Xerocon 2017: Are you ready for people power?

The future of your accountancy firm depends on…

…your ability to get yourself onside, your people onside and your clients onside.

Themes you’ll recognise if you regularly read our blog.

So, it was reassuring to hear the repeating ‘people’ theme at Xerocon London 2107.

Technology is the facilitator and provides the tools to help, but are you putting your people skills to the fore?

A tale of two firms…

The keynote presentations by Matthew Syed, Richard Susskind and Emma Jones all pointed to how the mind-set and behaviours you choose dictate your firm’s future success.

OK so I’m stating the blindingly obvious, but let’s take two regionally successful firms and see how their mind-set and behaviour choices influence their results.

Both firms were at Xerocon last week.

Both firms have similar opportunities but both have different mind-sets and behaviours.

Embracing radical change… or not?

How come one firm I met, with 3,000 clients, has taken 100 clients onto cloud accounting over the last few years, whilst Armstrong Watson have taken 4,500 clients onto Xero in a year?

Mind-sets and behaviours are different. And so their results are different too!

One firm had the 100% wholehearted, no-backing-down, all-in support from the managing partner. They set a clear goal, worked out a plan of action, set up training (including closing the firm for training days). Of course they experienced challenges and difficulties along the way. The challenges included lower performance for a while but with a mind-set ready for lower performance initially, they transformed their firm in just 12 months. They are now set for a brighter, easier and more profitable future too.

The other firm has a foot in the old-school way of accounting using desk-top packages and ways of working and one (much smaller) foot in the cloud accounting world.

A two-horse race…

If the future of the accounting profession was a two-horse race which firm would you bet your shirt on winning?

More importantly…

…which firm best reflects your firm’s approach to cloud accounting?

A short-lived competitive advantage…

The competitive edge that cloud accounting gives your firm will be short-lived as more firms and more business owners adopt cloud accounting. But the firms who adopt a wholehearted, no-backing-down, all-in mind-set and behaviour towards cloud accounting will make more of the opportunity and prepare their firm for the next wave of change.

Getting the work of accountancy done is getting easier and quicker thanks to the technology.

But only if you make the most of the new technology.

A painful reminder…

It pays to remember that the inventor of digital cameras (Kodak) failed to adopt the technology fast enough and let the competition race ahead. Kodak eventually died as a camera business.

It’s clear from Xerocon that technology is only going to get better, faster and more useful. And it’s going to get better and faster at an ever-increasing rate too.

So are you adopting cloud accounting fast enough – Armstrong Watson are. And they are far from alone.

The best approach?

Change. But change can be tough to manage successfully. 

So if you want a quick-easy-read into managing change in a whirlpool-world of change have a look at this 4-page business breakthrough here, it should help…

Paul Shrimpling

Paul (@shrimpers) works exclusively with accountancy firms helping them achieve remarkable results through remarkable practice. Paul has an active LinkedIn group dedicated to marketing for accountants – Marketing for UK accountants in Practice – more leads more often. If you’re a manager, partner or marketing manager of an accountancy firm join us. Paul is also the creator of Marketing Services for Accountants and Business Bitesize – go to the products page to find out more…

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