The Accounting Influencers podcast is for progressive accounting firms and the people that lead them, work in them and serve them. In each weekly episode, BD Academy founder and top accounting growth specialist Rob Brown interviews world class accounting leaders and global influencers about what makes the good accounting firms great and the good accountants world class.
Guests are either:
1. PRACTITIONERS: firm-wide leaders, managing partners, CEOs, seasoned rainmakers or top BD and marketing directors of larger accounting firms and the networks they are a part of.
2. THOUGHT LEADERS: accounting profession influencers, disrupters and thought leaders who advise, train, serve and speak into the accounting profession. Some are experts (commentators, authors, consultants). Others are in business (suppliers, vendors and partners to accounting firms).
Guests are asked questions such as:
✓ What makes the good accounting firms great?
✓ What do the progressive, thriving accounting firms do well?
✓ How are the top accounting firms standing out, winning work and achieving growth?
✓ What are the trends, stats and critical issues shaping larger accounting firms?
✓ What makes a top performer, work winner or promotable accountant in an accounting firm?
Topics discussed include growth, digital, legacy, value, leadership, succession, culture, BD, marketing, positioning, branding, differentiation, mindset, technology, recruitment, trends, disrupters and opportunities.
Show details here: https://bdacademy.pro/podcasts/
BD Academy founder Rob Brown works with larger accounting firms and sales-oriented accountants to increase their work winning or BD capability. His unique BD Academy program is a year long curriculum of inhouse training and work winning strategies that creates an army of confident, effective and strategic work winners in large accounting firms.
One top 40 accounting firm has just added £3m of new work from the BDA program (made up of advisory, compliance and cross-selling fees), which represents £20m+ in lifetime value to the firm. From their largely rural, agricultural and manufacturing client base, this represents a stellar impact on revenue.
For more about the BD Academy, and to set up a Possibility Chat with Rob to explore whether this might be a fit for you or your firm, go to https://bdacademy.pro/about/
Finally, if you’d like to be a guest on the Accounting Influencers podcast, or there’s someone you feel we should feature, connect with host Rob Brown on LinkedIn or Twitter @therobbrown.
Essential Career Skills for the Modern Day Accountant
Mark Jenkins has had over 20 years in Public Practice in New Zealand. In 2014, he sold his firm so that he could focus on his true passion – helping accountants to accelerate small business success.
Mark joined forces with Viv Brownrigg, together creating The Gap so that Accounting firms throughout NZ, Australia and the UK can use Business Development content to maximise income without having to re-invent the wheel. Selected shownotes:
In his downtime, Mark likes nothing more than getting up at the crack of dawn, pulling out his kayak, catching, filleting and BBQing his catch of the day. Contact him here:
Nick Muir: Managing Partner of MGR
Sam Allred is a qualified CPA and founder of Upstream Academy. He has been regularly recognized as one of the major influencers in the accounting profession and has been listed as one of Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting and as one of IPA’s Most Recommended Consultants. He is one of the most sought-after speakers in the accounting profession and is viewed as one of their top strategic thinkers. Shownotes:
What separates the good accounting firms from the great, especially in tough times
What a strong culture of high performance and a staff of raving fans looks like in a good accounting firm
Question answered: do high performing firms recruit high performing people or develop good people into high performers?
Shoutout to 'The Ideal Team Player - How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues' by Patrick Lencioni (and what those essential values are)
What defines high performance or 'best in class' in professional firms and what research data supports it
The 6 areas of discipline demonstrated by all high performing accounting firms
Why financial performance is only a small part of what makes an accounting firm successful and high performing
Why every firm and every accounting partner can be high performing - it's not the normal distribution curve of poor, average and good
How the covid pandemic and remote working has exposed some accounting firms who lack a high performing culture and strong processes
What high performing leaders in an accounting firm set examples and drive culture in caring for their people and clients
Why it's almost impossible to be a high performing professional in a low performing accounting firm over any length of time
The dilemma for accomplished partners fighting against poor performance who are too invested in a poor firm to contemplate leaving
How to properly discern whether an accounting firm is worth joining or working for before you're hired
The signs from the outside that an accounting firm is high performing
The main thing accounting firms and accounting individuals need to start down the road of becoming 'best in class'
Critical questions accounting professionals and leaders should ask themselves to assess whether they are or could be considered a high performer
The kind of results high performing firms have achieved in a pandemic year and how they will continue to dominate in 2021
What all accounting firms are most looking forward to as they emerge from covid restrictions.
