How to lead a business in a turmoil environment
Regional accounting firms have been exceptionally busy attempting to keep up with client demands and finding the right tools to deliver more value-adding services. Most are struggling to get the real growth they desire because it’s difficult to; Find the time to make it focus Get the team to find and sell the opportunities Ensure […]
10000s of regional firms are going nowhere, not moving forward, or slowly going backward. Depending on which perspective one wants to view it from. Regardless of your viewpoint, a more significant fact is they know it and yet continue to operate as normal! Backwards? In the last 3 years, business coaches, consultants, and other advisory […]
Have accountants forgotten they are in business or do they think they are a community provider? Community providers have an obligation to provide services to all customers within their marketplace, it’s why there are usually not for profit by nature. What’s interesting is most regional accounting firms believe they must do the same! Be all […]
Firms leading the market in growth, understand that their business model has a lifespan, in fact, these firms attribute the success to changing their business model in the last 3 years. Managing partners whose firms achieve consistent growth understand there are many components that lead to growth in revenue and new clients, whilst most partners […]
My last two emails highlighted what’s happening within our industry and why partners are considering transitioning away from the compliance business model. Is the accounting industry complacent and that’s causing them to ignore a huge opportunity? Why 1000’s of firms are considering a change in business model! Today, I am going to address what is […]
In my last email, I addressed the question “Is the accounting industry complacent and that’s causing them to ignore a huge opportunity?”, and how the majority of firms are just not stepping up and leading our industry, therefore clients are looking outside the industry for services accountants should be doing. In this email, I am […]
The accounting industry has been exceptionally busy discovering and offering more value adding services. Yet, is it already too late for our industry? Should the industry have moved 5 years ago? Unfortunately, I hear too many times firms finding it impossible to scale value adding services, most are struggling to make it work efficiently and […]
Until Partners and senior practice decision makers of accounting firms can master the art of re-invention, they face going the way of the fax machine. The struggle to stay relevant amid industry changes and evolving client demands is a pressing one. In this article, Andrew Robertson shares his top three strategies for ensuring Accountants stay relevant and continue to prosper over the next decade.
In TA109 I discussed The REAL problem with Compliance Services. Today TA110 takes that discussion further with The REAL problem with Value Add Services. I’ll briefly cover some common, industry accepted problems before taking on what I think is the REAL problem that underlies and defines VAS implementation across Australia. It’s one that isn’t widely spoken about, and certainly doesn’t appear in current marketing messages or industry news.
Australian accounting businesses are exceptionally busy, most of the time. Despite ongoing warnings that compliance is dying, I think we are missing the anecdotal evidence suggesting it will disappear completely. The answer remains a focus on sustainable profitability.
It’s the time of year that everyone writes a budget. However, the Budget itself is often lacking a plan of action. Without preparing this plan, the budget is often doomed to failure. This week I’ll walk you through an exercise I call ‘Farming for Growth’, which is a powerful enabler of Budgets, and of implementing most plans of action. I also include a free download of my ‘Farming for Growth’ worksheet to help you track your growth.
Business Advisory work can be a hard sell to begin with, so the right strategy will make all the difference to your efforts and your results. This week I share two strategies that I used to prepare clients, my team and myself for selling and delivering VAS, including the outline for each offering, exactly why the strategy worked and how it affected the client and our firm.
Many Accountants have lost ground in the business advisory market, but I believe that we still hold an advantageous position in being able to provide this service to our clients, and profit from doing so.
A simple three phase process can help you implement value add services effectively while picking up additional client opportunities, engaging your key team members and increasing profitability. Plus, don’t miss the free Diagnostic Tool that will drive your success…
‘Busy season’ is even more hectic than usual and can leave firm Partners feeling depleted just trying to keep up with compliance deadlines. This doesn’t mean that your business advisory implementation should grind to a halt though. Partners who can continue to drive growth during busy season will be able to get further ahead than those who do not.
