting – Do you lead your clients or let them lead you?

By |2017-11-22T11:38:12+00:00November 22nd, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Cloud accounting, Experience and expertise, Productivity, Servicing clients, Sole practitioners, Starting out|

This is the first of what I anticipate will become a series of cloud accounting related blog posts. Back in 2009 I disagreed with those commentators who were warning accountants about an urgent need to embrace cloud accounting technology. The alternative, warned these merchants of doom, was that accountants who failed to embrace the cloud

WHO do you need to stand out from?

By |2017-09-05T09:30:57+01:00September 5th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Experience and expertise, Social Media, Sole practitioners, STANDING OUT, Starting out|

One of my talks for accountants, and much of the advice I share generally, concerns WHY it's important to STAND OUT from your competitors - and HOW easy this is to do when you put your mind to it. A related question I've never really addressed in detail is WHO do you need to STAND

“What tools do you recommend to help a sole practitioner stand out?”

By |2017-08-01T09:18:19+01:00August 1st, 2017|Accountants, Facebook, Linkedin, Reputation, Sole practitioners, STANDING OUT, Twitter|

This was another question I was asked during a recent interview. This post is drawn from the notes I made before giving my answer on air. Many accountants and bookkeepers reference their best source of new business as being referrals and recommendations. So let's deal with this first. Tools I would recommend here include: Linkedin

3 lessons for accountants from….. personal trainers

By |2017-07-11T10:56:09+01:00July 11th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Career development, Experience and expertise, Reputation, Servicing clients, Sole practitioners|

I recently heard John Hardy the Founder of FASTER Health and Fitness introduce his business.  He mentioned he throught there were similarities with accountants. I have taken what he said and adapted it to provide some lessons for accountants from the business side of personal training and fitness. 1  Personality John has noted that a

“None of my clients want anything more than the basics”

By |2019-01-21T09:31:30+00:00May 9th, 2017|Accountants, Business messaging and branding, Servicing clients, Sole practitioners, STANDING OUT|

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 not value such

Sole practitioners – what can you do when your clients are too tough on you?

By |2018-03-14T22:44:02+00:00October 19th, 2016|Accountants, Servicing clients, Sole practitioners|

Many an otherwise savvy sole practitioner tells me about similar problems with their client base. "They won't pay higher fees, they don't want additional services and they leave everything to the last minute" If you have clients like this, you're not alone. Often it's a direct consequence of how desperate you were to take on

How much personality should sole practitioners put into their practice?

By |2018-10-09T18:31:48+01:00July 25th, 2016|Accountants, Appearance, Conversational impact, Dependability and trust, Linkedin, Sole practitioners, STANDING OUT, Twitter|

I was asked two related questions during a recent interview. This post is drawn from the notes I made before giving my answers on air. 1. With so many businesses competing with each other online, has it become more important to put more personality into your practice? The smaller your practice the more important