Accounting Influencers Podcast | Innovation Beyond Technology in Accounting: Ed Kless - Accounting Influencers

Episode 8

Published on:

27th Mar 2023

Innovation Beyond Technology in Accounting: Ed Kless

Welcome to the Accounting Influencers Podcast, going live every Monday to 150 countries and 30,000 accounting practitioners, fintech specialists and influencers in the accountancy, CPA and bookkeeping space.

In today's episode 8, "Innovation Beyond Technology in Accounting" Rob Brown speaks with Ed Kless, Senior Director of Sage Accountants Solutions, about innovation in the accounting industry. With 18 years of experience working for Sage, Ed has a wealth of knowledge about helping accounting partners, influencers, and customers improve their businesses.

Ed discusses the history of Sage and a think tank started by Ron Baker that helped to initiate the value pricing movement. He maintains that the billing model needs to be revised by the hour, as it focuses on efficiency rather than effectiveness. He also talks about the issue of tracking time and how innovation is about bringing disparate things together to create something new, using examples such as a skateboard and stroller combined.

The conversation delves into innovation around business models, delivery, packaging, pricing, and language. The speakers discuss the value of social capital and the importance of making connections, even with weak connections, to help others. They also discuss subscription marketing and how companies can innovate to create offerings that provide customers experiences and transformations beyond the product itself.

Using the example of the Fender guitar, the speakers discuss the importance of creating an offering that surrounds what customers are after, which could be the peace of mind, experiences, or transformations. They highlight the power of language in changing mindsets and how Disney's language changes played a role in creating attractions rather than rides.

Overall, this episode provides insightful and valuable perspectives on innovation in the accounting industry and how companies can create offerings that genuinely serve their customers' needs.

 Key Takeaways

➤ The traditional billing model of charging by the hour is no longer effective in today's marketplace. Instead, firms should focus on delivering value to their clients and pricing their services based on that value.

➤ Innovation is not just about technology but about bringing disparate things together to create something new. This includes innovative business models, delivery methods, packaging, pricing, and language.

➤ Social capital and networking are important for building connections and helping others. Even weak connections can be valuable and lead to new opportunities.

➤ Subscription marketing can be a powerful tool for firms looking to provide experiences and transformations beyond the product itself. The key is to focus on what customers are ultimately after, whether it's peace of mind, experiences, or transformations.

➤ The power of language should not be underestimated. Using language that focuses on the benefits and outcomes of a service or product can change clients' mindsets and lead to increased sales.

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Guest Bio

Ed Kless is a Senior Director at Sage Accountants Solutions, where he develops and delivers courses on leadership, strategy, pricing, and project management. He also serves as a facilitator of the Sage Leadership Academy and a liaison to the Sage Leadership Academy Alumni Association. Ed is a senior fellow at the VeraSage Institute and a consultant for Tipping Point Advisors. He hosts "The Soul of Enterprise: Business in the knowledge economy" with Ron Baker on VoiceAmerica Talk Radio/


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Accountex. Accountex will return to ExCeL London UK on the 10-11 May 2023. Bringing together 250+ top fintech companies and cutting-edge start-ups, visitors can browse new software and stay up to date with the latest technology, tools and ideas in accountancy and finance. Alongside the exhibition, attendees will take away actionable tips from the CPD-accredited seminar programme, led by 200+ thought leaders shaping the profession.

Accountex is Europe’s largest annual event for the accounting and finance profession. It attracts 8,000+ attendees and 250+ exhibitors. Attendees can get up to 16 CPD hours with 200+ free seminar sessions across 12 theatres.

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About the Podcast

Accounting Influencers
Insights, interviews and commentary for accounting, CPA, bookkeeping and finance professionals
ACCOUNTING INFLUENCERS is a weekly podcast for accountants, CPAs, bookkeeping and finance professionals, together with the networks, associations, fintech vendors and influencers who lead them, work in them and serve them.

The show is hosted by Rob Brown. co-founder of the Accounting Influencers Roundtable (AIR). The style of the show is not overly technical/technological/tax in nature but more on people, performance and success in the accounting world. Popular topics and themes covered include:

☑ leadership, executive presence, trust, integrity & reputation
☑ M&A, business models, future proofing, drivers of change & disruption
☑ performance, values, culture, vision & strategy
☑ employer brand, gen z/millennials & talent - succession, recruitment and retention
☑ industry trends, statistics and patterns
☑ growth, marketing, differentiation & positioning
☑ pricing & profitability
☑ digitisation, cloud, technology & automation
☑ advisory services, niches & emerging markets
☑ environmental & social governance ESG
☑ diversity, equity & inclusion DEI
☑ professionalism, career development & CPE/CPD
☑ business acumen & commercial awareness

Sources and guests come from:
★ EXPERTS - influencers, disrupters, consultants, gurus, podcasters and broadcasters in accounting and fintech
★ EVENTS - live coverage and interviews from exhibitions, conferences and a range of industry events
★ MEDIA - newspapers, online outlets, commentators, writers, bloggers and authors
★ VENDORS - suppliers and providers of accounting apps, platforms, fintech and software
★ REGULATORS - professional accounting bodies, institutes and associations
★ NETWORKS - alliances, associations, networks and communities of professional firms and accounting practices
★ SOCIAL MEDIA - opinion pieces, high engagement posts and controversial conversations

Rob Brown is a renowned presenter, facilitator and chair of high level conferences, panels and events globally for the accounting and fintech profession. He is retained by many professional networks, alliances, associations, practices and vendors to chair their events and provide high-level interview content for their communities.

He is a dynamic speaker and accomplished expert on trust, reputation, employer brand, talent, career development, succession, gen z/generations, executive presence, referrals, networking and winning new business. He is also the bestselling author of Build Your Reputation (Wiley) and his TEDx talk ‘The Personal Brand of You’ has been viewed 320K times on YouTube.
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About your hosts

Martin Bissett

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Martin Bissett is the founder of the Bissett Group of companies that provide practice and personal growth communities, content, and continuing education exclusively to the accounting and bookkeeping professions worldwide.

Previously he established a high six-figure consulting firm while serving as a keynote speaker with over 100 one-off and repeat engagements to his name, as well as becoming the most published author on his topics of specialism with 11 books including 1 bestseller.

Since 1998, he has played a major part in working with over 1800 accounting firms in over 40 countries. These projects have led to those firms acquiring over £500m of recurring fees before inflationary increases, referrals and upselling are factored in. He stopped keeping track of this number over 5 years ago. Martin now advises both accounting practitioners and FinTech companies alike, at board level.

Rob Brown

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Rob Brown is a renowned MC, facilitator and chair of virtual and in-person panels, conferences and events globally for the accounting and fintech profession.

Rob is co-founder of the Accounting Influencers Roundtable (AIR) mastermind group and co-hosts the world’s most popular accounting and fintech podcast: Accounting Influencers.

Throughout the pandemic, he chaired 24 virtual panels with leaders of global accounting networks and alliances to discuss the key issues and challenges. Rob is retained by several associations and vendors to chair their events and provide high-level interview content for their communities.

He is the bestselling author of Build Your Reputation (Wiley) and his TEDx talk ‘The Personal Brand of You’ has been viewed 300K times on YouTube.