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Bonus Full Interview: Will Farnell (Bestselling Author – The Digital Firm)

On today’s deep dive bonus episode, Rob Brown of the Accountants Influencers Podcast interviews Will Farnell on the important components of growth for accounting practices in a digital world.

Will Farnell is a former record shop owner and band manager who then worked in a Big Four firm advising predominantly public sector bodies on efficiency and process improvement. In 2007. he founded Farnell Clarke, an award-winning innovative UK accounting firm in 2007 which was one of the first globally to fully adopt cloud accounting technology.

Will is now a global authority on digital-based strategies for practice growth. He wrote ‘The Digital Firm’, a blueprint for digital transformation and provides consulting services to support firms in becoming a digital practice.

Key shownotes from the whole interview include:

◆ The journey to writing the popular accounting practice book ‘The

Digital Firm’

◆ The ultimate definition of a digital accounting firm and the two key areas it covers

◆ Who leads the world in accounting practice digital and cloud adoption, and who is still catching up

◆ Why many accountancy firms who claim to be digital are actually just ‘playing at it’

◆ How a digital firm embraces both people and technology to evolve into a ‘human firm’

◆ The key difference between accountants in the UK and the CPAs in North America

◆ The key drivers of digital transformation in accountancy practices

◆ What will happen to accounting firms who fail to adapt to change, refuse to evolve and back away from digital reform

◆ The number one reason accounting professionals should want to change, and it’s not profits or government regulation

◆ Why accounting firm succession is such a big issue right now

◆ The choices millennials have to invest in an accounting practice

◆ The critical factors that effect the sale value of an accounting firm

◆ Comments on the private equity and venture capital companies moving into the accounting sector to buy firms

◆ The difference between growing an accounting practice and scaling one

◆ What accountancy firms need to do to create more value for potential buyers and become more commercial

◆ The importance of vision and values to build a structure that scales an accounting practice

◆ Blending process, people and technology to deliver success in accounting firms

◆ Different ways to define growth in an accountancy practice or CPA firm

◆ What defines a good client experience for accounting professionals

◆ Questions accountants should ask themselves if they want to give their clients a better experience

◆ The importance for accountants of touchpoints to make clients feel valued and emotionally engaged

◆ The role technology plays for accounting practices in creating a better client experience

◆ Cutting through the compliance vs advisory debate by defining what each one really means

◆ The business landscape in the UK (and probably similar in other countries) and what it means for growing accounting firms

◆ Asking how relevant accountants are to many small businesses

◆ Words of advice for accounting firm leaders to be successful in these challenging times

When not working, you’ll find Will somewhere near water on anything that floats, but ideally a sailing boat with the family.

Will Farnell on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/willfarnell

Will Farnell website: www.willfarnell.com

NOTE TO LISTENERS:

This is a full-length interview (usually 20-30 mins long) from which the highlights show earlier in the week was taken. You can listen to this on a previous episode.

Martin and Rob love to hear from the show’s 5000+ listeners in 138 countries around the world. If you have any questions, suggestions, comments or success stories, just type sayhi.chat/aip into your browser and leave us a quick and easy voice message. We may just feature you on the show.

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