Let me show you how you can make your accounting firm significantly more profitable while working less.
I get asked frequently about how I started with Accountants and what have I done with them
over the years.
Accounting Firm Marketing
Disclaimer: First let me get something straight.
I am not an Accountant. I left school at the age of 16. I do not have a piece of paper or any qualifications to my name. What I do have is an unparalleled experience and knowledge of helping Accounting firms achieve peak performance and how they can change their lives and the lives of their clients for the better. I am an accounting firm marketing expert.
So, with that disclaimer out of the way, here’s the story.
In early 1994 I started a seminar company in the small Australian country town of Dubbo, NSW, Australia. I grew up there – a country town of just 38,943 people. I knew a bit about marketing so I decided to start a seminar business. I had no idea what I was doing and I was going broke at a million miles an hour.
Then it happened. I was presenting a seminar at the local pub (8 attendees – pathetic I know) and in the room was an Accountant. His name was Ellis Ryan.
He said the seminar was great and he asked me to present it to his clients. He told me he had 126 business clients. Ellis was from an even smaller town than mine called Coonamble. Population 3,918. It was a 2 Accountant town.
Ellis invited his clients (by mail) to the evening seminar at a cost of $95 for the first person from the company and $45 per person after that. I was 24 at the time and didn’t know much about the power and influence of Accountants. What amazed me was 56 turned up to the seminar and I made a profit of $2,500. It was the most I had made in a single day. I thought WOW, these Accountants are amazing – they have impact and they can fill a room!
I decided to dump all of my other marketing (which wasn’t working) and focus 100% on accounting firm marketing for accountants.
Little did I know then that would profoundly change the course of my life and the lives of tens of thousands of Accountants around the world.
LEARNING THE ROPES
I joined the most
on the planet.
In late 1994 I joined Results Accountants Systems
It was run by some real legends, Paul Dunn and Ric Payne. They were famous for the Accountants Boot Camp. Working together we put around 7,500 Accounting firms (in 5 countries) through a 4-day seminar program which profoundly changed the way Accountants operated their businesses – and that of their clients too.
Working with Paul and Ric, I traveled the world for the next 6 years. I presented hundreds and hundreds of seminars to the team members and the clients of Accounting firms. I also facilitated Client Advisory Board meetings with 1,071 business owners on behalf of 126 Accounting firms. At these meetings I learned what the Business community REALLY wants from their Accountant.
After 6 years of being the Director of Training, then Marketing Manager and then General Manager the business got sold so I decided it was time to move on to the next chapter. I learned so much about Accountants in that 6-year time frame.
I was then ‘head hunted’ for a new job. This time with a ‘consolidator’ of Accounting firms. This company was buying small accounting firms and ‘rolling them up’ into a listed (Public) entity. I was in charge of mergers and acquisitions. I interviewed 105 Accounting firms, bought a few of them, got all of their financial results and learned about integration, acquisitions, and how to work in the public environment.
It was the data from those 105 firms that intrigued me. Why were some more profitable, had greater leverage or productive than others? I dug and dug and dug for the answers as to why! Based on my findings I wrote a financial analysis benchmarking report called “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the Accounting profession”. I offered commentary on what makes a great firm great.
From there a new business was born (I wasn’t cut out to be an employee of a public company) called business fitness. This company was my first real startup with $1M in capital raised and a new venture into the software world. As well as software, we continued to author the benchmark report and it’s now in it’s 18th year of publication. After 4 years I decided to exit this business. I am proud that It still operates successfully today.
After exiting in
2005, I decided to
do another start up.
I started a coaching business.
It was time to put into action all that I’d learnt to that time. I pioneered a revolutionary new coaching method called “coachingclub”. The idea was simple and amazingly powerful — get 8 similar Accounting firms in a boardroom setting, hold them accountable, teach them something new at every meeting and facilitate group experience sharing discussion.
It was amazingly powerful. The business ended up coaching 800 firms and I personally coached 434 of them. We tracked the performance of each firm and the firms I coached added more than $850M in profit whilst I was coaching them.
When you directly coach someone you learn a lot. I had the sense to capture the training content on film. As a result an e-learning library was created with over 150 hours of content. As well as coaching firms directly I continued to speak at industry events around the world. We also hosted our own annual ‘roadshows’ and conferences.
Our premier event was called “THEPAC” The Proactive Accountants conference. Now in its 11th straight year, I have been the host to over 2,415 Accountants at the first 10 events. Our delegates tell us they regard it as the best conference in the world for Accountants.
As well as coaching, conferences and events I wrote 3 best-selling books on the Accounting profession.
In 2014 I could see
a ‘rising tide’of
in the Accounting
So I decided to invent a new application for our coaching clients.
It was called ‘PANALITIX’ and it proved very popular. Based on its popularity it was time to turn the coaching business into a software business and expand globally.
Creating a software company is expensive – very expensive. We put $6M of our money in first and then we needed to raise more. To fund the company I raised a further $12M for acquisitions and working capital – most of that came from 112 Accounting firms and their clients.
I then set about personally launching the company in Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Finland, UK and the USA. Today we have clients in 13 countries using our marketing, sales and e-learning software.
A management and board structure was set up so I could step out of the day to day operations. My wife and I are still the majority shareholder in PANALITIX but have nothing to do with the day to day running of it.
Which brings me to today.
I am more passionate than ever about helping Accounting firms change lives. After 27 years of doing accounting firm marketing, I am now bringing the next installment to the global accounting profession.
This time it’s all about education and coaching. I believe that with proper education and personal coaching we can bring my (and hopefully yours) purpose to life.
You see, I believe Accountants can change lives.
That’s why I am here for you – to help you change your life and the lives of your clients. When you run a better business it changes your life. When you make more money it changes your life. When you can help your clients run a better business (and make more money) that changes their lives too.
If you look at the world of an estimated 500M+ businesses pretty much every one of them is ‘connected’ to an accounting firm in some way shape or form.
The Accounting profession is huge at circa $500BN in revenue representing 1.3M firms globally. Sadly 87% of the revenue is ‘tax, compliance and audit’ related. That means 87% of the revenue is all about historical services – writing up history. The 13% is advisory services. This is the piece that changes lives. Not writing up an annual compliance report or performing an audit.
Do those services change lives? They don’t. They simply make companies compliant (and yes, that’s important too).
When an Accountant takes the time to analyse a client’s current financial situation (all based on the numbers) and then give them practical advice around what they need to do with their debt, cash, profit, revenue assets and wealth – well…. that’s how you change lives.
Your typical client (a business looking to succeed) wants help. They do not know what you know. Why don’t you tell them? The excuse of being too busy with compliance does not cut it.
To survive in the fast-paced digital economy (led by cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence and soon the Blockchain) Accountants MUST change their business model and offer services that really matter.
IT’S TIME TO GROW
Change To Thrive In
This time it’s all about education and coaching.
I believe that with proper education and personal coaching we can bring my (and hopefully yours) purpose to life.
You see I believe…
Accountants are the number one in numbers – not a piece of software.
Accountants can be (actually need to be) the trusted advisor.
Accountants do not earn enough for how smart they are and the value that they add.
Accountants should be making >$1M / €500k per partner whilst working less than 500 client hours.
Accountants can help your clients build amazing businesses.
Accountants should help your clients make history instead of writing it up.
I believe Accountants can change lives!
With my speaking, writing, and ‘Profitable Partners’ Boardroom Program my intention is to show you how you can be a trusted advisor and how you can change lives.
I believe you can change lives – join me if you do too.
Still Not Sure About Me?
Let Me Help You More First.
Here are some free resources I prepared to show you just how committed I am to helping you succeed.