What do you want?

I remember very clearly the first time I was asked what I wanted to achieve in my business life. I had qualified as an accountant, left practice shortly after and was enjoying working in industry. At the time I was working as a Financial Accountant for a private rail freight operator, one which had been born out of the merger of three separate divisions of British Rail post privatisation. The…  Read more

The Practice Mechanic | Interview with Glenn Martin, Avery Martin

About this session Every episode, Mark Telford sits down with an accountant in practice and look under the bonnet of their accountancy practice. Click here to listen on AccountingWeb In this episode, Mark talks to Glenn Martin, award-winning accountant and business growth specialist who needs little introduction. The owner and CEO of Northeast firm Avery Martin is a long-standing Any Answers regular better known to AccountingWEB members under his nom…  Read more

Is a fear of failure holding you back?

When I was 8 years old I got stuck at the top of a tree, I’d climbed too high and couldn’t get down. I froze. I’d looked down, seen how high it was and just froze. All my friends had climbed the same tree, just as high, and had managed to get back down. I couldn’t, the fear of not being able to get down safely stopped me moving. One…  Read more

Are you Happy with the Prices you Charge?

Do your prices reflect the value you provide to clients? If you’re working at or close to capacity, whether it’s just you or if you have a team, are your profits at a level you’re happy with? Do you review your prices regularly? Do you have a process to distinguish between simple queries which should be free and more complex matters which need to charge for? Are your fee proposals…  Read more

Clients – I need some, where are they?

Regardless of whether you’ve planned starting your practice for months or you’ve started at short notice, it’s highly likely that the dilemma and uncertainty over where your next clients will come from will be a constant cause of anxiety until you have enough to make sure bills are paid. Where you find your clients will very much depend on your approach – do you want to work with anyone, what…  Read more

Using technology for YOUR benefit and not the software vendors

If you’ve read my e-book, heard me speak or seen some of my postings on LinkedIn, you’ll know I’m a fan of technology and how it can make our lives easier and enable us to provide a far higher level of service to clients. If you’re a user of Xero or Quickbooks Online you will know there are a huge number of business applications which can be linked to these…  Read more

Educating Clients and Avoiding Unnecessary Meetings

Even the best systems and processes for completing work in your practice will fall down if you don’t tell your clients what you’re doing, when and why. You need to allow plenty of time for clients to respond to requests for information. Remember the numbers aren’t always their priority – they have a business to run! Communicate to them in plenty of time, let them know at the start of…  Read more

Where, When and How of Doing Work Efficiently

There will be a period as your practice grows, that you have spare capacity. You can be very responsive to client’s request, regardless of how urgent they are. You will be happy to accept clients with any type of records – paper, spreadsheet, desktop software, cloud software. Maybe even brown paper bag jobs! No bother, you’re keen, hungry and you need the work. But be careful. If you don’t get…  Read more

The Sector is Being Disrupted

In my opinion there has never been a better time to start an accountancy practice than right now. It’s often said that the sector is being disrupted, it really is. Technology means that work can be completed quicker and easier and from anywhere with an internet connection. The traditional 9-5 working day… is a thing of the past Cloud technology means a higher level of services with more client contact…  Read more

All the Gear, No Idea

Anyone who has played sport at any level with be familiar with this phrase. You’ve seen these people. They turn up at your club, gym, event – could be football, running, cycling – the golf course… They’ve got all the latest kit and gadgets but once the game gets under way its pretty clear they don’t know what they’re doing. I used to see this in my younger days playing…  Read more

Belief Is Irresistible

Phil Knight the co-founder of Nike wrote this in his memoir Shoe Dog after describing the ease with which he could sell track shoes compared to his abject failure at selling encyclopedias. “Believing in what you do is essential to achieving the success you deserve. Yes, having belief alone won’t ensure success but without it you will really struggle. Combine belief with a great business idea then that truly can…  Read more

People Don’t Know What They Want

“People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” This is a great quote. It’s by Steve Jobs and describes so accurately what it is that Apple does through its innovation. But it should also be applied to your accountancy practice and specifically the services you provide. Have you ever had a client leave because they’d spoken to another accountant who offered to provide monthly management accounts,…  Read more

What Was I Doing!

In June 1999 I started a new job with a mixture of emotions. Excited about the opportunity the new job offered, and terrified that I was out of my depth (imposter syndrome popping up again). However, I was determined to make it a success. I was prepared to do what was needed (the ‘D’ element of my disc profile coming out here). Head down and just get on with it…  Read more

Where Do I Start?

Recognising that your accountancy practice isn’t working the way you want is the first step. At this point it’s natural to feel a sense of overwhelming anxiety and think “where do I start?!” It can feel like there’s so much to do and that it all needs to be done at the same time. This happened to me a few years ago. My practice had increased fee income by 30%…  Read more

When Do I Start?

I was 45 when I started my accountancy practice. It wasn’t a conscious “right, time to start”, it wasn’t a gut reaction. The decision required the coming together of a series of events, ideas, thoughts and opportunities. It was a gradual move towards starting. I had left practice very soon after qualifying and swore I would never return. It was a bleak uninspiring experience – dull work, poor pay, too…  Read more

Articulate Your Value with The Gap Portal

Join me on a training sprint through the key concepts that will enable you to deliver greater value to your clients This insightful podcast includes an on screen walk-thru, as The Gap portal co founder Mark Jenkins and I (admirably moderated by Sue Spooner) look at the subject of how to Articulate Your Value to clients. This training sprint will take you through a number of the key ‘bridges’ of…  Read more

Why Would I Want To Coach Accountants?

I run a successful and award-winning accountancy practice. I’ve created a great work/life balance and am in the fortunate position of being able to earn enough to enjoy the lifestyle I want and have enough time to do what I want with the people I care about. I’m also far less stressed than I ever have been before. So why would I want to start coaching accountants? They’re the competition…  Read more

Becoming a Xero Accountant changed my life

It really did – honestly. Not in a spiritual kool-aid type way but becoming a ‘Xero Accountant’ helped me to change the direction of my career which has led to more work satisfaction, getting to see more of my family and putting me more in control of work and life. If we go back to 2010 I had recently left full time employment as the Group Finance Director of a…  Read more

The Light Bulb Moment – Bridging the gap between business & personal goals

The five questions every new business owner should ask themselves We all know that starting a new business is a test of nerve, energy and resilience. But does it have to be? What if there was a way to focus on what we really want to achieve – not just in business but in life too – and find a plan that connects the two. Mark Telford explains how connecting…  Read more

No niche required: Startup practices should not niche

Practice owner Mark Telford does not buy into the niche hype and here is why. For anyone starting an accounting practice from scratch, and I’ve done it, there are a number of dos and don’ts that I would recommend. Fairly high up on this list is a favourite topic of mine – niching. Despite what the gurus may tell you: DO NOT NICHE! That’s in capitals as I feel strongly about…  Read more

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