Member Since: 13th Mar 2017
Winner - AccountantDaily Thought Leader Of The Year for 2017
I lead a team of spirited people looking to make a difference in the accounting industry as we know it. Elimination of debtors, automated invoicing and the thought of never having to touch your firm's billing again is a reality we deliver to accounting firms all over the world.
I believe that in order to achieve your goals, you must be a leader and a believer. Your peers need to feel part of something real and exciting in order to succeed. Turning up to work is just not enough.
I believe in creating a positive environment that stimulates and motivates people. An environment that allows people to grow, develop and most importantly enjoy their work.
I am the head of accounting at Practice Ignition, a Sydney based start-up born out of an accounting firm, Interactive Accounting. We eliminate debtors and automate your invoicing through our digital proposal and engagement letter builder solution. We service 1000's of accounting firms around the world including the United Kingdom.
In prior roles I have extensive history with Intuit QuickBooks, Xero, eWAY (online payments) as well as the retail sectors.
Head of Accounting & Sales Development Practice Ignition
15th May 2019
I think if you're focused on the outcome or end result you can still achieve exactly this regardless of whether you're using automation or providing a "Bespoke" solution.
Use the automation of onboarding tools to help remove the admin, focus more time on your client experience and you'll get the best of both worlds.
Haven't met a client yet that appreciated (or could tell the difference) between bespoke crafted engagement letter and an auto-generated one.
29th Mar 2019
I appreciate the jokes and I love a good Alf Stewart reference, if you had a profile picture we could compare who actually has more hair!
Simply put, I believe, it's very hard and difficult to give real-time advice to a client if you're using a solution that doesn't provide you with real-time information.
Let me know how much you need me to elaborate before you think I'm "Waffling".
29th Mar 2019
I've been mistaken as a younger less good looking version of Hugh Jackman before. So I'll take it as a compliment thanks John!
29th Mar 2019
29th Mar 2019
Thanks for the straight-shooting as always John. It's people like you that encourage me to keep writing ;-)
I actually don't care what technolog you want to use. Just give you clients, good real-time advice. If that means using a system that allows you to that, than I'm for it.
If you believe you can give the best advice possible and you're genuinely helping your clients with the obstacles in their business. That's awesome and that's actually all I want for every accountant and their clients.
Use tech, don't use tech. I don't care. Just do a good job.
My comments and experience are always from firms who have found their success in adopting new methods, that doesn't mean it's going to be sound advice for everyone.
20th Dec 2017
It's impossible if you've not positioned it to your client correctly. Client's don't buy things they don't see value in.
Firms around the world are already starting to use these Deign Thinking principles to deliver true tailored services.
Yes you're correct, majority of fees do come from compliance, but did you know that ever so softly, compliance revenue is starting to decline year on year.
In Australia, for example, it's reduced by 10% over the past 10 years. With increases coming into multi-disciplinary services, business advisory etc.
If firms are trying to find more ways to add-value to their clients and increase their fees, then build the 1:1 consults into your service offering.
Call it a "Client Review or Client Observation" It's a mandatory service for part of your niche clients perhaps. Clients that you know all share the same struggles and gaps. This is where you'll get your quick wins.
If you find the gaps, you're able to optimise the client work, automate and systemise where possible. If you stick to just rolling out a standard cloud ledgers + apps package, your still leaving a whole bunch of data integrity, data review on the table.
Growthwise based out of Newcastle Australia (Xero Platinum firm), run business mastermind sessions with different tiered groups (Beginners, Intermediate, Pro).
Accodex in Adelaide, Have trained all of their partners and staff how to do cloud implementations and setups. Which has allowed them to attract large retail chains because they were able to solve the client problem by observing their current process.
So again, these practices already exist with cloud firms around the world. What may seem like a waffle to you, is actually the reality for some progressive firms.
Appreciate your insight.
20th Dec 2017
The value in this approach is based on what your clients perceive to be of value.
When I refer to clients lying to their accountant - I'm talking more so about the "white lie's". When they smudge the truth a little bit, because they are embarrassed or don't feel confident to share "All" of the information.
By spending time in your clients environment you'll actually start to pick little bits and pieces that they don't do as well as they said they did.
Which is always a great place to start as you have an opportunity to add value in these moments and help these SME's streamline their process and get accurate data flowing into their accounting ledger. Which leads to better advice and better decision making, which is the ultimate goal.
20th Dec 2017
Thanks KA, appreciate your perspective. If there's disagreement, then it's worth discussing. Outside of this forum there's been plenty of other views discussed and yours is the first I've come across in your "Blunt" words, which is great. I'd rather hear it, then not hear it.
I'm happy to hear the other side of the coin.
I can give you my background but I won't bother with the long version. In short I've worked and spoken with literally 1000s of accountants in the UK, AU, US + CA discussing best practice tips, advice, feedback and more so competitive strategy.
On average most of the firms I've worked with have been small to medium sized (1-20 staff) I'll admit I haven't spent as much time in the big end of town until this year!
I feel confident enough to pen this article to say the least.
And please be specific, the article's not poorly written. You just don't agree with the opinion that's been written. Which again is fine. Some will agree, some will not, so what. This piece is written to challenge the reader's thoughts on their firm's strategy.
Whilst you may not worry about the competition there is a large majority of firms around the world that are losing clients to other firms.
And whilst you may be enjoying the relationships you have with other accounting firms, accountants and peers, others do not have the same luxury.
So I appreciate your opinion is based on your experience and what has been your reality for what sounds like your career. But that is not the same reality that every other accountant on this planet endures.
And the podcast was extremely relevant for microbusinesses across the world. I would suggest you actually listen to it before calling judgement. Instead of perceiving to understand the context of it.
Microbusinesses with new ideas challenge existing small businesses every day. Small businesses either duplicate the service offering to match the value to the client or the invent other ways to stay competitive. But whilst they focus on matching the competition, they're not escaping it.
And that is the point. If you're in business and trying to remain relevant to your customer, eventually one day. You will have to change.
The accounting industry is no different. If accountants believe they can just keep running their firms and not change due to change in client demand or impact of new technology. (Which statistics have already shown is occurring) I'll be interested to see where that leads them over the next 5 - 10.
7th Apr 2017
Yes I agree here. Marketing is enabling you to make more sales. But it's not impossible to switch to a customer centric marketing approach. By which the goal is to tell your message about how you help service people in front of as many people as possible. Your paying money to help tell your firms story. Even new service offerings these days are based on customer centricity. The art of innovation, great read, is a fantastic example of how firms can build new successful new services, that customers will love. For me this all ties together. Firms want to speak with more potential leads, not all firms but most. In order to do that they need to be able to get in front of more people to tell their tale about what they do, how they do it and why they believe they are the best for it.
I don't believe there's a right or wrong answer here. Just different strategies and views for firms in the future.
7th Apr 2017
Everyone's entitled to their opinion. Technology is changing how firms can find new clients. Geographical barriers are lowered. Firms can realistically service well beyond their physical base of operations and firms are doing that already now. They can't do that by hoping their referrals and news of their professionalism travels distances greater then where their existing client base lies. Marketing plays a part in all industries and accounting is no different. Agree to disagree.