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.
David Whitson-Black: Global Head of Talent Development at Azets
Once a month, the Accounting Influencers podcast is featuring a prominent accounting leader. This month we interview David Whitson-Black, Group Head of Talent Development at Azets, an international business and one of the UK's top 10 accountancy firms. Starting his career in people development 18 years ago, David now leads Azets Talent development team across the UK and Europe.
David has strong experience in people development and has managed learning and development teams in the financial and professional service sectors. He is passionate about developing the best talent no matter where they are on their journey from early careers right through to senior management. His expertise ranges from leadership development to succession planning, talent strategy, coaching and mentoring, career pathing and performance management. Shownotes:
The symptoms of an accounting firm that require a learning and development function
Why there is more to an accounting role than technical competence
The reasons why many accountants stop their learning and developing (beyond technical) after they've achieved qualification
Why some accountants struggle to know what career they want or what's achievable with an accounting firm
The role of a career coach or mentor for accounting professionals to show them what's possible and take them on a journey they'll be fulfilled by
What it takes to launch an LandD function in an accounting firm and what components make up a strong LandD program
Why it's important to remain coachable and teachable if you want to inspire and mentor others in your role
The issue of boardroom or executive level influence for non-partners and heads of functions like HR and LandD in an accounting firm
The role of values in a strong accounting firm culture and why collaboration throughout the firm to shape them is critical
The frustration of motivating traditional accountants to change, upskill and adapt
How soft skills like business development and relationship building are vital in successful accounting firms
Why there are more challenges for accountants to win business now than ever before
What best practice recruitment looks like to bring the right kind of talent into your accounting firm
Insights into how good recruitment leads to a successful succession plan for accounting firms
How to best support the older, more experienced professionals in a growing accountancy firm
Words to inspire new recruits to your accounting firm and setting their expectations
A strong driver of corporate executive presence in a profession like accounting.
When not working David likes spending time with his family, records music (singing) and has an interest in graphic design.
Contact https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidblack79/ (David on LinkedIn)
How New Services Can Drive 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. Selected shownotes:
What being a 'high performing firm' really means in the accounting world, and why it goes beyond 'the numbers'
The different ways professional firms can grow and generate new revenues in the post-covid era
Why limiting your services really limits revenue opportunities for accounting firms
How additional services offer accounting firms and their employees a lot more than just new revenues
The biggest mistakes accounting firms make when introducing new service lines
How the 'compliance vz advisory' conversation drives the need for new additional accounting services
Why accountants struggle to price non-compliance services and what they can do about it
Simple examples of how accounting firms can position and price addition services
The key questions accounting firms should be asking when considering the introduction of an additional service
The importance of market research for accounting firms who want to offer clients some additional services
Why the busiest 'tax season' is actually the best time for accountants to uncover new revenue opportunities for their clients
Why many accounting firms are unrealistic about how quickly new services lines can be profitable
Examples of lucrative new service lines that accounting firms could offer their clients
A simple question accountants can ask their clients to kickstart new revenue conversations
How accounting firms can develop a culture of cross-selling and positioning additional services with multiple clients
What will happen to professional firms who reactively wait for growth without offering their clients additional services
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)
Effective Client Engagement for Growing Accounting Firms
Mark Jenkins has 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 Portal so 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:
A Message of Challenge & Hope for the Accounting Profession
Richard Brewin is a chartered accountant with 40 years of experience within the profession, as a successful practitioner in his own right and as an experienced mentor, coach, facilitator and speaker, specialising in owner managed professional accountancy firms frustrated by their progress.
Based on his own experiences, Richard’s goal is reinvigorating firms and their leaders, developing positive environments, instigating change, creating sustainable growth, lighting up exit routes and putting the fun back into the working day. He is co-founder of Progress Barnwell Brewin, creators of the ProgressBB mentoring group and Progress Foundations self-help online programme. Selected shownotes:
How to stay motivated as an accounting professional after many years 'in the game'
Contact Richard on https://www.linkedin.com/in/richard-brewin-fca-0aa62529/ (LinkedIn) or via his https://www.progressbb.co.uk/ (Progress BB website).
Kevin Harris: Office Managing Partner – RSM UK
Kevin Harris is the highly driven, passionate and visionary Office Managing Partner of top 10 UK accounting firm RSM. He also chairs the local Enterprise Partnership, responsible for generating economic growth in his region. Alongside these roles, he is a Non-Executive Board member of the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce and was President last year. Selected shownotes from this 'leaders special' interview:
A fascinating journey from qualifying accounting to top 10 firm managing partner
The mindset difference between most accountants (technical advisors) and their business owner clients (entrepreneurs)
What failing your accounting qualification by 1% or being made redundant can do to your mental resilience and career control
What accountants need to develop if they want more influence and a voice in an accounting firm
The frustrations and difficulties of working in an accounting firm with traditional partner hierarchies and structures
The futility of thinking you can make everybody happy when you lead any kind of professional firm or organisation
Tips for dealing with opposing views and people who want to challenge your leadership or ideas
How to avoid having to play the political game with multiple stakeholders in a professional firm
Striving for personal and work balance in an accounting firm leadership role, especially in a culture where hard work and long hours are expected
The importance of self-awareness, mental resilience and continued learning when leading a professional firm
An example of a big career risk and what can be learned from being courageous in an accounting leadership role
Where drive, motivation and fulfilment come from in leading a large accounting firm
Insights into how accounting firms grow and how many accountants shy away from the growth and entrepreneurial side of running a firm
Whether everyone in an accounting firm should be involved in business development
Why recruitment and retention of top talent is the biggest challenge in any accounting leadership role
The importance of selling a vision in accountancy to attract the right kind of talent and engagement
Advice to upcoming accounting firm leaders to build resilience, associating with the right people and being true to oneself.
Contact him https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-harris-776a3414/ (here on LinkedIn).
The Future of Offices & Cultures in Professional Firms
Paul Richmond leads The Gro Group which helps professional firms globally to drive culture, develop leaders and improve commercial performance. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant at KPMG. Over the last 20 years Paul has developed successful programmes for clients and been fortunate to work with some of the UKs leading organisations and enjoyed learning from Steven Covey, Tony Robbins, Meredith Belbin and Robert Diltz. Selected shownotes:
When not working, Paul is usually with family, dogs cats or in the shed building something. His preferred sports are tennis and cycling. You can contact him here: