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.
The Blueprint for a High Performing Accounting Firm
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:
Advanced Pricing Strategies for Accounting Professionals
Mark Stiving has studied, led and coached businesses through the lens of pricing for 25 years. His company Impact Pricing is dedicated to educating B2B companies about pricing and value. He has driven company-wide pricing initiatives worth hundreds of millions of dollars in incremental profit. He started and sold three companies, improving his championship pricing skills in each one. His book, Impact Pricing: Your Blueprint for Driving Profits, is a highly readable and practical manual (4.9 stars on Amazon). Selected shownotes:
The makings of a world-renowned pricing and value expert - how Mark Stiving became an international pricing educator
Why pricing matters in business and why accountants especially should care about pricing
The different kinds of pricing, starting with the billable hour and ending with subscription pricing
The problems accountants (and others in professional services) have that doesn't always apply to other sectors
What exactly value is and how it figures into different pricing models
Why accountants have problems with value-based pricing and fail to understand the nuances of pricing
The two decisions buyers make in assessing a purchase and deciding value for money
How the rigid structure of the billable hour and timesheets has stopped accountants from embracing more effective and profitable methods of pricing their services
Why the 'value conversation' is so important for accountants when talking to their clients, and how to use it to price services better
Shout out to Ron Baker, the 'godfather of pricing', and where Mark Stiving takes issue with his stance on timesheets
The importance for accountants of involving the client in the determination of value, ROI and pricing metrics
Whether it's possible to value price for anything, such as accounting audits or basic commodities
Why there is no such thing as a commodity and how sellers can charge differently for what seems to be a basic, standardised product
What an accountant can do when they don't know how long a job, project or particular outcome will take
The biggest risk accountants face in moving from hourly to value based pricing
The single best pricing technique that accountants can use to put together compelling packages, products and services for clients
How lifetime value factors into value pricing, particularly with longer term projects
When it's okay for an accountant to discount their prices or even offer services or advice for free
When a lower price might overcome a buyer's inertia to make a purchase
How accountants can get started with value pricing, both in negotiation and mindset terms
Tips to drive a better pricing culture and a more positive attitude to pricing in your accounting firm.
Contact Mark here:
How Top Accounting Firms Innovate & Generate Ideas
Heath Alloway of Upstream Academy was National Growth Manager and Director of Business Development at one of the top accounting and consulting firms in the US. Here he led a multi-disciplinary team of 20, focused on strategic growth plans, development and launch of new services and industry verticals, leveraging firm data and innovation. Selected shownotes:
The 2 main ways accounting firms can drive organic growth
Whose job business development and growing an accounting firm actually is
Defining what innovation is and where it comes from in an accounting firm
The biggest misconceptions about innovation in an accounting firm
The danger of focusing too much on your competition and not your clients
How to handle the objection of 'I don't have time to innovate or do business development' in my firm
The parallels between innovation and business development for accounting firms
Encouraging a culture and mindset of innovating for accounting professionals
The importance of diversity of views for worthwhile innovation
Technique for dealing with people in your accounting form who are not open to change and innovation
The need for leadership support and aligning the firm's culture for good innovation
The obstacles that most hinder accounting firm innovation
Three critical questions in deciding whether to innovate and create a new product, service or process
The dangers of assuming your clients need and will pay for new products or services
Three ways an accounting firm can innovate to be more efficient and effective
The future for those accounting firms and accountants who cannot or refuse to innovate.
When not working, Heath and his wife, Emily, focus on faith, family, health, and friends. He frequently refers to his two precious kids as his innovation team because they generate a lot of ideas – both good and bad – that require his help and/or intervention.. Contact him here:
2020 Reflections & 2021 Outlook from Podcast Host Rob Brown
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 Power & Benefits of Client Accounting Services
Hitendra R. Patil is the author of The Definitive Success Guide to Client Accounting Services (CAS). His previous best-seller book, Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant, has been bought by accountants in 12 countries across 4 continents.
Hitendra has been named one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting from 2017 to 2019. He has also been among the Top 10 Accounting Influencers to Follow on Social Media and Top 100 Accounting Social Media Leaderboard. He is a regularly published author on many of the leading publications in the accounting profession in the United States. Selected shownotes:
How accountants and firms are coping with the global pandemic and how specifically they have been affected
Why accounting is not so much a knowledge or service business, but actually an 'impact' business
What most people think when they heard the word 'accountant'
What the most successful accountants are doing that the less successful ones don't
Why accountants should think like business owners and entrepreneurs if they want to differentiate themselves
The role of CAS or Client Accounting Services to the revenue and value add of accounting firms
How client accounting services are actually more than mere advisory services
The critical reason why client accounting services are the future for profitable and successful accounting firms
Findings from the largest ever accounting survey with decision makers in accounting firms
The optimum number of services an accounting firm should be offering their clients
Why offering more products and services to your accounting firm doesn't necessarily mean employing more staff
What Accountants World do for their accounting firm clients
What's coming up for the accounting world in the area of technology
Refuting the notion that more technology will spell the end of the regular accountant
'Why Your Child Will Not Be An Accountant' - one of the most widely read articles in the profession'
What accountants need to do to ride the automation and technology wave, and stay relevant in a competitive world
The most important asset owned by an accountants and how to make the most of it for career and business success.
Hitendra is the Director of Customer Success at AccountantsWorld, a leading provider of cloud-based solutions for accountants, offering a complete, integrated suite of innovative accounting, payroll, and practice management solutions.He helps accountants become more successful by leveraging software solutions more powerfully and advancing the company’s leadership in cloud solutions for accountants. Before AccountantsWorld, he has worked in the technology and technology-enabled services industry for nearly 20 years, working across multiple industry sectors such as capital markets, hedge funds, manufacturing, accounting, payroll, tax, and advisory services.. Contact him here:
http://www.accountantsworld.com/ (Website and blog)
https://www.accountingtoday.com/opinion/why-your-child-wont-be-an-accountant (Why Your Child Won't Be An Accountant)
Book: https://cpatrendlines.com/shop/accountaneur/ (Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant)
What Accountants Need to Know Know About KPIs
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:
How the book 'KPI Checklists' came about and why you should read it
How the right business and financial information is vital to drive improved performance
The need for linking measures, targets and goals to strategic objectives using KPIs or key performance indicators
A definition of KPIs that everyone can relate to which centres around measuring things that count and that you care about
The different types of KPIs, particularly leading (activity-based) and lagging (outcome-based) measurements
How the ROKS method (Results Oriented KPI System) works with an illustration on how you choose a tool to do a DIY job
What makes some KPIs more useful and relevant than others
The joys and drawbacks of visual dashboards, plus the ideal number of KPIs to have on them
How accountants are ideally places to capitalise on KPIs because of the amount and quality of data they can access
How to measure and how often to measure the data that drive your KPIs
The common fears and challenges accountants have with embracing KPIs in their firms and client offerings
How KPIs link to incentives, rewards and motivations in accounting firms
Best practice steps to start working with KPIs and how to drive a KPI oriented culture in an accounting firm
How accountants can effectively use KPIs to add value and advisory services to their clients
Why fact-based decision making vz guesswork is at the heart of KPI thinking.
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)
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great guests with solid insights that will help you move your accounting practice forward.