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Did 2019 leave you breathless? The speed of change is exhausting!

Updated: Jan 29


You remember the song, released by the Corrs in (shockingly) 2000! Alas, the breathlessness they were singing about was probably more pleasurable than the hamster wheel experience I'm expecting most accountancy firm leaders can relate to, after experiencing the year which I refer to as the 'tipping point' for change in the accountancy profession.


I was fairly relieved it finally arrived to be honest. I'd been predicting dramatic change for around ten years, and I thought I was starting to sound like a broken record. But with the eventual launch of Making Tax Digital, the continuing world-domination of the cloud accounting software, the rise and rise of the apps on the back of the insights now available to users who now know their 'numbers' at the touch of a button, and the stealth-like and steady return to the dominance of the consolidators in our market, 2019 finally broke the mould of the vast majority of the traditional accountancy firms, who could no longer cling on to their old ways and hide from this new, digital world.


Of course, within all firms, there are undoubtedly some individuals who are still refusing to look up and outward to what's happening in the wider world, but within most firms, there is a core understanding that the world around them has changed.


Some firms have already looked to the future and (begun to) embrace that, some are still trying to work out how to, but most, even the largest firms, are somewhere along that digital journey of how to service the basic needs of clients who now hold the power, because they can access their accounts at their fingertips, on their phone, instantaneously, no matter where they are. And accountants scramble to understand just where their traditional service offering now fits it.


Of course, accountants DO have the skills which can still be useful, invaluable in fact, to business owners of all sizes. But recognising how to change your firm's approach, your marketing, your pricing and your operations to offer these enhanced services in a new way, demands time and focus. And an understanding and a quite assurance that our skills can be useful, if only we are prepared to adapt what we do, how, when and where we do it.


But along the way of this scramble up the rockface, the basics have been forgotten by many firms. The basics of running a profitable firm with streamlined systems, happy, engaged and proud staff, and of knowing exactly what your firm stood for. Who are you now? Are you still the leading accountancy firm in your region? Can you still say that with confidence, or are you starting to waver in your belief, as new entrants to the market seemingly dominate social media and the buzz in your town...and amongst your staff. Are they still proud to work for you or are their heads being turned too?


The 'Beyond 2020' Programme is to address all of these things. Across 12 months, you can choose what you need to concentrate on, from a list of my suggested tasks, and let me facilitate that change and development. I'll share with you how other leading firms have tackled the same challenges, and which are the best firms who are now becoming the market-leaders for the future business owners and staff in their area. So you can make sure that you don't get left behind!


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