I have just spent the week in Manila, Philippines. I was here for 2 reasons.
Firstly to attend a leadership conference with 400 people from Entrepreneurs Organisation where I am the current Membership Director and incoming President for the Brisbane chapter.
Secondly to check out the outsourcing movement first hand. And a third one – have some fun doing it!
The conference was amazing with great speakers and exclusive events like dinner in a National Museum - they closed it for our group and we had access to entire place – very cool. I won a global award for ‘Membership Excellence’ against 130 of my peers (one from each chapter) – so pretty happy about that.
The outsourcing movement over here is insane. For a country of 100M people there are nearly 1M employed in the industry. It currently represents 7% of the GDP. I visited 6 operations and I was blown away. Put it this way – anything that can be done over the phone, on email on a computer can be over here for 1/5th to 1/7th of the price as it can be done elsewhere. And in a lot of cases it can be done better over here. They have perfect English, they are willing to learn, they are very smart, they provide amazing service and they are very fast. The best bit – they want to work – and work they do! Inspiring for what I saw.
The world is flat. Technology enables outsourcing to be a very viable opportunity for any business. Some people have a problem with it and it is often people who feel threatened by other people taking their jobs.
All ‘knowledge’ workers, processing people or intermediaries need to up skill and add more value otherwise hungrier alternatives will take their revenue from them.
On the fun side. I had a tour guide by one of the funniest guides I have ever had. I witnessed ‘midget boxing’ in a bar and I laughed uncontrollably at things I cannot mention here. On the not so fun side I also got very sick after eating some dodgy food. Ended up on a drip for 24 hours and confined to bed. All good now however.
So that’s the week in Manila. If you have not been it is well worth the effort.
Conference days. John Warrilow was first up with an awesome 3 hour workshop on how Accountants can help their clients sell their businesses. To push the value of a business up the acronym of TVR needs to be in place – Teachable, Valuable and Repeatable. He gave the delegates the 6 hierarchy of recurring revenue as well as a plethora of tools on how they can help their clients.
Next up Dandapani (my wild card ex-monk). Dandapani (or D-man as we affectionately call him) rocked the house. An ex-monk who spent 10 years in the Monastery is now teaching people on personal development. He was simply awesome. Everyone loved him and his message of concentration, energy management & relationships suited every person in the room. We even convinced the ex-monk to play some golf with us – his first time.
Then we had Gold Medalist and 5 time Olympian (the only woman in Australia to do so) Natalie Cook deliver a session on ‘Sustained Motivation’. She has been at the top of her game for 20 years and what she taught us all are all the tricks to her success. Not only is Nat an awesome success story and inspiration she is a very handy golfer. She took the cash with a stableford score of 50 points. Might have to re-handicap her next time!
We also had 5 of our best performing accounting firms speak on their success. We call it “the Best of the best”. Greg & Vanessa spoke on workflow from Alliott. Tracey, Paul & Sandra from KSM spoke on team performance. Tracey & Jason from Proview, Peter & Bernie from ZJL and Ray and Danella from Taggart all spoke on Revenue and Clients. Thank you all for your words of wisdom.
I delivered a session and so did my business partner, Colin Dunn. The feedback was this was our best conference ever.
What was interesting from this conference we had many Accountants elect not to attend because they thought the speaker line up was a bit weak. Judging by the comments in writing how wrong they were. The 200 delegates loved it!
It is estimated that up to 40% of ‘compliance revenue’ will be wiped out by technology and outsourcing! Outsourcing to Asia, cloud accounting and convergence of internet based technology at the SME end is what is driving it.
Compliance is fast becoming a commodity. Why would a business owner pay an Accountant $10,000 for their annual compliance when they can get it done for $5,000 (or less) from other nimble providers. It’s an historical document which means little to your client base. It’s late (up to 18 months late) and your clients can get real time data from their internet based accounting system.
Time to get your heads out of the sand Partners (3 partner firm below) and start adding value to clients. If 80% of your revenue is in compliance and there is a pending 40% reduction that’s a 32% reduction in revenue from your primary product.
An update to my charity leap a few weeks back. Official video footage of me abseiling off the CPA building in Brisbane.
I interviewed John Warrillow yesterday of “Built to Sell” fame. See his website. I have him speaking at my conference next year and he dropped this absolute gem.
“When someone is selling their house they open up a new wallet so they can renovate, add value and sell it for the most amount of money possible. It is not different when someone wants to sell their business. They may be spending X with an Accountant now on compliance, however with a future sale they will invest in advisory services to get it ready for sale”.
I have hired John because both he and I believe that Accountants are the best placed advisers to help their clients get ready for sale – whether they want to or not right now. He will be taking the 224 delegates through practical examples on what Accountants can do to really help their clients.
Conference registrations close on December 21. March 17-21, Queenstown New Zealand. There are a few seats left.