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Harnessing Client Advisory Boards in Accounting


For introducing this show as our ‘Success in Accounting’ podcast on the audio.

On behalf of the Accounting Influencers Broadcast Network, this is the “Best Practice in Accounting” show, going live every Thursday. For our regular listeners, the original name Accounting Influencers has now moved from ‘one show with 6 episodes a week’ to ‘five shows a week, 1 episode a day’. In this show, we focus on upskilling the accountants, bookkeepers, CPAs and commercially focused fintech vendors to better handle key challenges in their professional role like client service, closing deals, negotiating, pricing, hiring, reputation and differentiation. It’s all about developing yourself and your practice with real life examples, stories and case studies of what really works.

Episode 11. In today’s interview, “Harnessing Client Advisory Boards in Accounting.”

Key takeaways from this episode include:

Episode 11. In this episode, Rob Brown and Martin Bissett reveal how one progressive accounting firm has introduced client advisory boards to differentiate themselves and get closer to their clients.

Key takeaways from this episode include:

⫸ what success in accounting might look like and how it might be measured

⫸ how the most successful people are generally not bragging about it on social media

⫸ case study of a cutting edge accounting firm in Scotland who decided to adopt a traditional client experience idea and give it a twist

⫸ what a client advisory board actually means for an accounting practice

⫸ how accountants can choose about who to invite to their client advisory boards

⫸ the rules for running a premier client advisory board meeting in accounting firms

⫸ choosing the optimum agenda for client advisory board meetings and what clients really need to spend time on

⫸ how client advisory boards can lead to additional service lines and advisory opportunities for accountants

⫸ the two bonus outcomes for accountants who introduce client advisory boards

⫸ a three step plan for accountancy firms to get started with their first client advisory board

Key action – explore how your firm might start a client advisory board to give your clients something better/different and bring them closer to what you’re doing.


In this show we cover topics like leadership, trust, performance, differentiation, employer brand, values, vision, strategy, talent, skills development, industry trends, growth, marketing, communication, succession, recruitment, retention, culture, M&A, business models, pricing, digitisation, winning clients, advisory, career development, gen z/millennials, ESG, DEI, CSR, CPE/CPD, professionalism and future proofing.

It’s important that you stay ahead of the game by knowing the drivers of change and disruption in accounting, the behaviours/demands of businesses requiring pivots/services from accountants, the strategies of tech/software vendors in serving CPAs and accountants, the directives, thoughts and influence of regulatory bodies, professional associations and accounting institutes, and the themes, agendas and topics being talked about at accounting and fintech events all over the world.

Two caveats for listeners:

First, what we’re giving you in this podcast are suggestions, hints, tips and strategies. Not necessarily recommendations, not legally binding, not mandated by regulatory bodies. just the thoughts, opinions and interpretations of a couple of guys with a collective 45 years of experience working with, speaking to and and training many accounting practices, vendors, networks, associations, alliances and event audiences.

Second, we’re not getting too technical or technological with these best practice tips. We’re not qualified accountants and there are plenty of sources for technical knowledge. We’re also not geeky, nerdy or product focused with the bewildering array of apps, platforms and technological solutions. We’re more soft skills, personal development, general business awareness, developing entrepreneurial thinking, boosting leadership and management capability.

Let’s not forget what a complex, fast moving and rapidly changing world we live in. Best practice is hard to put your finger on. What worked last week, last year may not work now. Advisors and accounting professionals must constantly reinvent themselves as experts and trusted guides to individuals and business owners in a complex world. We’re here to help you.

Ultimately, it’s just insight though. Knowledge is easy to find but not to easy to make sense of and make part of your offering, your authority, your expertise. You’ve got to take some action, share it with others, use it somehow for it to become powerful. Weave it into your thinking, your client interactions, your team meetings, your everyday conversations. That’s what’s going to move you from good to great in your accounting role.


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Imogen Allen