Member Since: 17th Jul 2008
I am Chairman of the Tax Advice Network - a nighly ranked online resource tfonr anyone seeking indepdent tax advisers. As such it is also a long established lead generation facility for tax advisers and tax accountants.
Before the lockdown I was also speaking at conferences and awaydays for accountants and tax advisers. I had started describing myself as an 'Immediate Futurist' to help distinguish me from the more general futurologists.
My own focus involved highlighting what accountants need to do differently to succeed in the immediate future.
Many of my articles on AccountingWeb date back to my time as consultant practice editor. Nowadays, when I'm not speaking on stage at conferences or at firms' aways days I tend to work with savvy sole practitioners who want more out of their practice. More clients, more money, more time, more satisfaction - or everything!
After qualifying as a charttered accountant I was in practice for 25 years before choosing to move away from the provision of professional advice in 2006.
I have long been passionate about helping accountants generally so I am a keen blogger and commentator in the accounting and tax press. During my time as consultant practice editor of AccountingWEB I rote hundreds of articles here that have been viewed over a million times.
Check out how I could help you here: www.BookMarkLee.co.uk/savvy
NB: I no longer give tax advice despite being a past Chairman of the Chartered Accountants’ Tax Faculty. I remain Chairman of the Tax Advice Network - the UK's highest ranked lead generation website for tax advisers and accountants. The network also publishes a weekly practical tax update for accountants in general practice and full tax support, on demand too. You can also use it as a lead generation resource for local people seeking tax advice from an accountant.
I have extensive network reach through my blog, talks, social media activity, articles and my regular 'Magic of Success' tips and tricks email that goes to thousands of accountants every week.
Chairman of the Tax Advice Network and BookMarkLee
13th Nov 2021
Back in 2009 Jobtel announced plans to launch a new consolidator brand. I doubted it would happen and explained my reasons here: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/practice/general-practice/will-a-new-acc...
I tend to think the same principles apply as regards private equity funded aggregators. Someone will get their fingers burned!
25th Oct 2021
There is another side to this and it affects all those accountants who, at best, turn a blind eye to tax evasion by small clients. You know the sort of thing:
- undeclared cash receipts
- non business expenditure put through the business
- family members, nannies and gardeners etc on the company payroll
Not something any members of AccountingWeb would do I'm sure - at least not whilst also castigating the big 4 for their ethics ;-)
19th Oct 2021
Love your opening line Richard. A few years ago I was surprised to note that a flagship ICAEW conference was sponsored by Sage. I had anticipated that the Institute would have wanted to align itself with one of the more modern cloud based platforms. I thought younger members especially would have preferred this too.
The rationale for sponsorship by Sage became clear when I learned that a significant majority of ICAEW member firms still used Sage. There was a willingness among these dinosaurs (as some cloud advocates might have referenced them) to wait for Sage to catch up with the major cloud based platforms.
As you say, the acquisitions of Auto-Entry and GP are really positive moves.
Often forgotten I tend to think that the recruitment of Chris Downing at the coal face was the beginning of this positive trend.
19th Oct 2021
The only people arguing that compliance is 'dead' have their own agendas. Of course it isn't and it's not disappearing either. I've been challenging the view that all accountants need to move to become business advisers for years. More recently I have offered clarification as to 6 different types of advisory services and how the mix of these will almost certainly change over the next few years.
One reason for the change (which isn't happening overnight) is that the perceived value of compliance work will fall in the minds of business owners who start relying on cloud systems. They will still want help but may seek a lower-priced commoditised compliance service. Accountants will need to enhance their key business skills so as to attract higher fee paying clients - and offer more than the commoditised compliance service if they want to secure higher fees per client.
19th Oct 2021
Glenn is absolutely right. This is not a recent phenomena. In all my years of mentoring accountants one of the biggest issues has always been how to recruit good enough staff.
As Glenn says, there are plenty of reasons why staff may not want to stay in the profession, take on more responsibility or risk moving from the frying pan into the fire.
There is also an issue with the way that many firms still advertise roles as if the world hadn't changed in the last ten plus years. Websites and social media can be key ways of proving a firm is a more attractive workplace than others. Testimonials from previous recruits who have moved from larger firms and from smaller ones can also be helpful. Aa can incentives to tell their friends
There are other options too if you cannot make your firm sufficiently attractive to your ideal team members. If you want things to change you have to try doing things differently.
30th Aug 2021
I think we can safely say that 'influencer' culture has not really been embraced by the UK accountancy profession.
17th May 2021
Hopefully something has changed - but I think it will need to be driven by HMRC and will focus on who can act for clients when dealing with HMRC.
Some years ago, during the Coalition Government, when Vince Cable was Business Secretary, he offered to introduce new laws to restrict use of the word 'accountant'. Any change was to be conditional upon him being satisfied that it would be in the public interest. The professional bodies sought to collate evidence about poor advice etc from unqualified accountants. Sadly no one could prove this was any worse than the poor advice being given by qualified accountants.
I have written before about how restricting use of the word 'accountant' could well backfire; as in, be careful what you wish for.
But restricting who can provide tax advice and engage with HMRC is a much more realistic target.
I say this whilst also admitting that I chair the Tax Advice Network, the UK's largest network of independent tax advisers - not all of whom have a professional qualification. However, they all satisfy our membership criteria - including those who were time barred from exams or who secured their tax training whilst working for HMRC
3rd Mar 2021
Here's my take on Clubhouse. It seems to resonate with most of the accountants I know and work with: https://bookmarklee.co.uk/5-reasons-to-ignore-the-latest-shiny-distraction/
In that blog post I liken the attention being given to Clubhouse to that given to Google+ shortly after it was launched some years ago. I disagreed with the advocates that tried to get us all to embrace that new platform back then. Transpired I was right and Google+ is no more.
My reservations re Clubhouse may turn out to be unfounded but I still don't plan to spend time there yet. And I don't encourage my clients to do so either.
19th Jan 2021
ICAEW has been working on this issue for some time. Signing the charter is a part of the process. It's neither the start nor the end.
19th Jan 2021
Thanks Tallula. Well done!