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.
Tips to Help Accounting Firms Gain ROI from Marketing
Mike Crook is the Managing Director of the award-winning marketing agency PracticeWeb which has worked exclusively with accounting firms for more than 20 years. Under his leadership, PracticeWeb has gone from strength to strength, from winning awards for their results focused digital marketing, to entering into powerful partnerships with fintech firms and with the ACCA.
Mike has almost two decades of experience under his belt as a digital marketing and business transformation strategist, with clients including HSBC, Zurich Financial, Peugeot and Triumph Motorcycles. He is an expert in every aspect of digital marketing from brand building to website development, with a particular interest in the power of market research, test driven marketing and data to deliver results. Shownotes:
How marketing has changed to become more complex and more data driven over the years
The downside for buyers in the B2B space who are hit with so many marketing messages from professional firms
What marketing actually means for accounting firms and what good marketing should do
What you need to be the best choice for people looking for your services
How much professional firms rate marketing and where it lies as a priority for most accountants
The biggest excuse accounting firms give for not investing in marketing, and how it doesn't hold up under scrutiny
Why accounting firms who claim to grow by referral might be making a big mistake
What accounting firms get wrong when it comes to investing in marketing, and where money gets wasted
How some marketing agencies and experts sell their services and methods as silver bullets but with one important thing missing
The dangers for accounting firms of of starting a marketing campaign or strategy and thinking short term only
What accounting firms are missing out on by not investing in digital marketing
How inhouse marketers in accounting firms struggle to internally sell the benefits of marketing
The steps to turning marketing into tangible targets and activities
The advantages of being data driven with digital marketing for accounting firms
Why the smart accounting firms invest in marketing earlier rather than later
Key considerations for an accounting firm to hire in external marketing resource and expertise to grow
How the marketing strategy acts as a roadmap for accounting firms to execute on for growth
How everyone in a professional firm can contribute to the marketing efforts
Contact Mike here:
Website and blog (https://www.practiceweb.co.uk/)
Mike on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelcrook/)
Growth Insights for Accounting Firms in Tough Times
Gale Crosley was selected one of the 10 Most Recommended Consultants in the Inside Public Accounting BEST OF THE BEST for the fourteenth year, and one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting by Accounting Today for the thirteenth consecutive year. She consults with mid-market accounting firms, assisting managing partners, partners, and marketing directors, to effectively increase their firm’s revenues.
Gale’s 35 plus years of experience features a unique combination as a practicing CPA at Arthur Andersen, PwC, and a local CPA firm. She has also held senior management roles in business development and marketing in the cutting edge technology environment with IBM, MCI and several start-up technology companies. Shownotes:
Why the most significant changes in the accounting profession have occurred in the last 5-7 years
How growth and technology are connected in the accounting world
How the cloud really changed the game for accounting firm growth
What is stopping accounting firms from innovating and adopting new technology
How the covid world has impacted further the deep changes that were happening in professional firms
How accountants and CPAs cope with change compared to the rest of the world
How covid has affected the technology firms rely on to grow revenue
Why accountants no longer have to be face to face with prospects to win new business
Why the networking and referral approach to winning business is outdated
The new phase of referral generation for accountants and CPAs in a covid world
How a growth consultant transforms an accounting firm
The key skills many accountants lack in moving from technicians to consultants and advisors
Who the real competition are for accounting firms who want to grow
The areas where accounting firms are losing market share and missing out on growth due to external competition
The danger signs of complacency with accounting firms behaving like fat cats
Shout out to Bill Reeb and Tommye Barie of the Success Institute
Contact Gale here:
Website and blog (https://www.crosleycompany.com/)
Gale on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/galecrosley/)
People Development Best Practice for Accounting Firms
Tommye Barie is a recently retired partner of one of the 100 largest full-service accounting and consulting firms in the US. Her thought leadership on culture, strategy and innovation led to Tommye being recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in the accounting profession, as published in Accounting Today.
She is a past Chair of the Board of the American Institute of CPAs and is actively involved in the international accounting profession. She currently represents the United States as a board member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). The IFAC is a global organization supporting the development of and promoting the adoption and implementation of high-quality international standards.
Bill Reeb is a CPA and has been consulting for three decades in the areas of strategy, leadership and change management. He d became a CPA in 1986. An award-winning public speaker, Bill and his partner, Dom Cingoranelli, have co-authored Securing the Future: Building Your Firm’s Succession Plan and Securing the Future: Implementing Your Firm’s Succession Plan.
