15: Bridging the Critical Gap Between FDs/CFOs & Accountants

greg smargiassi on the BD Academy top 100 club accounting podcast with Rob Brown
greg smargiassi on the BD Academy top 100 club accounting podcast with Rob Brown

Greg Smargiassi

Greg Smargiassi is an accountant with a mission. He’s on a quest to take the yawn-factor out of numbers so SMEs can become financially savvy and thrive. Through speaking engagements, coaching, accounting and Greg’s main love – his business OURCFO – this motorcycle-riding, guitar-playing accountant is determined to prove that numbers don’t have to be dry.

After working in the accounting profession for 15 years, Greg was fed up with the profession’s overwhelming focus on taxation and compliance. He could see ways of giving businesses a leg up by sharing tools for success, and explaining these in a way that business owners could not only understand but embrace.

Greg sold his tax accounting business and set about providing top-notch instruction in financial education, processes, and strategy to businesses through OURCFO. Greg also took on a position with an international business coaching franchise and emerged as one of their highest performers. As a master coach he was able to share his knowledge and skills with emerging business coaches throughout Australia and New Zealand.

As a result, Greg was able to combine business coaching, accounting, and speaking to bring a touch of rock star to the accounting world. And he’s dead keen to share his experiences to help get your business finances where you’d like them to be. Listen in and hear stuff like:

  • Most accountants are historically rather than future focused, which does their clients a dis-service because they can’t anticipate opportunities and challenges
  • Why the accounting profession in Australia is in denial and ignorant of the changes coming up – same in the UK and US
  • The accounting profession is ripe for disruption with technology and increased client expectations
  • Accountants have skills that are underutilized – they give a lot of advice but don’t ask enough questions to uncover more opportunities to help clients
  • The 80-20 rule applies to accountants and firms – 20% are doing well and serving client well
  • CFOs don’t do compliance work so don’t compete with accountants, though there may be come conflict in advisory work
  • It’s hard to be an accounting specialist (say tax or compliance accountant) and a business advisor at the same time
  • The great firms take a more proactive approach with clients – the good firms don’t always do this
  • From a cashflow management perspective, accountants should understand the tax position of clients all year round, not just at the year end
  • Creating cultural change is a challenge for larger accounting firms – turning a big ship ‘on a dime’ is almost impossible
  • Proof that even the Big Four accounting firms struggle to position and deliver advisory work for clients
  • In an ageing business population, the baby boomers are retiring and the younger generations are more open to doing business in a different way
  • What some of the more proactive and entrepreneurial firms are doing differently to position themselves in the marketplace
  • Being an accountant doesn’t necessarily make you a great business person, to retraining, learning and upskilling is needed to stay ahead of the game
  • What accounting firms need to be to move into more advisory work
  • The role of emotional intelligence (EQ) is understanding why people do what they do – being more effective communicators and influencers is vital for technical people like accountants
  • It’s important for accountants to understand strategy and how to implement it to serve their clients fully
  • How many of us buy what we sell? Should business coaches have a coach themselves? Should accountants have more experience of buying their own services?
  • Many accounting firms are positioning themselves as external CFOs. This is dangerous and can cause real issues for businesses, because cloud accounting, for instance, isn’t the path to becoming a virtual CFO
  • What should be the hiring policy for progressive, growing accounting firms and what skills they should recruit for
  • The future CFO may not be accounting oriented, which means the accounting profession needs to ask questions about how to remain relevant
  • In today’s world of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity), the best accounting firms will be data-driven
  • Analysing the data out of businesses and presenting clients with what’s working and what doesn’t is what successful accountants must be doing

Plus Greg’s favourite book and his personal philosophy for success!


To contact Greg: 08 6377 8200 (Australia)   email him directly>>

OUR CFO Website or linkedin.com/in/gregsmargiassi

About Podcast Host & Author, Rob Brown

Rob Brown is the founder and CEO of the successful BD ACADEMY, which creates armies of confident, effective work winners in large accounting firms. He is also host of the popular Accounting Influencers podcast, featuring interviews with top accounting leaders and global influencers about what makes good firms great and good accountants world class.

According to LinkedIn, Rob is the world's most recommended networking expert. He is also the bestselling author of Build Your Reputation (published by the world's largest business publishers, Wiley), a featured TEDx speaker and is a popular keynote speaker and MC at conferences and business events worldwide.

@TheRobBrown