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What’s Really Happening in Today’s World of Accounting

Mark Lee on the BD Academy Accounting Influencers podcast with Rob Brown
Mark Lee on the BD Academy Accounting Influencers podcast with Rob Brown

Mark Lee

Mark Lee is a chartered accountant who spends much of his time researching, writing and speaking about what accountants need to do to survive, evolve and thrive into the future. During his career in practice he worked for all sizes of practice and was a partner at two top firms. In 2006, Mark moved from practice work to focus on those elements of his career that he most enjoyed – speaking, writing and mentoring.

Now, as well as being a popular speaker at accounting conferences Mark is also a frequent blogger and contributor to various accounting journals, websites and Linkedin. His practice-focused articles for AccountingWeb, have been viewed over one million times. Shownotes:

  • Why it’s hard to define what shape the accounting profession is in right now, because it’s not one group
  • What young people want now in the accounting profession is different to days gone by
  • What makes a good accounting firm great is the same the small and large firms – it’s about looking after clients despite the rapid pace of change in accounting, it hasn’t predominantly affected the service that clients want from their accountant
  • The accounting client doesn’t care how quickly or slowly the work gets done providing it is done on time
  • There is a fundamental reason why people use accountants, and that’s because of a legal obligation to be compliant
  • What accountants need to do to advance in the accounting profession (it’s not about technical skills)
  • The biggest challenge that virtually all accounting firms are facing is recruiting enough of the right people
  • Many accounting firms recruit for technical skills but they must train key business skills beyond the CV
  • The mistakes accounting firms make when training their staff and partners
  • Why training business skills in accounting firms needs ongoing coaching to make it stick
  • Accountants will find it hard to progress in their career without a broad range of business skills beyond their technical expertise
  • The three timeframes and accounting futurist works on, and the point beyond which making any predictions is just wild speculation
  • Over the next five years, accountants will be competing with external management consultants, business coaches and mentors and better skilled accountants
  • The AI in accounting software will mean that many start-up businesses actually don’t need an accountant in the early stages
  • With client churn, accountants increasingly need to develop the skills to replace them and win more business
  • Why much of the current M&A activity in the accounting market will not be successful
  • The accounting profession advances because of what clients want and not because of what suppliers think they want
  • Why there is limited appetite for accounting firms to change, particularly at the top
  • What the best accounting firms will have to do to future proof
  • The slow demise of the generalist accountant who is not prepared to specialise or focus
  • Key business skills are robot proof and must be developed if accountants are going to survive and thrive the coming years of disruption

'#Accountants will find it hard to progress in their career without a broad range of business skills beyond their technical expertise' says #accounting futurist @bookmarklee on the Accounting Influencers Podcast #accountex #advisory…
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Mark Lee on the BD Academy Accounting Influencers podcast with Rob Brown


Mark was once described by Accountancy Age magazine as “probably the most networked accountant in the UK”. He is now consistently identified as one of the most influential accountants online. He is very active on social media but often debunks the way this is over-hyped to accountants. Mark is also a proud Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association and Treasurer of The Magic Circle – which probably means he is the only truly magical speaker in the UK accountancy profession. Contact Mark directly:

Mark on LinkedIn

Mark on Twitter

Mark on email