If there was ever an award for the most obvious predictions in finance, I might have won with those that I made in 2009.
At the end of my presentation at the Mercia Partners’ conference, I did, as I had been asked, and offered my predictions as to what would happen in the coming two years. I said;
• There will be numerous changes that will impact your practice.
• There will be new challenges to overcome.
• There will be new opportunities to exploit.
Looking back it’s hard to imagine why I bothered. In effect, all I was saying was that we don’t really know what’s coming next.
To be fair though, in my presentation I had also offered my traditional counter-balance to those commentators who constantly warned of gloom and doom. And of the need to change the way you do things “NOW” or allow your practice to fail. I asserted strongly (and accurately, as it turned out) that none of those changes would have an immediate impact on smaller firms of accountants.
Since then lots has changed. But equally little has changed in that we still have commentators telling accountants that you are about to lose huge swathes of clients, that you must invest in (their) new products and that you will have to make significant changes to your business models.
In reality the changes will not impact you overnight. They never do.
Looking back it’s clear there have been some major changes in the way the profession operates since 2009 and there are more to come. But it’s no wonder so many accountants are a little complacent.
None of the dire warnings I was (accurately) debunking in 2009 came to pass. There is still plenty of time now to adapt to take advantage of the changes afforded by cloud accounting packages (that were in their infancy back then). And the impact of AI is not (yet) right around the corner.
Nevertheless, if you want to grow your practice it is clear to me that you will find this easier if you develop your skills to provide more higher value advisory services. It will be become increasingly more difficult to build a sustainable and profitable practice if you continue to focus only on offering basic compliance services.
The accountants who choose to work with me, to secure their future success, know they can trust me to avoid the hype they hear elsewhere. They know I’ll help them on their journey and help them avoid needless and premature investments. And they know I’ll also help them to be ready for the changes yet to come – including those yet to be identified. How prepared are you for what’s coming?