For accountants, change is coming; there’s no escaping it. The government’s PTA rollout and cloud accounting eclipsing traditional accounting will force accountants to re-evaluate the service they offer. According to Nelson Da Silva, Receipt Bank’s UK country manager, if practitioners want to build a sustainable practice, “the time to do something is now”.
The positive effects of change emerged as a theme at the ‘Future Proof your practice’ session at last September’s Practice Excellence Conference, where Da Silva hosted a panel which included Karen Reyburn, Rachel Carr, and Practice Excellence winner Sharon Pocock.
Reflecting back on the session, Da Silva warned practitioners still in denial about how the profession has changed. He said: “In every other industry, those who hesitate close up and go”.
To avoid certain closure, Da Silva advises practitioners to be “purposeful” if they want to survive the change. “Sitting around waiting isn’t the solution,” said Da Silva.
Da Silva offered some sobering words for practitioners still burying their heads in the sand. He said: “The sooner you can accept change and embrace the positives, the sooner you can have purpose in building your business that has a future. This is the only way you can look at it.”
The session’s panellist Rachel Carr, Business Checkmate’s director, echoed this sentiment. Rather than approaching the uncertain future with fear, Carr believes accountants should stride forward and grasp the opportunity by wielding positive change. She told AccountingWEB: “As growth entrepreneurs we need to get comfortable with the concept of being uncomfortable and by this I mean, be fearless in our pursuit of business excellence and tenacious in our desire to step outside of our comfort zone.”
One way practitioners can create instant change and build for the future is by focusing on their clients. “It’s all about the client and the type of experience you can offer, and how you can shape that using everything you have got to hand,” said Da Silva.
Challenge the status quo
Carr also proposed that by bringing your personality to the fore, you can be your own agent of change: “There is no better time to challenge the status quo than right now; in business terms this means we need to keep adapting and striving to differentiate ourselves. Being brilliantly unique has to be both a survival skill and a success skill for all businesses in 2016.”
Continuing on this theme, Carr said in the words of Jerry Garcia, The Grateful Dead: “We do not merely want to be the best of the best; we want to be the only ones who do what we do.”
Practice Excellence attendees learned many more lessons during Receipt Bank’s session and were receptive about embracing change, which suggests many accountants are building for the future. “As Sharon Pocock was talking, and Rachel and Karen, you could see a lot of heads nodding,” recalled Da Silva.
Find out how you can embrace change and have a sustainable practice by learning the lessons Carr, Pocock and Karen Reyburn explained at the Practice Excellence Conference. Read Receipt Bank’s guide here.