The Power of Discipline & Culture in a Niche Accounting Firm - Success in Accounting

Episode 28

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Published on:

12th Dec 2018

The Power of Discipline & Culture in a Niche Accounting Firm

Paul Barnes is the founder of My Accountancy Place (MAP) & Co-Founder with James Ashford of a SaaS Business called GoProposal.

Growing up he watched his Dad spend his life doing something he detested, as we see many other people proceeding through their careers going through this same thing. He knew it didn’t have to be like that, so Paul wanted to make sure he wasn’t just ‘working’ he was building something he could be proud of, which he pushes for his clients to achieve as well.

Paul has advised and supported hundreds of businesses across the 4 different accountancy firms that he’s worked in. In the first 3 firms, Paul was employed in client facing roles where his role was to work with business owners to help them to build their business, manage their finances and reduce their tax.

In 2013 he set up his own accountancy firm from a small office in Manchester. Paul had a blank canvas to work from and he mapped out the firm that he believed business owners needed. MAP was born out of a deep frustration, after seeing a lot of accountancy firms providing low value services to any business and having little or no impact on the clients they serve. Detailed shownotes:

  • Why it’s a good time to be an accountant
  • Cloud accounting allows firms to offer a full finance function to clients
  • Accountants have got away with it for too long that it’s easy to win business -it’s much tougher now to win the RIGHT kind of business
  • The critical differences between the large and small accounting firms
  • One thing that makes the good accounting firms great is taking responsibility for the things the poorer firms leave up to the client
  • How to systemise proactivity to really service clients
  • It’s easier to find highly skilled, talented young people than quality senior people, so start lower down and invest in them
  • Treat your recruitment pipeline the same way you treat your new business pipeline
  • Problem with accounting qualifications – they don’t train on the right and most up to date technology
  • Many accountants lack the soft skills necessary for success, so training is sorely needed
  • It’s becoming harder and harder to track back exactly where new business has come from
  • Why a sales culture beats a sales person or sales team
  • Engaging your people means allowing them to give value to clients and do interesting, challenging work
  • A smart way of setting growth targets for your accounting staff
  • What the high performers look like in a progressive accounting firm
  • Why it’s vital for firms to get their accountants ‘away from the tools’ to go out there and talk to clients
  • The services and products you offer as an accounting firm should change in line with your client’s evolving needs
  • Good accountants ensure their clients stay in love with their businesses
  • The things you like doing and get excited about are not always the things you should be working on – get disciplined
  • With the right accountant, small businesses can have access to a full finance team
  • If your employees thought like you and behaved like you, they’d be running the firm!

As Paul ONLY works with digital marketing agencies, over the years his company has developed a unique approach to implementing the full finance function into their business that actually moves the needle. MAP is the only accountancy firm that works exclusively with digital agencies and this gives it greater insights into the industry, to benchmark their success and give them the information they need to improve and grow.

To contact Paul: +44 161 711 0810

 LinkedIn or on Twitter or  Liked your Top 100 Club Podcast Interview with Rob Brown" target="_blank">email him directly>>

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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.