It was 1998 and I was thinking about the firm of the future

February 1st, 2018

In 1998 I was the CEO of Results Accountants’ Systems – the Accountants’ Bootcamp company. During a particularly difficult time I wrote a weekly report to our 100+ team scattered around the world. The report I wrote on August 15 talked to a “dream” I had about the way firms would be operating in the future. I picked 2008 as the year that defined the future but was out by 10 years. Read more…

Ever thought of playing a game with your clients?

January 1st, 2018

One of the more interesting and enjoyable experiences I’ve had in the past year is spending some quality time with Paul Kennedy and his team in his Goffs Oak office in the UK. I’m about spend another 5 months there to finish a project that I think all accountants (and other business advisors) should seriously consider. Read more…

What I’m working on: The intersection between neuroscience and practice development

December 25th, 2017

Yesterday, a good friend of mine asked if I was enjoying “retirement.” I explained that I haven’t retired (and never will) but have simply changed careers from running a consulting business to writing about the SME consulting process through the lens of my own experience, my observation of the experience of others, and based on some important science Read more…

What Frogs and Gross Margins have in common

June 2nd, 2017

You’ve probably heard that if you drop a frog into a pot of cold water and slowly bring it to the boil the frog will, in the first instance, adapt to the rising temperature but will ultimately succumb to the heat and die. On the other hand, if you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water it will immediately jump out and proceed on its merry way. Read more…

A Day in the Office With Paul Kennedy: How One FirmTransitioned from Compliance to Advisory

April 20th, 2017

This is the story of how O’Byrne and Kennedy changed their business model from an unremarkable suburban compliance practice with 500 clients to a remarkable niche business advisory firm with 50 clients and in the process dramatically increased profitability, client loyalty, and team member engagement while having a life-changing impact on the clients they work with. Read more…

Are you doing all you can to help your clients prepare for retirement?

March 15th, 2017

In this note I want to address something I raised in an earlier blog post about an accountant’s responsibility for alerting clients about the need to take financial planning very seriously and to do so from a young age. My interest in this piqued after reading Tony Robbin’s recent book called Unshakeable: Your Guide to Financial Freedom. Read more…

Discounting as a Pricing Strategy: A 100 Year Old Story

October 1st, 2016

I’m inviting you to Boston MA 1891. In that year Edward and Lincoln Filene took over the management of their father’s retail store called Filenes. At the time it was quite a successful business that specialized in women’s fashions and accessories but the two brothers built it into one of the world’s leading retail companies by implementing a non-traditional business model. Read more…

Managing Working Capital Is Key to Growth and Survival: Hard & Costly Lessons

September 1st, 2016

In this post I want to share a story with you. It arises from a chance conversation with a member who is working with a client who has an inventory management challenge which came on the back of an article another friend of mine sent me about a report on the failure of the Dick Smith retail group in Australia. Read more…

Structural Change in the US CPA Industry – Small Firm Challenges

August 1st, 2016

 

Because industry structure plays a major part in determining the way in which competition plays out in an industry it’s useful to take a look at how structure changes over time due to forces coming from outside the industry (e.g. regulatory changes, technology impacts) as well as shifts in the way firms within the industry respond to those forces, innovate and compete. Read more…

So you want better clients

July 4th, 2016

“Explain how I can attract and retain better quality clients” was one of the responses from 92% of the people who attended a webinar I presented last year in which I asked the following question: what are the top 3 questions you’d like me to answer in the book I’m writing on practice development? Read more…