Sam and his wife, Marlene, live outside of Park City, Utah. His hobbies include spending time with his family, fly fishing and golf. Sam and Marlene have seven children. Contact him here:
Why Authority Is Important for Accounting Professionals
Rob Brown is a former high school maths teacher and now founder of the Business Development Academy, which trains busy accountants and similar service professionals to be confident, effective work winners. He speaks internationally on growth, succession, trust, likeability, reputation, collaboration, mental resilience and sales for professional firms and networks.
He is also in demand as an online an and in person chair, moderator, interviewer, MC and event host for conferences and virtual events internationally. Rob is the bestselling author of Build Your Reputation (Wiley) and his TED talk ‘The Personal Brand of You’ has been viewed 250K times on Youtube.
He hosts the popular weekly https://bdacademy.pro/podcasts/aip/ (Accounting Influencers podcast) that interviews a range of influencers, vendors and experts who serve the accounting community to ask what makes the good firms and accountants great. Selected shownotes:
Announcing the launch of a monthly slot for show host Rob Brown on Accounting Influencers to round up wisdom from the show's expert interviewees
Upcoming podcast themes, including future proofing your career and your firm, post covid recovery strategies, client experience, loyalty, changes in the buyer journey, positioning and pricing of your services, opening up new services and markets, winning new business and standing out in competitive environments
How covid has magnified the good and the bad in accounting firms
The difference in accounting firms who have stepped up and those who have slipped behind
The two things the best accounting firms have invested in during the pandemic, and continue to do so to accelerate their recovery
How some accounting firms got their communication and thought leadership all wrong when covid hit the world
The upsides of the pandemic and what many firms got right to make the most of a tough situation
The downsides that nobody could really avoid, including mental health, zoom fatigue, lack of human contact and deterioration of 'in person' social skills
The outlook for the accounting profession globally in what is likely to be a very tough 2021
Where the opportunities will be for accountants and their firms in the next 12 months
Why growth and recovery are now top of the agenda in the boardrooms of accounting firms
Shout out to the https://bdacademy.pro/podcasts/alp/ (Accounting Leaders podcast) which interviews managing partners and heads of functions in large accounting firms, plus leaders of global accounting networks/alliances/associations to talk about their journey, their leadership and career stories and their take on what's happening in the accounting world right now.
Access free 30 min video training: https://bdacademy.pro/accountants/ (Winning Business in Tough Times>>)
Contact Rob here:
The Benefits of Data Analytics for Accounting Firm Growth
Jeremy Clopton led the Big Data and Analytics and Digital Forensics practices in one of the top accounting firms in the US. He created the SQ Method, a framework designed to help firms overcome challenges and more successfully leverage technology and move firms forward. He is a faculty member for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and believes in data and technology's potential to transform firm practice management, leadership, and culture. Shownotes:
What data analytics actually means for accounting firms
How accounting deals with more data from both clients and firms than most other industries
How the game of data analytics in accounting has changed over the years
Why excel is a data analytics tool, even though it may not be the best one
How big data is now so overwhelming for accountants and how they can deal with it
The power of asking the right questions before analysing data properly in accountancy firms
The power of story-telling for accountants to make data come to life
How different stakeholders in the accounting set up need different things from the same data
The role technology plays today in analysing huge amounts of data
The number one area data analytics can help accounting firms be more profitable and efficient
The possibilities for accounting firms of establishing new service lines with data analytics
Where accountants should get started in adding data analytics as a service to their clients
The importance of measuring progress towards objectives, KPIs, goals and targets using data
Who should be playing with the data in an accounting firm - the tech people or the fee earners?