Bill is past Chair of the Board of the AICPA, is a current and past member of the Board of Directors and Council, and past Commissioner on the National Accreditation Commission. He also serves as an advisory board member to several organizations, including CPAFMA.
Accounting Today has recognized his efforts by listing him as one of the Top 100 Most Influential CPAs. CPA Magazine has named him as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Practitioners, and Inside Public Accounting has listed him as one of the top 10 most recommended CPA firm consultants.
Proof that accountants are actually 'people people' and why accountants are actually NOT unique in what they do
The problem of accountability in professional firms and the importance of knowing who your real boss is
The biggest shortcoming in professional firms of any size
The vital role of competences for people development in accounting firms
The problem caused by accounting fee-earners being technically strong or soft skills strong, but not both
What will happen to those accountants who are not willing or able to be coached or developed in their firm
Why people's goals should be tied to performance in an accounting firm
The big reason most accountants don't know how to manage people
The 5 core skills that modern day accountants need to be successful
What gets 70% of accountants promoted and what makes 80% of them fail
The role of culture in developing a coaching, development mentality in accounting firms
The one thing that makes you money in your accounting role
Why 'not having the time' is a bad excuse for professionals who avoid doing what needs doing in a firm
The difference between subjective and objective goals for accounting professionals
What leaders in professional firms are really responsible for
Exactly what accountability means when leading and managing your people
Why self motivation doesn't work in professional firms who want to grow
What makes performance evaluations or development reviews fail in professional service firms
The biggest challenge accounting firms face in developing their people
The two main areas that require investment in the future for accounting firms to succeed
Why technology is now a key component of the accounting qualification, at least in the US
Why accountants must move from the data and information space to the knowledge and decision space
Why the accounting profession is the greatest there is
What causes complacency and lack of change in accounting firms
Tommye has always placed importance on leveraging her leadership skills and experiences to influence the lives of young professionals. Throughout her career she has mentored and guided women and men in her own firm and in the many firms she has worked with throughout the United States. Bill enjoys a number
Negotiating & Pricing Strategies for Accountants & CPAs
Malcolm Smith has a background in science and marketing which gives him unique insights into how businesses negotiate, transact and develop. Today he employs this considerable expertise through a portfolio of non-executive directorships and owned businesses.
He is a keynote lecturer on Leadership, Project Management, Negotiation, Influencing and Consultative Selling at London Business School, Cass Business School, Oxford University SAID Business School and Cambridge University Judge Business School. Shownotes:
How accountancy compares to other sectors in commoditising its offering, and what is driving that move
The main reason accountants charge by the hour and why they shouldn't
How even the revered doctors and general medical practitioners have become commoditised through availability of knowledge
Why accounting compliance has become less valued in the eyes of clients
The major downside for accountants of becoming commoditised and undifferentiated
How advanced tech like AI can allow you to be profitable as a commodity in accounting
The dangers of 'proximity bias' that causes accountants to undervalue their skills
Tips for accounting firms to expand their core offerings into advising and consulting services
An example of what 'proactive brilliance' looks like for an accountant
The best way to find out what your 'value-adds' are as an accounting firm
The benefits of asking your clients why they choose you and building your accounting firm's proposition around the answers
The three value disciplines in a professional firm that allow you to charge premium fees
The biggest cost in running an accounting firm, and why your fees need to reflect that
The big mistake poor negotiators make when handling fee conversations with their accounting clients or prospects
Why non-F2F negotiation is more difficult than being in the same room as people
The biggest issue for accountants when negotiating on video platforms like zoom
The importance of the 'opening position' for accountants when negotiating deals and setting fees
The dangers of using 'round numbers' when setting and negotiating your accounting or consulting fees
Negotiation tips for accounting firms, especially in a virtual, non-F2F world
The problem many accountants make in giving away unilateral concessions in negotiations
How accounting professionals can get much better and more confident in handling common sales objections
Why accountants should always quote money rather than hours for a particular job or service
The importance for accountants to never invoice the negotiated amount.
