Attention all Accounting firm Managing Partners!

Recently I had a meeting with the Managing Partner of a top 15 Accounting firm.

I originally approached him earlier in the year to talk about me coming in and giving a high level presentation of the key points to partners and staff I learned in researching and writing my book “What do Accounting Clients Really Want?” This presentation was to be done for no charge. It was just my way of sharing some valuable lessons and of course to promote the book.

It took me a while to get into his diary, but I eventually got an appointment.

He apologised for being 20 minutes late. I don’t mind that so much but why is it that so called C-level people think it is OK to be late for any appointment? I just don’t get it. It shows such a lack of respect for the person that you are meeting with. I (almost) ran from the other side of the city in pouring rain to make sure I made it in time for an appointment inhis office. Perhaps I’m ranting unfairly – but being late (I don’t think) is good form.

Anyway, leaving the above to one side, the chap I met with seemed like a nice guy. He certainly knew his stuff and no doubt is a good solid manager. He has made some difficult decisions in his tenure as Managing Partner and has made some good improvements to the way the practice operates.

But is this enough? I can’t help but think that the head of a professional services firm needs to be someone that can inspire and motivate the partners & staff. The firm head needs to be able to simply and powerfully communicate the story of the firm to their clients, prospective clients and the wider market. They also need to be someone who personifies the values of the firm. If the firm purports to be acting in the best interests of the client then does the managing partner visit clients on a regular basis? Do they ask clients questions about their views on business and bring back what they learn to the firm and share with the partners & staff?

I might be dreaming, but I really think the No.1 of the firm needs to be someone special – someone who is a leader not just a manager or administrator.

No offense intended – these are just my thoughts 🙂

Until next time,

James E

Can accountants save the business world?

This morning I was at the gym. Don’t  be too impressed. I joined a group about 4 months ago that goes to the gym every Monday & Friday morning and I hate very minute of it! The only reason I go is that I know it is supposed to be doing me some good.

Between some boring weight exercises I chatted with one of my fellow victims at the gym. We both knew each other before the gym and have been friends for a few years. My friend is the Head of Design at a small to medium manufacturing firm which designs, builds and distributes catering equipment. The firm employs around 100 people and has been locally owned & operated for more than 20 years.

I asked my friend how business was going. To cut a long story short, the conversation moved to the impact of the so called “carbon tax” For my readers overseas, the Australian government introduced a tax on carbon producers so as to penalise emissions on 1 July this year.

My friends firm, as one of the inputs into their productive process, uses refrigeration gas. This gas is one of the long list of items that attracts the new carbon tax. I was amazed to learn that before 1 July this manufacturing firm was paying a wholesale rate of $25 per kilo. Come 1 July the rate for the same gas increased to $160 per kilo. A whopping 640% increase! By the way … this manufacturer doesn’t use a kilo or two of gas a year – they use hundreds of kilos! And this is just one expense item that has been increased due to the carbon tax.

How do business owners and management cope with such a shock? In steps the accountant to the rescue. Given my work with accountants over many, many years I would have thought that  the above example is a golden opportunity to enter the business and use their expertise to help with solutions to manage such impacts on the business.

Numerous examples come to mind of accountants that I have met and worked with who are able to develop innovate ways to run business more efficiently and effectively. Its not just about numbers of course its about the helping the business do better!

Are you an accountant that can save the business world?

All my best,

James E

Attention all Managing Partners & CEOS!

The other day I had a meeting with the Managing Partner of a top 20 Accounting firm.

I originally approached him back in December to talk about me coming in and giving a high level presentation of the key points to partners and staff I learned in researching and writing my book “What do Accounting Clients Really Want?” This presentation was to be done for no charge. It was just my way of sharing some valuable lessons and of course to promote the book.

It took me a while to get into his diary, but I eventually got an appointment.

He apologised for being 20 minutes late. I don’t mind that so much but why is it that so called C-level people think it is OK to be late for any appointment? I just don’t get it. It shows such a lack of respect for the person that you are meeting with. I (almost) ran from the other side of the city in pouring rain to make sure I made it in time for an appointment in his office. Perhaps I’m ranting unfairly – but being late (I don’t think) is good form.

Anyway, leaving the above to one side, the chap I met with seemed like a nice guy. He certainly knew his stuff and no doubt is a good solid manager. He has made some difficult decisions in his tenure as Managing Partner and has made some good improvements to the way the practice operates.

But is this enough? I can’t help but think that the head of a professional services firm needs to be someone that can inspire and motivate the partners & staff. The firm head needs to be able to simply and powerfully communicate the story of the firm to their clients, prospective clients and the wider market. They also need to be someone who personifies the values of the firm. If the firm purports to be acting in the best interests of the client then does the managing partner visit clients on a regular basis? Do they ask clients questions about their views on business and bring back what they learn to the firm and share with the partners & staff?

I might be dreaming, but I really think the No.1 of the firm needs to be someone special – someone who is a leader not a manager or administrator.

No offense intended – these are just my thoughts.

Until next time,

James E