Bridging the Critical Gap Between FDs/CFOs & Accountants - Success in Accounting

Episode 15

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Published on:

31st Aug 2018

Bridging the Critical Gap Between FDs/CFOs & Accountants

Greg Smargiassi

Greg Smargiassi is an accountant with a mission. He’s on a quest to take the yawn-factor out of numbers so SMEs can become financially savvy and thrive. Through speaking engagements, coaching, accounting and Greg’s main love – his business OURCFO – this motorcycle-riding, guitar-playing accountant is determined to prove that numbers don’t have to be dry.

After working in the accounting profession for 15 years, Greg was fed up with the profession’s overwhelming focus on taxation and compliance. He could see ways of giving businesses a leg up by sharing tools for success, and explaining these in a way that business owners could not only understand but embrace.

Greg sold his tax accounting business and set about providing top-notch instruction in financial education, processes, and strategy to businesses through OURCFO. Greg also took on a position with an international business coaching franchise and emerged as one of their highest performers. As a master coach he was able to share his knowledge and skills with emerging business coaches throughout Australia and New Zealand.

As a result, Greg was able to combine business coaching, accounting, and speaking to bring a touch of rock star to the accounting world. And he’s dead keen to share his experiences to help get your business finances where you’d like them to be. Listen in and hear stuff like:

  • Most accountants are historically rather than future focused, which does their clients a dis-service because they can’t anticipate opportunities and challenges
  • Why the accounting profession in Australia is in denial and ignorant of the changes coming up – same in the UK and US
  • The accounting profession is ripe for disruption with technology and increased client expectations
  • Accountants have skills that are underutilized – they give a lot of advice but don’t ask enough questions to uncover more opportunities to help clients
  • The 80-20 rule applies to accountants and firms – 20% are doing well and serving client well
  • CFOs don’t do compliance work so don’t compete with accountants, though there may be come conflict in advisory work
  • It’s hard to be an accounting specialist (say tax or compliance accountant) and a business advisor at the same time
  • The great firms take a more proactive approach with clients – the good firms don’t always do this
  • From a cashflow management perspective, accountants should understand the tax position of clients all year round, not just at the year end
  • Creating cultural change is a challenge for larger accounting firms – turning a big ship ‘on a dime’ is almost impossible
  • Proof that even the Big Four accounting firms struggle to position and deliver advisory work for clients
  • In an ageing business population, the baby boomers are retiring and the younger generations are more open to doing business in a different way
  • What some of the more proactive and entrepreneurial firms are doing differently to position themselves in the marketplace
  • Being an accountant doesn’t necessarily make you a great business person, to retraining, learning and upskilling is needed to stay ahead of the game
  • What accounting firms need to be to move into more advisory work
  • The role of emotional intelligence (EQ) is understanding why people do what they do – being more effective communicators and influencers is vital for technical people like accountants
  • It’s important for accountants to understand strategy and how to implement it to serve their clients fully
  • How many of us buy what we sell? Should business coaches have a coach themselves? Should accountants have more experience of buying their own services?
  • Many accounting firms are positioning themselves as external CFOs. This is dangerous and can cause real issues for businesses, because cloud accounting, for instance, isn’t the path to becoming a virtual CFO
  • What should be the hiring policy for progressive, growing accounting firms and what skills they should recruit for
  • The future CFO may not be accounting oriented, which means the accounting profession needs to ask questions about how to remain relevant
  • In today’s world of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity), the best accounting firms will be data-driven
  • Analysing the data out of businesses and presenting clients with what’s working and what doesn’t is what successful accountants must be doing

Plus Greg’s favourite book and his personal philosophy for success!

To contact Greg: 08 6377 8200 (Australia)  Liked your Top 100 Club Podcast Interview with Rob Brown" target="_blank">email him directly>>

OUR CFO Website or linkedin.com/in/gregsmargiassi

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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.