Episode 35. On today’s 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
◆ 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 vz 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.
Guestname on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/willfarnell
Guestname website: www.willfarnell.com
NOTE TO LISTENERS:
This is a condensed highlights version of the full interview (usually 20-30 mins long), which you can catch as a bonus episode at the weekend.
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