Lessons Learned from Running a Global Accounting Network - Success in Accounting

Episode 23

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Published on:

7th Nov 2018

Lessons Learned from Running a Global Accounting Network

Stephen Hamlet is CEO of Russell Bedford International. With twenty years’ experience in professional services, Stephen moved rapidly into business development roles with increasing responsibility, building a track record in re-energising, enhancing and expanding global membership organisations.

Having held leadership positions at international accounting associations over the past 10 years, Stephen has gained expertise in building international relationships and facilitating cross-border cooperation. He is a member of ICAEW, having qualified with a Top 20 accounting firm in London, after graduating from Exeter University with a Law degree.

As Chief Executive, Stephen assumes responsibility for developing Russell Bedford International on a global scale, including maximising membership benefits, strengthening the network, and maintaining its high reputation of quality.

Travelling around the world to various events, and to specifically meet and interact with colleagues of accounting firms at their local offices, is vital to the role. Conveniently, Stephen is passionate about travel, meeting people from various cultures, as well as keeping fit! Shownotes:

  • It’s only once other accountants get to know you and your accounting firm, it’s only then you’ll have the trust which produces introductions and referrals
  • How digitalisation and automation are changing the way accountants work
  • The best recruits for progressive accounting firms are accountants with people skills, sales skills and business development skills
  • What is the skillset of an accountant of the future?
  • Entrepreneurial flair – not a phrase normally associated with an accountant, but things are changing
  • Many accountancy firms still don’t appreciate the value of marketing and what it adds – these are the ones that will struggle as rivals overtake them
  • Accounting firms in every single country without fail has the challenge of recruiting or attracting the right accounting talent
  • Two tips for accounting firms differentiation – become specialists and becoming part of an international accounting network
  • Why networking skills and connections are so important for the very best accountants and accounting firms today
  • How technology is changing the game for accountants but actually represents huge opportunities to serve clients better
  • Digital is good – the machines are making the accounting world better, but they’ll never take over the people interaction
  • Best advice on driving change in turbulent times is to look after your young people
  • The way client expectations are changing for accountants, particularly if they want to be trusted advisors and a business friend
  • The importance of being the listener in a meeting – the person who concludes and summarises
  • How the game of chess can help your negotiating
  • Being nice to people – a very underestimated quality that makes things happen (although it’s hard to please everyone)
  • The frustration of people who don’t want to change and firms don’t want to advance – accountants cannot stand still!

When not globetrotting or helping firms generate new business opportunities, Stephen tries to relax at home with his love of music and guitars; but invariably fails due to interruptions from his 3 young boys all demanding unlimited amounts of attention. Find out more at www.russellbedford.com or to contact Stephen directly:

 LinkedIn or @StephenHamlet1 or phone 020 7410 0339 or  Liked your Accounting Influencers 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.