Martin Bragg is Head of Business Development at the UK accounting firm Creaseys. He has a formidable track record of BD and sales in professional services firms, with a career spanning Grant Thornton, Pinsent Masons and Ernst & Young. He also occupied a similar role at one of Abu Dhabi’s largest law firms, Hadef & Partners.
Martin is passionate about the Creasey’s culture (The Creaseys Way) and talks about how all 80 people in the firm (plus new hires) engage with the values of the firm. He spent the early part of his career in finance, so is more interested than most in how professional services firms make (and lose) profit. He believes that what good looks like in the accounting industry will fundamentally shift in the next five to ten years. The impact will be that firms that are prepared to proactively define that themselves (like Creaseys) will be the winners in the long run.
Creaseys aim to change the conversation with clients to focus on value. The shift is from selling hours to selling the outcomes and benefits that clients get from working with us. You’ll also hear much about the importance of choosing the right clients that you can add the most value to, and how that sometimes means courageously saying goodbye to some clients that are no longer the right fit. Creaseys is a bold, exciting and different place to work, and this interview will share why. Shownotes:
- What makes one accounting firm’s culture different to another
- Do you believe the partners in your accounting firm should be out there winning business, 100% focused on their clients or a bit of both?
- Why mindset is vital in separating good from great accountants
- Unless you’re an accountant working in the top 1% of any niche area, your client service has to be absolutely ‘top notch’
- Every accounting client has the right to feel like they are in a niche of one, and to do that, there are things that need to happen
- Clients of accountants what you do understand their business, and it’s impossible to do this without spending time in, on and with them
- The key differences between client service and client experience
- Larger accounting firms are looking at technology with a wary eye and has a serious impact on the resource needed to take advantage
- What % of your accounting firm is tech driven?
- “We’re in danger of becoming a knowledge economy where noone has time to think” – Tony Crabbe
- The balance for accountants between building a relationship with the client and dealing with the tech (which can take you away from the client)
- Accountants can look at the numbers, but it’s how those numbers drive better questions for the client
- If accountants own a client relationship, part of their role is to open up the rest of the firm to that client
- Where accounting professionals struggle with cross selling conversations
- The secret to good cross-selling, even though it might be out of an accountant’s comfort zone
- The pursuit of revenue as the ultimate goal is a big mistake for accounting firms
- The best and most sustainable way for an accounting firm to make the most profit
- The challenge around recruitment for growing accounting firms, especially for those people who ‘get’ your culture
- Tips to recruit right kind of accountants who will contribute to the culture of your firm
- The power of curiosity in adding more value (and advisory work) to your accounting clients
- How to use ‘resign mandates’ to offload the wrong kind of clients for your firm
- Do you have a robust ‘client acceptance process’ for your accounting firm?
- Ways to identify a ‘sweetspot’ client for your accounting firm
- A very original way to celebrate 150 ways of being an accounting firm with your clients
Martin is a golf enthusiast and a big Arsenal fan. He loves London, and after a time in the Middle East, he’s very happy to be ‘back home’. Find out more at www.creaseys.co.uk or to contact Martin directly: