Accounting Influencers Roundtable


Sales Tips for Accountants & How to Have Better Meetings

Bob Harper on the BD Academy Accounting Influencers podcast with Rob Brown

Bob Harper

Bob Harper left Price Waterhouse to pursue a more entrepreneurial journey working with small businesses. His core purpose is to improve the lives of business owners and has created a suite of tools to support accountants with business advisory work. He believes accountants need to master two new skills to be successful with business advisory; sales and strategy execution.

In this interview with podcast show host Rob Brown, Bob shares his thoughts on a range of topics including how accountants can have better meetings and drive better results. Shownotes:

  • Compliance has never been more profitable for accountants who know what they’re doing
  • Why technology is too slow to do what accountants need it to do – Xero, for instance, doesn’t do all the things it’s supposed to do
  • How accountants cope with change, particularly in the area of technology
  • The role of accountants hasn’t really changed over the years – it’s still compliance with some trusted advisor elements.
  • Technical knowledge makes a good accountant, but a great one requires better soft skills and non-technical expertise
  • Why accountants are actually better at selling than they think they are
  • The problem accountants have with selling is belief – many don’t believe they are good at it and they don’t actually believe they should be selling
  • To be a great accountant, you’ve got to be different, and using ‘personality’ is the best way to do that
  • When it comes to compliance vz advisory, one is order-taking, the other is selling
  • Selling is a conversation for accountants, and proposal/advisory software hinders this because it’s brought out of the box too early
  • If there are no consequences of an accountant not selling or bringing in new work, then why should they?
  • The best way for an accounting leader to get their people to sell better generate more business
  • Accountants are great at building the business plan but they don’t have a methodology for executing
  • Business and busyness get in the way of change for accountants, and ‘the billable hour’ can get in the way
  • Fixed pricing based on today’s environment and adding more profitability to clients is what’s working for accountants
  • Best practice for more accounting advisory work – use the time technology creates for you to spend more time with and on clients
  • Personal cashflow is more important than business cashflow – this is at the heart of advisory for accountants
  • The effectiveness and quality of meetings is what drives business, yet most are pretty unproductive
  • Lead Huddle is new meeting software that helps accountants set proper agendas for all kinds of meetings
  • How accountants set and run a meeting agenda affects their personal brand
  • There are many dangers for accountants in NOT using meeting agendas
  • The power of crafting and asking more and better questions to drive better meetings and conversations
  • Clients of accountants really want lifestyle more than profits and financial independence
  • How accountants can create a ‘value gap’ to generate business advisory opportunities
  • How accounting leaders can have better meetings and engagement with their employees
  • Why annual appraisals in accounting firms don’t work, and what to replace them with
  • What kind of accountant do you want to be and what do you want to be known for?
  • With the creative mergers going on, accounting firms can profitably widen their service offerings
  • Consistent and ongoing education helps accountants go from ‘good to great’
  • You need some imagination to think about what the world might look like in 10 years, then work this back to what you should be doing now
  • There will be no bookkeeping and less accountants in 10 years, so what will the bookkeepers and accountants be doing (it won’t be driving uber cars as they’ll be self driving!)
  • Why accountants should be more ambitious for themselves and their clients

‘Personal cashflow is more important than business cashflow – this is at the heart of advisory for accountants’ says Bob Harper with @therobbrown on the #Accounting Influencers #Podcast #accountants #accountex #accountinginsight

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Bob Harper on the BD Academy Accounting Influencers podcast with Rob Brown


When not working, Bob spends time with my wife, two girls and lots of pets. He watches sport and films, and enjoys going out for dinner and the odd glass of wine, beer and Pina Colada. Checkout Lean Huddle here and contact Bob directly:

Bob on LinkedIn

Liked your Accounting Influencers Interview with Rob Brown” target=”_blank”>Bob on email

Other show mentions you can look up:

The Four Disciplines of Execution (Chesney & Covey)

Traction (Wickman)

Profit First (Michalowicz)

Paul Armson IFAs

Leading the Way (FSB Report)

AIR Admin