Malcolm was Speaker of the Year for Vistage International in 2007, 2011 and 2015 and has won the Outperformer Award every year since 2004. He scored the last goal ever at Eastville Stadium, Bristol UK) before it became an IKEA store. Contact him here:
Website and blog (https://www.mindgamestraining.co.uk)
The Power of Frameworks to Help Accountants Sell More
Geraldine Carter is the founder of She Thinks Big Coaching, where she helps CPAs get out of the accounting rut. She is also the host of the podcast "Smart Strategy for CPAs". Her cashflow forecasting models have resulted in millions of dollars for climate change efforts. Shownotes:
How the tsunami of covid has affected the world of accountants and CPAs
Why NOW is actually a great time to be an accountant
How coachable accountants are as a breed and how receptive they are to change
What attracts accountants and CPAs to the accounting profession and why it attracts certain types of people
The number one biggest challenge accountants and CPAs are facing right now
The 'tall poppy syndrome' - why some accountants and CPAs are reluctant to stand out
What makes most accounting firms look and sound the same, and have the same kind of websites claiming the same things
Does complacency (having a recurring fee business model) play a part in accountants being reluctant to change?
The main trap that accountants and CPAs get into that causes inertia and lack of growth
The problems that arise when accountants and CPAs don't think like business owners with their clients
The definition of a framework and why they are so important for accountants to best serve their clients
The mistake accountants and CPAs make by giving away so much expertise
Why a lack of process and framework for accountants and CPAs stops them from properly adding value to clients
How accountants and CPAs can enhance the value they offer clients by a factor of 5 to 10
What getting your life back from working way to many hours looks like for accountants and CPAs
How a framework helps accountants and CPAs position advisory services beyond low margin compliance work
The main thing clients want from accountants and CPAs that most professionals get wrong
The risks larger accounting firms are facing in not empowering younger talent to be more entrepreneurial
The restraints that stifle the growth of professional firms
Advice for leaders in accounting firms to better develop and keep their entrepreneurial talent
Shout out to Rob Brown's TEDx talk on YouTube 'The Personal Brand of You'
The danger for accountants and CPAs of competitors being able to copy or claim the same things they do
What accountants and CPAs need to do to stand out as experts in their chosen verticals, niches or sectors
How accountants and CPAs can identify their best verticals, niches or specialist areas to work in
In her free time, Geraldine can be found mountain biking forested trails or running after her two small children in her hometown of Missoula, Montana USA. Contact her here:
Website and blog (https://shethinksbigcoaching.com/)
Better Business Development Strategies for Accountants
Barbara Koenen is the author of the book Beyond Billable Hours and Global Head of Business Development and Marketing at Ince, a legal and professional services provider with more than 900 employees globally. She is based in Dubai and has 10 years of business development and marketing experience in the professional services industry.
She writes regular blog posts on her website www.beyondbillablehours.com and is very passionate about helping fee earners in professional services firms to thrive as she knows how hard it is to focus on things beyond billable hours. Shownotes:
The difference between marketing, sales and business development for accounting professionals
Why sales and selling are such difficult words for professionals like accountants and lawyers
The #1 reason professional service firms should build the selling skills and culture of their people
The problem for professionals who can bill fees but not generate new revenues in a professional firm
An explanation for why accountants and lawyers don't think like business people
Thoughts on how coachable professionals like accountants, CPAs and lawyers are 'as a breed'
Why almost everyone in professional services should be 'hands on' with business development
The need for a business development plan or strategy and why not every tactic will succeed to bring in new work
How a different approach to winning business is required by different professionals depending on a number of factors
A great example of why some accountants and professionals should not go to networking events to win business
Sound advice for young accountants and lawyers who want to make partner in a professional firm
The importance of setting goals to grow your professional firm, either corporately or as an individual accountant
What to do as a career ambitious accountant if your personal goals do not align with your firm's goals
Why starting early in your accounting or professional career with business development is much better than waiting
The relevance of writing out a business development or work winning plan and why 'in your head' is not good enough
Great questions accountants should ask themselves in devising a business development strategy
The key reasons why professionals are technically good but struggle to sell and promote themselves as individuals
What developing a reputation in your business community or market looks like for an accountant looking to be successful
Where the inspiration for the book 'Beyond Billable Hours' came from
How so much money is wasted in accounting firms on the wrong kind of professional and business development activities
How the covid pandemic has changed the way accountants and other professionals win new business
Where the 'low hanging fruit' really is for accountants and CPAs who want to develop new business opportunities
Barbara is a mother of 20-month old Olivier, born on Christmas Day, and she is expecting another boy around Christmas. She is a keen golfer, sailor and skier and she loves to cook and bake. Contact her here:
Website and blog (http://www.beyondbillablehours.com)