The Merits of Accounting Compliance in a Digital World - Success in Accounting

Episode 25

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Published on:

21st Nov 2018

The Merits of Accounting Compliance in a Digital World

Alan FitzGerald has been in specialist tax & accounting software for over 19 years and maintains a broad network of industry specialists locally and globally ensuring that firms are always connected to the best provider(s) that match their needs.

If you’re familiar with the plumber and his leaky tap, accounting firms are the same: they’re so focused on their own clients, they don’t focus on the systems ‘at home’ – the accounting equivalent of a ‘leaky taps’ – except in this case, leaking is measured ultimately in clients and profit.

Alan has been in accounting tech since May 1999 having spent 7 years in semiconductors prior to that in Germany and Australia. These days what Alan does is to work with firms to understand their goals and rapidly suggest vendors that can fix those ‘leaky taps’. 3 years ago he became an independent adviser to firms big and small, growing revenue and efficiency in firms by working with them on strategies to find and use the best systems and processes that exist in the market without them needing to spend time and effort. His vendor neutral approach matchmakes needs to the best suited practice management, tax and compliance software along with his industry insights / perspectives. Alan also has a background in corporate and international tax solutions and with the OECDs Country by Country reporting regime, Alan is the APAC agent for Otico Software an Amsterdam / Zurich based software solution for complying with these new requirements. Shownotes:

  • Accountants have traditionally been ‘anxiety transfer experts‘ but this is changing
  • The demystification of accounting is changing the ways accountants serve the world
  • Compliance will NEVER go away, though the ratio of compliance to advisory is changing
  • World rankings when it comes to which accountants across the world are ahead of the pack
  • With software, do you advocate the ‘suite to compete’ or the ‘best of breed’ model?
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers the power to interrogate tax data for trends and insight
  • How Xero is analysing data and highlighting business trends faster than governments
  • The cost of change in shifting accounting software that doesn’t work is lower and faster
  • The software accountants look at is often based on their view of it which is out of date
  • Being receptive to new ideas is what truly separates the good accounting firms from the great ones
  • Leading firms have a much lower turnover of staff, which is critical in the war for accounting talent
  • It’s increasingly hard to hold onto people, so partners should be listening to their staff much better
  • Your brand is not what you say it is but what your customers say it is (quote via Intuit)
  • Your corporate memory is integral to how your firm is viewed in the market and by potential hires
  • Accountants can be a much more wholistic solution to clients if they collaborate more
  • Leads from cross-selling colleagues convert 70% of the time in good accounting firms
  • Start ups need a does of commercial reality from their accounting advisors
  • Whose job should it be to win work and do business development in an accounting firm?
  • Research finding – 64% of small businesses detest incremental billing
  • if you like technology, the accounting and compliance industry is the best possible career path

Alan Fitzgerald has run 5 marathons – albeit slowly – and can bash out a tune on a guitar. He speaks fluent German, rusty French and is trying to learn Spanish & ukulele, but not at the same time. He’s set up a running group that has been ‘running’ every Tuesday evening for the last 15 years and where entrants are rewarded with beer at the end of 3Km or 5Km….. The Gunn Runners.

He works with firms from sole-practitioners through to Big4 accounting firms to make them more efficient and easier for clients to want to do business with them. Having spent nearly 20 years in tax and accounting software, he likes to use his knowledge ‘for good and not evil’.

To contact Alan: 0423139404 (Australia) Liked your Top 100 Club Podcast Interview with Rob Brown" target="_blank">email him directly>>

PracticeConnections Website or linkedin.com/in/arfitzgerald

Twitter: @fitz_au

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About the Podcast

Success in Accounting
Insights, interviews and commentary for accounting, CPA, bookkeeping and finance professionals
SUCCESS IN ACCOUNTING 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 and Martin Bissett who are founders of the Accounting Influencers Roundtable (AIR) and have many years of experience serving the accountancy profession. 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

Hosts Martin Bissett and Rob Brown are founders of the Accounting Influencers Broadcast Network. Martin 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, Martin 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 a range of accounting practitioners and fintech companies at board level.

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

Profile picture for Martin Bissett
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

Profile picture for Rob Brown
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.