The accountancy profession needs to make a quantum leap into the 21st century, according to practice development consultant Mark Lloydbottom.
Speaking to AccountingWEB ahead of the Practice Excellence Conference on 6 November, Lloydbottom cited the old saying, “If you continue to do what you’re doing, you’ll continue to get what you’re getting.”
He continued: “The internet is redefining people’s expectations. As a profession we need to make a quantum leap to providing 21st century service, where many firms are perhaps still rooted in the practices of the 20th century.”
The net has already had a huge impact on accountancy, but Lloydbottom expects to see even more changes in the five years to come.
“Technology enables clients almost at a fingertips to get a rough guide how they are doing financially,” he said. That poses some interesting challenges to firms who have traditionally produced 3-4 page accounts packs for unincorporated businesses.
“We have to look again at value. So much of our work addresses historical issues as far as the client is concerned,” he said. “Companies like Xero have made a huge impression and given accountants the ability to enhance the P&L accounts.”
As well as meeting client expectations for financial information at their fingertips, face-to-face time with them will hold the key to delivering the kind of service they want. Mark will be leading a marketing workshop at the Practice Excellence Conference to focus more closely on those client needs and adapting your practice to evolve with them.
The interactive session will begin by looking at the kind of clients you want to serve and how to understand what matters to them. The challenge for practitioners moving into a more advisory role is to pick up on the issues that cause clients the most problems - and remove that anxiety.
Success in this area relies heavily on gaining insights into your clients, and uncovering their problems. Mark will draw on his Deeper approach to practice development and consulting to give you a few practical ideas how to do this.
To hear more of Mark's suggestions and take part in his practical workshop, buy your tickets now for the Practice Excellence Conference on 6 November in London. See below for the full video interview with Mark Lloydbottom:
About John Stokdyk
John Stokdyk is the global editor of AccountingWEB UK and AccountingWEB.com.