28: The Power of Discipline & Culture in a Niche Accounting Firm

Paul Barnes is the founder of My Accountancy Place (MAP) & Co-Founder with James Ashford of a SaaS Business called GoProposal.

Growing up he watched his Dad spend his life doing something he detested, as we see many other people proceeding through their careers going through this same thing. He knew it didn’t have to be like that, so Paul wanted to make sure he wasn’t just ‘working’ he was building something he could be proud of, which he pushes for his clients to achieve as well.

Paul has advised and supported hundreds of businesses across the 4 different accountancy firms that he’s worked in. In the first 3 firms, Paul was employed in client facing roles where his role was to work with business owners to help them to build their business, manage their finances and reduce their tax.

In 2013 he set up his own accountancy firm from a small office in Manchester. Paul had a blank canvas to work from and he mapped out the firm that he believed business owners needed. MAP was born out of a deep frustration, after seeing a lot of accountancy firms providing low value services to any business and having little or no impact on the clients they serve. Detailed shownotes:

  • Why it’s a good time to be an accountant
  • Cloud accounting allows firms to offer a full finance function to clients
  • Accountants have got away with it for too long that it’s easy to win business -it’s much tougher now to win the RIGHT kind of business
  • The critical differences between the large and small accounting firms
  • One thing that makes the good accounting firms great is taking responsibility for the things the poorer firms leave up to the client
  • How to systemise proactivity to really service clients
  • It’s easier to find highly skilled, talented young people than quality senior people, so start lower down and invest in them
  • Treat your recruitment pipeline the same way you treat your new business pipeline
  • Problem with accounting qualifications – they don’t train on the right and most up to date technology
  • Many accountants lack the soft skills necessary for success, so training is sorely needed
  • It’s becoming harder and harder to track back exactly where new business has come from
  • Why a sales culture beats a sales person or sales team
  • Engaging your people means allowing them to give value to clients and do interesting, challenging work
  • A smart way of setting growth targets for your accounting staff
  • What the high performers look like in a progressive accounting firm
  • Why it’s vital for firms to get their accountants ‘away from the tools’ to go out there and talk to clients
  • The services and products you offer as an accounting firm should change in line with your client’s evolving needs
  • Good accountants ensure their clients stay in love with their businesses
  • The things you like doing and get excited about are not always the things you should be working on – get disciplined
  • With the right accountant, small businesses can have access to a full finance team
  • If your employees thought like you and behaved like you, they’d be running the firm!

As Paul ONLY works with digital marketing agencies, over the years his company has developed a unique approach to implementing the full finance function into their business that actually moves the needle. MAP is the only accountancy firm that works exclusively with digital agencies and this gives it greater insights into the industry, to benchmark their success and give them the information they need to improve and grow.

To contact Paul: +44 161 711 0810

 LinkedIn or on Twitter or  email him directly>>

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