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CEO – end of year message

Season’s greetings,

Well it’s been a fabulous year in my world. Here is a quick summary.

We kicked off the year with our new “lite” version of coachingclub – dedicated to small firms – and so far we have 115 firms in that model. It’s been great to be able to offer something to smaller firms at a reduced price and service offering from the full version.

We then had an amazing conference in February with 270 Accountants there. It was an absolute hoot. Next year will be even better with more speakers, breakout sessions and many surprises.

We end the year with 285 firms currently being coached and we are bringing on around 15-20 new ones per month. The launch of my book was a personal highlight with it now sold in 30 countries around the world.

The launch of the Proactive Accountants Network has been an awesome addition – and we made no. 9 in the country on our first outing. The network is where it is all heading. We will launch differing versions of the network in 2012.

We also released the knowledge factory, a brand new community, forum and most importantly a major focus of helping you to deliver value added services to your clients. By turning our attention to external business building (not just fix up your firm) it means you will get even more help to grow your revenue and profits as the years roll on.

In the background we have grown the team by net 5 this year to a total headcount of 22 people. I just hired a lady who has the auspicious title of “Manager, Strategic Initiatives” and another who will support in the product development areas.

In the New Year we will hire another coach and a few other people to support you. We need to increase the coaching team so our service levels are not compromised. So head count for your support will be up to 30 by this time next year – more than likely 6 full time coaches. I am glad that the profit is increasing as the headcount increases!

Talking of people we also have 36 people working for us in India right now developing web based tools which will support you even more. You’ll see the fruits of that investment at the conference when we unveil our “Cloud Monitoring” service for SMEs. There will be an interface between you and your clients so you can see at a snap shot a digital dashboard (and consolidated) view of your clients performance – real time. It’s a world first and you’ll see it first at the conference.

We think cloud accounting systems are a game changer in the profession and they have the potential to wipe out some firms. We don’t want you to be wiped out – we want to help you capitalise on cloud accounting. What we are doing is a game changer for how advice is translated and delivered. Stay tuned.

This year we have seen more client success stories than ever before. On a daily basis we are getting all sorts of stories through. Mainly on client focussed, value based fees ones – which is awesome. Keep then coming. The awards ceremony at the conference will be very cool as we celebrate the successes of many firms.

I am most intrigued with 8 firms that we have had in “beta” on a new planning system which as they say to us “it’s the missing link in coachingclub”. Each of the 8 firms have had record months since we started working with them in June. You will have the opportunity to get involved in this revolutionary planning / implementation process at the conference and then after that.

Next year we have an amazing amount of Initiatives that we are rolling out. In no particular order…

1. Enhanced branding and marketing of PAN firms – we want to get our ranking from 9 to 6 or 7 next year.

2. A full training division – training your general team, your CSC’s, Business Managers, Marketing Co-ordinators in a workshop environment.

3. SME seminars. So you will be able to invite your clients to a central location (that we will organise) and we will educate them on how to work with you and help you to sell them value added services.

4. Client Alerts. A web based consolidated view of your clients performance (no matter what cloud accounting system they are on) so you can really help them with what they need – real time

5. Client monitoring. You will be able to offer a self-help monitoring service to your clients and add ‘face time’ service around it.

6. Benchmarking. When we have volume of SMEs in 4 & 5 we can offer real time benchmarking by industry.

7. Cloud monitoring for accountants. A new version will be released with more features that will blow you away.

8. A marketing solution for you. We don’t know how we are going to do it yet but we want to help you with marketing on more of a one on one basis.

9. New success library and enhancements to the learning centre

10. A ‘cloud’ based version of coachingclub – for international firms or far flung firms who find it difficult to travel.

11. “One page plan” planning and implementation process. I alluded to it earlier with the 8 firms.

12. Enhanced community. We want you to interact even more on our forum with each other – there is so much value in not re-inventing the wheel.

13. Loads of new content centred around the roadmap to success which is focussed on the 4 critical elements of an accounting firm – workflow, people, clients & revenue.

And for internal purposes an international licensing model (we are building a team who will do this so not to encroach on service levels) and an employee share plan for my wonderful team.

I am more fired up than ever about the Accounting profession and what it can do for society.

I am going to write about the “firm of the future” in the new year so stay tuned how cloud accounting and value added services play a big part.

So from my team to you – thank you so much for being part of the community. It has been an awesome client success year and an awesome business building year.

From me, my partner Colin my team & my family to you – Happy Christmas and have a wonderful new year.

Over and out for 2011.

Rob

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