Until you master VAS implementation, your firm will be unable to delegate consistently, deliver value efficiently and improve profitability. This case study shows how we transformed one accounting business to achieve this, within 18 months, and while avoiding a multitude of growing pains.
Until Partners are able to consistently and effectively delegate value add work, their firms will struggle to become experts at business advisory and add true value to their clients. This week I talk about systemising delegation for accountants, the importance of investing time on your own expertise and how to make business advisory implementation easier.
Until you successfully implement VAS, your firm will be at risk of disappearing into a ‘sea of sameness’. Most firms today are still struggling to transition from the commoditised realm of compliance. We must change this, to not only secure our future in the industry, but to continue to grow and shape the nature of Australia’s financial future.
The Ten Year Strategic Vision is the most powerful tool in your accounting growth toolbox. It holds the power to both re-energise your motivation and to take the practical action that will result in the growth results you really want.
This is a summary of a podcast recorded with Kirk Bowman for The Art of Value series. We cover value pricing for accountants and the transition to value pricing. We also discuss effective pricing for accountants including key differences between compliance & business advisory firms.
Our clients have and continue to change. While this may have put the squeeze on traditional compliance, it is also creating great business opportunities for firms willing to respond. Here are two things you need to know about how your clients are changing, and the smartest ways for you to change in order to mitigate risks and capitalise on the opportunities.
What we can learn by comparing Australian Accounting firms with our global colleagues.
We all get too busy. But being too busy to hold your annual planning day can lead to stagnation and demotivation for you and your team. Plus, somehow it just seems to make you busier. This week Andrew delves into why skipping the annual strategy session is so bad, as well as all the great reasons for making it happen.
I know it’s been headlines for years, but I’m still seeing firms missing out on huge opportunities presented by new technologies. This frustrates me because I know how to turn the tides, how to harness the new and sometimes disruptive forces and make them work towards greater profits.
Client Relationships are harder to maintain than ever in 2015. Understanding why they are harder helps overcome the problem, so I discuss three top reasons. I then delve into specific strategies to cope with these that will help you build more profitable relationships with your existing clients.
While finding and keeping great people has always been a challenge, it’s becoming even harder. Our industry traditionally offers limited career options and this leaves the profession open to losing its best people for more money or career advancement. This week discusses why people are leaving and what you can do to ensure your firm is attracting and retaining the best people.
Scale-able revenue streams will transform the way your Accounting firm does business. Open the door to greater profits and ensure that all partners are engaged in high-value work they enjoy. I’ve included steps to get the process started, along with tips to ensure success.
Discover the five critical areas that I believe will determine the success of accounting firms over the next decade. Together they provide a formula for not only weathering unforeseen changes to our environment, but offer a roadmap to increased efficiency and profits. They are a formula for building Firms of the Future.
Could your Firm lower write offs? Are you missing out on cash profits because you’re focusing on the wrong areas of business? Use my formula for write ons and six methods for correcting write offs, that will make you an excellent practice management leader.
There are a bunch of practice performance topics that Accountants find hard to talk about. Addressing them can be even harder. This week I share four solutions, each with widespread benefits to Partners, their Teams and the entire Practice.
In my time I’ve heard dozens of partners talk about what they think is the issue for their firm. What I‘ve learned though is that while there are a bunch of issues partners may say are the problems, but the real problems can be even harder to talk about.
Are you avoiding growth? It’s common for many Principals and Partners to actually avoid growing their firms because they are already working too hard. Find out how this reluctance can shape your business goals and be turned to your advantage. Doing so opens the doors to greater profit, and greater freedom from day-to-day work.
Part 7 of KickStart Change series covers ‘Four Ways to Gain & Build Strong Momentum in Your Change Implementation’. Here are four practical ways that I’ve used for both my own implementation and my clients. Each strategy is designed to keep you moving towards your growth goals in a sustainable manner and is designed to implement straight away to your success.
This week Andrew reveals five critical areas of business and the figures that allow you to track your growth and improve your decision making. Each section includes a comprehensive wrap on why you need to figures and what insights they give you, as well as prompting you with further questions to measure how your firm is currently managing that area.
