2020 Innovation – Thought of the week: Time Tested Strategy & Partner Retreats
I was on a plane to facilitate a Partner Retreat for an accounting firm and could not help notice the implementation of a very straight forward and time tested strategy.
If a producer can produce a product or service with the same base quality standard for a lower price, it will win more customers. No prizes for guessing the airline that I was flying but it did give me some food for thought regarding accountancy firms.
It’s hard to imagine that an accountancy firm would be exempt from this basic strategy.
As far as the clients are concerned the bookkeeping, accounts, VAT Return, Tax Return, etc. are all of the same quality produced by a qualified accountant (or even an unqualified accountant). Therefore the accountants that can produce the compliance services cheaper will win more clients.
The Cloud technology that is widely available is not just facilitating workflow and the reduction of costs (which ultimately will be passed onto clients), but is also converting the historical accounting function to a real time accounting function without any additional effort.
The fundamental service of historical accounts reporting and historical tax filing are becoming redundant with the advent of the Cloud and compliance services have migrated to real time and are considerably cheaper.
Firms that embrace the Cloud will be able to reach out to their market and offer a high quality service at a reduced price, thereby increasing market share and leaving legacy traditional firms wondering what on earth happened!
In my opinion, the need for a partner retreat to discuss this type of change in our profession is essential in order for firms to agree their strategy and to communicate this to everyone in their firm, their clients and potential clients.
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Speaker and Writer, 2020 Innovation
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Gordon Gilchrist is recognised as a global leading consultant to accountancy firms in the areas of marketing, strategic planning, practice management and increasingly succession issues including buying, selling and merging of accountancy practices.
He trained as an accountant in the UK and later worked with Grant Thornton. He has been consulting with firms in the UK, Ireland and South Africa since 1989 and has worked with three of the Top 4 firms, 75% of the Top 20, and over 2,000 independent firms. Gordon is a well recognised and accomplished speaker for annual conferences and staff training days. He has accumulated some brilliant ideas which can be heard at his seminars. He and Ian Fletcher are joint authors of the Croner.CCH book “SME Consulting”.
Gordon used to be a scratch golfer and played in the Brunei Open in 1981.
Marketing Director, 2020 Innovation
19 March 2018
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