A CFO powered by coffee!

As mentioned last post, for the next few weeks I’ll be publishing extracts from “What do Accounting Clients Really Want?” book which is due to be released by Thomson Reuters mid-to-late August.

Here is the response from Kym Warner, CFO of the successful & growing retail franchise, The Coffee Club ( to the question: What is the most important quality or attribute you look for in an accountant?

I think that for me it’s about the relationship. I want to know that I can build a relationship with them and that I can rely on their technical advice.  They also need to have the ability to understand our business.  Ideally, I’d like them to have some commercial acumen, not just years in the profession.  I do appreciate that they’ve either worked in commerce or can understand the demands of working in the commercial environment, more so than just providing advice.

From a client perspective, it’s quite ironic because you have to invest the time to train the accountants to be able to give you advice about your business and then you pay them for the time that they’re learning about your business. Go figure!

I think liking people and just being able to talk with them openly and honestly can’t be under-estimated.  Not just about having confidentiality over business matters, because I think that goes without saying in the profession, but it’s just the ability to listen and to hear what I’m saying.  I cover so many areas of our business that when I’m dealing with one specific thing, I don’t need them to just be focused on that one thing.  I need them to be aware of all the other items that I cover, all the other risk areas of our business.  When they’re providing tax advice, I need them to also be considering the impact of any suggestions they may have on say on our auditor’s perception of a policy we followed.  Even though it’s compliance tax, just to use that as a basic example, it’s crucial to the business.  It’s boring as hell, but it’s absolutely fundamental.

See you next post,

James E