Key Insights from an Award Winning Accounting Firm Owner - Accounting Influencers

Episode 17

Published on:

20th Sep 2018

Key Insights from an Award Winning Accounting Firm Owner

Carl Reader is a highly sought-after and internationally recognised leading business expert and advisor to small businesses. His focus is on offering straightforward, accessible advice to businesses looking to start and grow and lives by a clear ethos of “roll your sleeves up and take action”.

Carl was listed in the CityAM Top 100 Entrepreneur List, was recognised in the Accountancy Age 35 under 35, and was ranked number 5 in the ICAEW Economia50 list of influential sources of finance news and analysis.

Carl has significant business experience and expertise and has worked with thousands of businesses of all sizes across the UK. He is the author of two seminal Hodder books – The Startup Coach and The Franchising Handbook. Carl regularly contributes to newspapers and magazines around the world, covering everything a business owner needs to know, from sales, marketing, finance, legal, HR issues and administration through to growth strategies, fund raising and exit planning.

He is a highly successful entrepreneur and businessman, heading up d&t chartered accountants, a multi-award winning, medium sized accountancy firm supporting thousands of businesses across a wide range of sectors. Carl has also co-founded a number of businesses, including TaxGo (a Fintech startup in the gig economy space) and Selling a Franchise (a business brokerage). Shownotes:

  • Check out TaxGo – low cost accounting services. it’s 21st century accounting at 1950s century pricing
  • Why the accounting profession is torn and what kinds of firms are going to really struggle to survive over the next few years
  • The three kinds of accounting firms around today, and the outlook for each in terms of success and failure
  • Accounting firms who will survive and thrive have or are embracing the cloud, and are producing their own IP
  • Does your accounting firm have a ‘broken partnership’? Warning signs include internal conflicts and the inertia of older, senior partners
  • The key differences between the larger and smaller firms, and what they can learn from each other
  • New, smaller and more agile firms can innovate more quickly and so serve their clients better
  • Larger more established firms can have problems innovating, making it more expensive and more difficult to change
  • Clarity on what clients really want is the BIG THING that separates the good accounting firms from the great ones
  • If you think creating tax returns is a key value differentiator for your accounting firm, you’re sadly out of touch
  • How open is your accounting firm to change? ‘The accounting profession has changed more in the last 5 years than the last 17-18 years’ says Carl
  • Do you have a razor like focus on exactly what clients you do your best work for?
  • Vital mindset shift for successful accountants – you’re in business, not in practice
  • Michael Gerber’s model of technician to manager to entrepreneur applies directly to the most successful accountants
  • Seperating yourself from hourly fees helps you have a better, more flexible and more fulfilling life as an accountant
  • Do you have 74 streams of new clients like Carl Reader’s firm? To grow consistently and significantly, you need multiple routes to market
  • Lead generation and lead conversion can and should be trained to keep fees competitive and win more clients
  • How much do you use PR, whether locally, regionally and nationally, to raise the profile of your accounting firm?
  • Ever thought about offering speaking (keynote) services for your clients? Listen to how Carl Reader does it…
  • It’s very rare that an accountant or accounting firm approach accounting with the right mindset and strategy
  • Accountants are a strange breed – typically introverted, prefer the status quo and resistant to change
  • FALSE – cloud accounting will solve all the problems of the accounting profession. There is no one product, technology development or service that will solve all problems
  • Vendors to the accounting profession are passionate about their products and solutions, but shouldn’t sell their wares as the answer to all problems.
  • Software is just a tool unless it’s taken out of the toolbox and used. Many solutions don’t think about how accountants can implement better.
  • What a great performer in an accounting firm looks like has changed radically over the last 20 years. Less technical, more relational and translational.
  • Being a rainmaker is the mark of a top accounting professional – the ability to win work is foundational for growth and career success.
  • Are accountants coachable and trainable? Hear what Carl has to say about that, particularly with respect to motivation and personality.
  • Major disruptions are coming up for accounting world – the big players are sitting on the ‘big red button’ which will change the game!
  • Big move coming up moving from financial advisory to general business advisory using the numbers as a platform for that advice.
  • Great strapline for an accounting firm – adding value, not numbers.
  • What are you relying on the most – GRF or advisory? Two schools of thought – hear both arguments here…
  • Best advice Carl Reader has ever been given – it’s old school and involves a filofax!

To contact Carl: 01793 741600 or on Twitter @CarlReader or  Liked your Top 100 Club Podcast Interview with Rob Brown" target="_blank">email him directly>>

Carl’s personal website or

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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.