A Webinar on Strategy in the Emerging Competitive Landscape

April 17th, 2015

The accounting services industry is highly fragmented and intensely competitive and as is the case with all mature industries its principal services are commoditized which inevitably puts downward pressure on margins. In this webinar, I discuss why this occurs and what you can do about it. Read more…

A Glimpse at The Firm of The Future

April 14th, 2015

I was talking to a previous Results Accountants’ Systems team member yesterday about how technology has caught up with the ideas I had talked and written about extensively back in the last century. He reminded me of a paper I wrote called “I had a Dream” that from memory was circulated internally at RAS in which I outlined what I saw as the evolutionary changes that were playing out in our profession. These ideas were detailed in a presentation I did for the Kentucky Society of CPAs in June 2000.  Read more…

It’s Lonely At The Top: A Mentor Makes the Difference

March 30th, 2015

By far the most enjoyable part of my work is the formal and informal mentoring I do with leaders of forms around the world. The main reward I get is the learning experience it offers me and the sense of contribution it brings. I have to confess I’d do it whether I was paid or not. Read more…

Collaborate and Grow Further and Faster

March 18th, 2015

I first started talking to accounting firms about growth strategies in 1982 when I was just a kid. One of the things I noticed even then was that multi-partner, multi-manager firms that embraced a “whole firm” approach to meeting client service needs seemed to grow further faster than those built on an “eat what you kill” approach. Read more…

The 25 best pieces of advice I have given or received

February 17th, 2015

Over the years I’ve been given or have picked up from my reading lots of good advice that I have acted on. I thought I’d put together a list of my top 10 but before I knew it I had about 30 ideas that came to mind. So I filtered them to 25 and I intend to work on this a little more but for now here’s what I’ve come up with. Read more…

Non-creativity is a learned trait and the good news is, so is Creativity

January 15th, 2015

In 1993 George Land, who is a US general systems scientist (whatever that means) undertook a longitudinal study of 1,600 children of various ages in which he administered a modified standard creativity test that had originally been developed by him for NASA to help in the selection of engineers. Read more…

Personal Development first: Warren Buffet’s View

January 10th, 2015

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine about those so-called personal development gurus like Dale Carneigie, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Stephen R. Covey, Napoleon Hill, Jack Canfield and many others who, I must say, have played a major role in my life and my outlook on people and life. Read more…

Structuring Your Business for a New and Profitable Era

December 29th, 2014

This post is an updated version of an article I wrote for the 2014 Good, Bad and Ugly inter-firm comparison study done by the Australian firm, Business Fitness.

The accounting services industry has been around for long time and is likely to be around for a long time to come because people and organizations need their services. But as is the case with every industry, its structure will be largely shaped by outside forces that are beyond the immediate control of the firms in the industry today and those forces will create opportunities and challenges. The way in which firm leaders respond to those forces will determine the destiny of their firm. Read more…

Why technology is not necessarily the answer

November 29th, 2014

I had a conversation with a leader in the media recently during which he mentioned that a software vendor had told him his company’s product could help accountants perform in 15 minutes a task that typically would take 3 hours when done in a traditional manner. Read more…

Differentiation is the Difference Maker

October 16th, 2014

If that’s not a truism I don’t know what is. And yet if you were to look at the market positioning of accounting firms 97.5% all say the same thing about what they do and for whom they do it. They seek to be “different” by talking about their experience and skill, how long they’ve been in practice, how many offices they have, the range of services they offer, the quality of their service, accessibility to “experts” e.g. you’ll get to deal with a partner … blah, blah, blah. Read more…