Resistance to change is the single biggest factor that stops our growth.
Resistance to change is the single biggest factor that stops our growth. In Part 4 we look at how Partnerships can complicate the decision to change and the speed at which changes can be implemented. I also share the top two strategies I use to manage change within multi-partner firms.
Resistance to change is the single biggest factor that stops our growth. In Part 3 I’m going to address concern about negative reactions from your clients.
Our resistance to change is the single biggest factor that inhibits our growth. The second barrier I’m looking at in this series is that Traditional Industry Patterns DO NOT Support Change. Find out how to overcome this, future proof your practice and grow profitability.
Resistance to change is the single biggest factor that stops our growth. Part 2 of 6 series looking at the keys to change for accountants.
Resistance to change is the single biggest factor that stops our growth.
This TA is based on conversations I’m having with prospects about why they need to be at #PGFFeb.
Unleashing the power of your partnership is crucial to achieving the personal and business goals that you want. (My own experience taught me that getting us all onboard was the best first step we could take to achieving 50% profitability.) Read for: 4 Signs Your Practice Growth Has Stalled, a case study PLUS my own story about overcoming partnership differences to build a premium practice, Signs Your Partnership Can Improve, and my tips to getting started on improving your partnership.
Big picture: A vision of what you want in the end is vital. Without this, you’re never going to get there. But it’s worth noting that plans do change. As mistakes are made, you what you’ve learned to the next plan, ensuring that you don’t make the same mistake again.
This week I share a 26 point list of accomplishments, why they were important and how you can learn from them to fast track your own growth.
Every accountant is trying to buy something that they can roll out as a Value Add Service to their clients. Every software producer is doing the same. Inevitably this means that Accountants end up buying tools that then sit on the shelf, under utilised, or unopened. I did exactly the same thing when I was in practice, and I bet many of you have done it too. Here is my guide to buying tools that will add value to your clients and your bottom line.
This week I’m wrapping up the 2014 Thought Activator series with the ultimate list.
This 26 point checklist combines my practice experience with an understanding of today’s market. It is the ultimate guide to what Accountants need to cross off in order to achieve 50% profitability in 2015.
Avoid some common mistakes by understanding how they happen, and follow my step-by-step method for formulating a growth plan that can achieve 30% growth in a year. The beauty of this plan is that it forecasts activities, involves the entire team and allows you to remain strategic during busy times.
One simple concept that costing you money, and we are all guilty of it
Last week I covered a specific, and fundamental mistake that firms make in the hiring process, when they do not hire according to roles required by the business to expand. This week, I’m going to look at how you can turn existing team members into a successful team. This strategy can utilise the great people you already have, and help turn them into solution providers, instead of processors of day-to-day work.
When Accountants decide to grow, they know they need more people on the team to increase capacity. Unfortunately, there are some fundamental mistakes that can be made at this point. Ones that not only inhibit your growth, but may well set you back many months when they do not work out. Fortunately, these can be avoided by applying a little growth strategy before you begin hiring.
Find out how the leader of the MotoGP competition is winning based on his consistent performance, week to week, and how Accountants can apply the same lessons to achieve their growth goals. I’ve included a Performance Management checklist for you to follow and questions that allow you to assess how consistent you are.
This week I’m discussing exactly how a firm can increase capacity with a successful outsourcing strategy. I’ll explain the types of outsourcing available to the Accounting industry, walk you through a real life case study and then give you three questions to ask yourself in order to determine the best approach for your firm.
This week I follow on from last to discuss how to turn market threats into opportunities, and why I think this means we should be offering more value to clients.
The busy time of year means most firms are head down focusing on breaking the back of the compliance workload before Christmas. This week I suggest four questions that help proactive partners to remain strategic even in the busiest of times.
Productising your practice calls for preempting the underlying issues beneath standard issues. Preempting client issues means you have a clearer understanding of the right solution.
