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A careful & helpful accountant beats a big 4 firm!

Although my day job is as a specialist headhunter in the accounting profession, I have some fingers in other pies. For example, some clients see me as a “honest broker” – rightly or wrongly. That is someone who can offer an objective sounding board and (perhaps) a slightly different perspective.

One of my commercial clients was planning to exit his business and has hired me as sounding board and has brought his accountant – a chap which he has used for several years – to join him as an adviser. I’ve met this accountant chap many times over the years. To protect the innocent let’s call him Adam as in Adam Sandler.

Adam is not the most brilliant or technically gifted accountant in the world. However, he has a wonderful attitude of being really helpful to his clients. Adam goes out of his way to serve, ask questions and generally be available to his clients. None of what he does is ground breaking stuff – but he does the small things well and is consistent.

Some time ago the same client referred to above had a tax issue. I introduced him to a top-notch tax specialist at a big firm. To cut a long story short, the lack of service, care and attention from the big firm drove my client friend back to his local accountant – Adam. Not because of his technical ability or size of his firm – he went back to Adam for two simple reasons. Adam showed care and was helpful. A one man band beat one of the world’s biggest accounting brands. He simply made a difference to his client by showing some care and helping!

My question to you – are you showing your clients care and are you helpful? I’d love to know what you think.

Bye for now,

James E

Care and help makes a difference

Although my day job is as a specialist headhunter in the accounting profession, I have some fingers in other pies. For example, some clients see me as a “honest broker” – rightly or wrongly. That is someone who can offer an objective sounding board and (perhaps) a slightly different perspective.

One of my commercial clients is planning to exit his business and has hired me as sounding board and has brought his accountant – a chap which he has used for several years – to join him as an adviser. I’ve met this accountant chap many times over the years. To protect the innocent let’s call him Ben as in Ben Stiller.

Ben is not the most brilliant or technically gifted accountant in the world. However, he has a wonderful attitude of being really helpful to his clients. Ben goes out of his way to serve, ask questions and generally be available to his clients. None of what he does is ground breaking stuff – but he does the small things well and is consistent.

Some time ago the same client referred to above had a tax issue. I introduced him to a top-notch tax specialist at a big firm. To cut a long story short, the lack of service, care and attention from the big firm drove my client friend back to his local accountant – Ben. Not because of his technical ability or size of his firm – he went back to Ben for two simple reasons. Ben showed care and was helpful. A one man band beat one of the world’s biggest accounting brands. He simply made a difference to his client by showing some care and helping!

My question to you – are you showing your clients care and are you helpful? I’d love to know what you think.

Bye for now,

James E

“Do you know anyone … ?” (part 2 of 2)

In the last post we were talking about the the importance of helping clients with introductions to people that may help them in their business and personal lives.

You might have thought to yourself , “James … its fine for you to be introducing people to your clients that’s your job and you have a huge network of contacts and you get paid for it.”

The above thought has two parts to it. Firstly, yes … I do have a large network of  friends, associates, contacts & acquaintances. But I’ll show you a way that is both inexpensive and quick to allow you to build a circle of friends and others that will help you in your business and career if you use it the right way. Secondly, I do a lot of favours for clients and others that I don’t get paid a brass razoo for. For me, its all about strengthening relationships and giving before receiving. To some of you this might sound corny and trite – but I’ve found it is the best way to become a long-term professional that people will trust.

Many of you have heard of LinkedIn and a few of you use it. For the uninitiated, LinkedIn is an online business networking site that connects people through 3 degrees of separation: your friends, friends of friends and friends of friends of friends.

LinkedIn (I prefer this business network because I have spent the most time and effort in building it!) is akin to a huge virtual bucket of business cards. You can search LinkedIn members by criteria like name, position title, company, university/college and location. It is seriously useful if you use it correctly.

At the time of writing my LinkedIn network numbered just under 20 million people around the world. This of course didn’t happen overnight, but through a regular investment of a little bit of time my network has got bigger and bigger. Some of you might be thinking – so what? What is the use of being linked to people in Botswana when I’m in Australia? With complete respect … thats not the point. By having access to these type of networks you can reach people you wouldn’t normally know or even think of contacting.

As mentioned in the last post my client needed access to someone within a specific field in Australian Agribusiness industry based in Sydney. I used LinkedIn to start an initial search and within about 10 minutes I had 20 contacts. Now from experience I know that not all of those contacts will be the right ones but with some further screening I will find my client 2-3 high quality people with whom he can meet.

There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that you can’t do the same for your clients. To help get you started send me an invite to join your LinkedIn network. By doing that my 2nd degree of separation will become your third degree which means about 3.3 million people will be added to your network instantly.

If you’re not a LinkedIn member then sign up otherwise you’re missing out on a quick and inexpensive way to help your clients – accounting or otherwise.

See you next time.

James E