The big mistake accountants make in falling short as advisors with the data they produce
The trap of over-complicating data analytics and not communicating the key actions
Words of encouragement for leaders in accounting firms who want to drive a better data analytics agenda
Jeremy is also passionate about employee engagement and the value brought by each generation in the workforce. An avid reader, he says Patrick Lencioni, Brené Brown, Daniel Pink, and Scott Berkun have influenced his leadership style. Beyond books, he is a fan of TED curated content and cites Shonda Rhimes' TED2016 talk 'My Year Of Saying Yes To Everything' as one of the most influential talks of his career. Outside of work, Jeremy enjoys spending time with his wife, Katie, three innately curious daughters, a lazy golden retriever, and two energetic toy Australian shepherds. He enjoys running, golf, and helping his wife run a non-profit organization. Contact him here:
http://upstreamacademy.com/ (Website and blog)
The Power of Key Performance Indicators for Accountants
Bernie Smith coaches businesses to develop meaningful KPIs and present their management information in the clearest possible way to support good decision making. Frustrated by the random way in which performance measures are often chosen and implemented, Bernie set up Made to Measure KPIs in 2007. He has since authored author of 19 KPI books to share simple, structured and repeatable ways to create KPIs that normal humans could design and use to improve businesses. Selected shownotes:
What a KPI or key performance specialist actually does
The benefits of KPIs for accounting firms and the business clients they serve
The power of KPIs to support business clients with advisory services
Shout out to The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande and how checklists make KPIs more accessible
The importance of KPIs to breakdown and execute strategic objectives
The challenges and best practice tips for measuring intangible objectives like culture and client engagement
Top tips to gain buy-in for KPI thinking with the clients of or the staff in an accounting firm
How visual dashboards can show how KPIs are working and the mistakes accountants make with dashboards
Why traffic light approached to KPIs do not work and why they should be avoided
The similarities and differences between covid stats and business KPIs
Why KPIs are only as good as the data they are based on
How personal or health KPIs can help professionals with work life balance and wellbeing
The role of micro-habits and small KPIs in bringing about larger scale change
How accountants can add value to their clients by delivering content (workshops, webinars) on KPIs
A great KPI example around 'lifetime value of activity' which can really move the dial
A great KPI example that drives client loyalty and engagement.
Using the experience (and scars) of working with a huge variety of organisations over his consulting career, spanning banking (HSBC, Credit Suisse, UBS), aerospace (Airbus, AirTanker, Leonardo), and even cheesemaking, Bernie has boiled that experience down into simple, sensible and practical advice on performance measurement. When not working, Bernie is a keen hill walker, photographer and technology enthusiast. At any given point he has at least half a dozen over-ambitious and incomplete technology projects on the go. Contact him here:
http://madetomeasurekpis.com (Website and blog)
Martin Bissett: Founder of Upward Spiral Professionals
Once a month, the Accounting Influencers podcast is featuring a prominent accounting leader. This month host Rob Brown interviews Martin Bissett about his life, his journey, his stories and insights from over 20 years advising accounting firms, networks and associations globally.
Martin features in Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential List and has authored 9 books for the accounting profession, including Passport to Partnership, content from which has been adopted into the curriculum of AAT Level 3 courses, and taught in selected UK colleges and US CPA Societies. He has also spoken to audiences from over 40 nations on 4 continents.
He has been retained by Accountingweb and the International Accounting Bulletin as a judge of their prestigious awards. He also regularly writes for Accounting Today, AccountingWeb, CPA Practice Advisor and Chartered One. In addition, he has featured on on many international expert panels and guested on professional podcasts in the US, UK, and Australia.
Martin is constantly driving the accounting profession to adopt an advisory role towards clients moving away from compliance in order to create sustainable businesses, high levels of financial literacy in SMEs and therefore take the financial pressure off SME owner’s home lives.
He is a lifelong supporter of Hibernian Football Club in Scotland, and as a committed philanthropist, he connects all of his business and personal income to giving activities and charitable causes.
You can connect with him here: