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Outstanding Accounting firms

It’s hard to pick 7 award winners when you get 49 worthy submissions. Announced at our annual Accountants conference in front of 411 delegates in Bali were 5 outstanding Accounting firms who won the 7 awards. Here they are…

And the big one….

  • Accounting Business of the Year – Taggart & Partners. Congratulations to all the winners.

Best Client results - AFFE Best Place to work and Firm of the Year - Taggart Partners Client Service and Community Contribution - Bongiorno Group Innovation - Wealthfarm Rising Star - Clarity

 

Bali conference

We just finished the best conference I have ever organised in 20 years. We had 411 people attending for the 5 day program. It rocked and the feedback has been overwhelming. Already 300+ have signed up for next year. July 12-16 2015 again in Bali.

We had a total of 10 speakers on stage and one of the stand-out speakers was Warren Rustand. Very impressive individual who has been a massive success in 3 disciplines – Sport (NBA player), Politics (served 5 USA administrations) and business (started 18 companies, taken 6 public). He is also a devoted family man, gun golfer and an all round good bloke!

My personal highlight was that (with the proceeds from ticket sales) I was able to donate $30,000 to charity - The John Fawcett foundation. With the extra contributions we will be giving sight to approximately 100 children here in Bali.

More photo’s can be found on our company Facebook page.

Event room Gala Dinner Warren Rustand

 

Is the profession too comfortable?

We released our annual benchmark report last week. Hundreds of firms sent in their financial data, we analysed it and then produced a 23 page report on our findings.

Already thousands have downloaded it (if you haven’t got it yet the entire report is available here for free) and no doubt it will be the topic of conversation at many partners meetings coming up.

I noticed this year that profit per partner was about the same as last year (A$344k in Australia and A$259K in New Zealand) and many of the other metrics are very similar.

Does that mean that there has been limited improvement? Probably. I often wonder why that is. I think it comes down to being comfortable.

Think about it. The Accounting profession is a pretty solid business with the majority (in the small to medium sector of firms) of work in annual compliance. Every year you have to ‘do the books’ of your clients (whether they like it or not) and every year there is some form of legislative change that you need to implement. You have the status of ‘trusted advisor’ so when other business opportunities occur you’re often the first to be called upon. Put into the mix that you have ‘financial intimacy’ with your clients (you know things that no one else does – or you’re the first to find out) which means they stick with you for a long time as well.

In my view all this ‘comfort’  breeds apathy and lack of innovation.

There are many changes afoot and massive disruption on the way (make sure you read my dossier and open letter to the profession in the first few pages of the report) which will hopefully (as they happen) break the cycle of apathy, reactiveness and limited innovation.

My company offers performance coaching & training for Accounting firms. We build really cool software solutions to help accounting firms succeed. My biggest competitor is apathy. There needs to be a healthy discontent for the present to break a cycle.

If the profession was more ambitious and was REALLY interested in the success of their clients then it wouldn’t be so apathetic.

That’s my rant for the day!

The tables below are a summary of the Australian and New Zealand samples. Full report available here.

Benchmark data summary - Australia

 

Benchmark data summary - NZ

 

Product Development for Accountants

Last December we ran a trial 2 day event for Product Development. Specifically how Accountants can create products (that require minimal labour for delivery) out of what they already know. Turning intellectual property into intellectual capital. It was supposed to be a one off event. The delegates loved it so much (many saying it was the best event that they had been to) that we are doing it again. The facilitators (including me) have got some form in this space. We have created sold and delivered >$170M in IP products. We are revealing all in a small workshop environment. Complete transparency on how to go from idea to production to monetisation in very fast time. You get training and support by a crack team who do this every day. You can find out all the details of the event here. Dates are September 15/16, 18/19 or October 16/17. Here is a sample of the ones who have already been.

Motive for Action

There are many forces outside of your control that are affecting the profession. You can’t stop them so you might as well embrace them. There is no time stamp (like Y2K all those years ago) when you need to be ready for the changes. They’re just happening around you.

You are only going to change if you’re motivated to change. If you break the word ‘motivation’ down and modify it slightly you get ‘motive-action’. What is your motive for action?

I believe in 5 things with the Accounting profession:

  1. I believe that Accountants are the natural and trusted financial advisers.
  2. I believe that Accountants that add value do not earn enough for how smart they are.
  3. I believe that Accountants can make a massive difference to their clients’ financial condition.
  4. I believe that ‘cloud’ technology is not a fad and it will fundamentally change the way you operate.
  5. I believe that clients want a Real Time Accountant not a Redundant Data Accountant.

Maybe there is something in my 5 beliefs that inspires you to make some changes. Maybe in my 5 you can find your motive for action.