10 commandments to improve profitability

Imagine if someone gave you a magic key that could improve the profitability of your firm, while reducing your stress levels. 

While unfortunately no such magic exists, director of Mercia's training division John Sharkey laid down 10 commandments to follow that could see you on your way to achieving the above.

Speaking at the UK 200 conference in Newcastle last week, Sharkey said: “It will be an increasing challenge to improve profit in coming years. We need to ensure we do whatever we can to keep our earnings at an acceptable level."

His tips for accountants were basic but powerful, illustrated by ten individual bags that held stress relief items:

  • Thou shalt lead
  • Thou shalt know thy destination and thy path
  • Thou shalt unlock thy potential
  • Thou shalt know thy value
  • Thou shalt be flexible
  • Thou shalt not try to be all things to all people
  • Thou shalt learn to say no and stick to it 
  • Thou shalt schedule time for thyself and thy supportive network 
  • Thou shalt not be perfect nor even try to be
  • Thou shalt challenge

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Paul Scholes's picture

That's refreshing    1 thanks

Paul Scholes | | Permalink

With memories of the headline events at last week's Accountex still fresh in my mind eg, "How Accountants in Practice can change the World", I read this one, spat on my hands & read all 10 commandments, only to find they made perfect sense.  Great to see yoga & "say no" mentioned on Accountingweb (never would have happened in the old days).

I've struggled to think of an 11th but maybe more as an appendix:

"Try to avoid setting up 10 new categories on your time ledger to record the above actions"

it defeats the object.


George Gretton's picture

Hail! Hail King Charlton! Hail Man Of Sage Sharkey Words

George Gretton | | Permalink

Also to add (explicitly, rather than just implicily, and as by lovely example above):

11(a) Thou Shalt Laugh at all possible Opportunites rather than Cry, and take the p Absolutely Whenever it is even Remotely Called For out of the Pompous and Worse.

11(b) In the Sad Event that Lacrimosae are Winning in comparison with Halleluilias, Then Thou Shalt remove the Teeth or Even The Whole Head of the Source of Angst Offender.

Support in Such Delicate Matters available at SubRelationalMan@Gmail.Com; System Chaos Resolution Work, Strictly Papyrus Based, a Speciality.

johnjenkins's picture

What did the woman from

johnjenkins | | Permalink

dragons den say on sky news the other morning. Ah yes, most business (over 70%), when questioned about how they rate success, said the bigger the profit the bigger the success. She was not impressed and thought success should be measured by other ways including apprentiships etc.

I don't know why I posted this. I did see a link at some stage. Hey Ho off to the pub with friends to unlock my potential as a barmaid (can I still say that?) critic.

George Gretton's picture

En Erudite Lady

George Gretton | | Permalink

Hello John,

Thank you for your wonderful observation, O Politically Incorrect Person, like me. 

I also think that there's more to life than making a Fast Buck or an Obscene Fortune, although one has to pay the bills and avoid Deficit and Bankruptcy, like the Plague, Greece.

There's been a good Discussion thread in the "Just Accountancy Jobs" Group in LinkedIn on this subject, of what is important, rewarding and satisfying at work.

I'm at home, so I can't observe in turn your Female / Feminine Bar Person Critique Activity, and Evaluate its Efficacy and Objective Accuracy. However, I can always look in the mirror.


In respect of my working in a Papyrus environment as above, I have to admit that I can also re-write history, even if people think that they have written False Stories in Stone. It's called Forensic Accounting, aka seeing through the shit.




listerramjet's picture

the noughth commandment

listerramjet | | Permalink

stop the pontificating and navel gazing, and get out there and do it.

George Gretton's picture

Hello Roger "Lister" RamJet

George Gretton | | Permalink

Navel Gazing (I've done 40 years of same) is an Essential Pre-Requisite for Being Able to Put The Boot In Really Effectively , My Little Droog!

It can, however, get one in a spot; I've just sorted out a vile attack on me by my "Institute", the ICAEW. I'm pursuing a £4,000,000 money laundering scheme tarted up as a "Charity", which I think is why I was attacked. 

I'm also doing some "constructive" work in Information Systems as well as other De-Constructive work.

I'm also applying for some (well) paid work! Life is indeed full!

Stress....    3 thanks

AndyC555 | | Permalink

How many MORE articles will there be on here about reducing stress.....?


I can't keep up with them all.....it's making me a nervous wreck worrying I might miss one...

johnjenkins's picture

There is a train of

johnjenkins | | Permalink

Didn't you know, Andy, compare the reducing stress .com is taking over from the meercats

Locutus's picture

Eleventh Commandment

Locutus | | Permalink

Thou shalt not act for charities, CIS cases or undertake audits.

George Gretton's picture

Hmmmmm... A Gamer Accountant......Confidence Inspiring

George Gretton | | Permalink

Hello Jean-Luc Le Bourg, aka "0103953" - 1953, like me?

Would you give me some insight into the "CIS" reference?

I'm well aware of the Perils Of "Charities", and I've recently seen what utter fools a Supposedly Reputable Medium Sized Firm of ICAEW Accountants have made of themselves in the context of "Auditing" a "Charity". Who were the beneficiaries? Not the poor and needy!

From my background CIS stands for "Construction Industry Scheme" - have you tracked down my seamy past? Otherwise, what is "CIS" also?

Please note, all and sundry including Prudes, that this post contains nothing rude by way of language!

I got my wrist slapped, Officially. No Comment, but what fun.

Yours, Rene, as in Des, that is, and not in 'ello, 'ello


Chocolate a stress booster? Stress buster perhaps?

Walksie | | Permalink