Accountants don’t need yet another education product that only tells them how to do it. I believe they need an implementation coach who will actually walk them through the action necessary to achieve the growth they desire. In the words of Pink Floyd “We don’t need no education”. I have noticed that most accountants are […]
This TA is based on a common mistake – trying to ‘upsell’ Clients into larger products & services
It may sound counterintuitive that hiring more staff does not grow your practice. In fact, it may have a detrimental effect on your growth. This week I look at the mistakes made in trying to grow by hiring more staff, and show you how to make strategic growth decisions that allow greater profits, free up partner time and achieve ultimate practice growth.
In dealing with a recent partnership breakup, I made a list of the attributes of great partnerships, and how they differ to average ones. Making your partnership great helps build Premium Practices, whilst improving the experience of the whole team.
This week is a bit of a rant about coaching models. Whilst group coaching is on trend, I have made the specific decision not to take my business down this path.
Over previous weeks I’ve talked a lot about the two different practice models – here is a side-by-side summary of the two, and a tool for diagnosing where your firm sits on the scale between Compliance and VAS Delivery.
Moving from being the accountant to being the business advisor is a must for all accounting firms, this week’s discussion looks at why.
Do you have an effective growth plan for true leverage, or is growth something that you take for granted in your practice? An effective growth plan is like creating a blueprint for the practice of your dreams. This week I’m looking at exactly why Growth Plans are so effective, and cover some of the basics of creating one for your situation. As well as giving some immediate tips, I’ll also tell you about two opportunities in the near future to work on your practice growth.
Our inaugural event, Near & Distant Stars received great feedback from delegates. This week Andrew Robertson shares key insights from the speakers and talks about a fundamental mindset shift that became the focus of discussions.
Yesterday (7th May), I had the pleasure of interviewing Damien, a partner in a regional firm doing 50% in value add work and turning over approx $5m.
Here’s what you missed if you couldn’t make the live call…
I recently asked these questions of Damien, managing partner of a $5m firm with 50% of their income coming from value add services
A proven framework for practice acceleration should guide your overall growth strategy, whilst ‘trial and error’ is a necessary mechanism for tweaking and enhancing the finer points of your client delivery model. This week I show you how to use both to achieve immediate growth in your practice.
An unforgettable service experience turned me into a life-long customer at a coffee shop, and taught me an invaluable lesson on how to unlock value add services to our Accounting practice, and increase our average client fee from the existing database.
Yesterday I faced the wrath of my very distraught and angry daughter. Picking my daughter up from school at the scheduled time, I arrived right on time. Unfortunately, a storm hit that cause rain to fall in bucket loads that absolutely drench everything. She had waited 2 1/2 minutes in that storm saturated and looking for someone to let go at, I got both barrels.. for […]
Over twenty five years in my own practice I learned that there are five activities essential to ensuring the growth of an accounting Firm.
Last week I talked about how we as accountants and business owners are low on time and have over-crowded to-do lists. This week I got my own jolt about just how important it is to make time now.
Last week’s Thought Activator discussed how critical it is to get your Foundation Platform in place in order to implement Value Add Services in your firm. This week continues on building this platform by looking at how valuable time is.
In order to deliver Value Add Services (VAS), it is critical to get the foundation platform of your accounting practice right. But what does “getting it right” mean? This week’s article looks at how I did this for my own firm, and continue to do so for Clients today.
As a school boy 100m sprinter, my sprint coach drilled into me how important it was to set up each race by making a strong start out of the blocks.
The simple fact is that a strong start provides a cascade of benefits, for runners and accountants alike.
We have all heard the saying – businesses don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. And yet a large percentage of accounting practices do not have a written practice plan. This makes me shake my head in frustration. There are really no legitimate excuses for not having a documented practice plan, in my view, […]
Andrew Robertson is the Mentor Coach having practical experience of the implementation of the 26 Group service offering. Andrew has worked and advised within the accounting industry for twenty five years. Having successful managed an accountancy practice for ten of those years. During this time, Andrew was a key driver in moving the practice from a […]