#ABExpo 2017: takeaways, actions & memorable quotes

The first ever Accounting Business Expo was a huge success. With more than 3,000 attendees across its two days, it has already established itself as one of Australia’s top events for progressive accountants striving to innovate and take advantage of the opportunities industry trends are presenting. 

From the breakout sessions and conversations with those in attendance, we identified three key themes: 

  •  

    You must invest in your staff

  •  

    Standardizing processes is vital

  •  

    Automation and efficiency improvements will unlock new doors

If you couldn't make it—or you did attend and just want a reminder of all that happened—here are the key takeaways, actions, and most memorable quotes.

Mega-trends in accounting & how to survive them — Tim Reed (MYOB)

One takeaway

The accounting industry is progressing at a rapid pace, and it's only going to evolve quicker in the future. The equivalent of progress that occurred during the entire 20th century happened between 2000 and 2014. In a couple of decades, a 20th century’s worth of progress will happen multiple times in the same year. 

One action item

Your future starts now! Explore how automation, cloud accounting, and digital technology can take your practice to the next level.

The firm of the future will no longer need to choose between scale and intimacy, thanks to technology.
Tim Reed — MYOB

Killer KPIs for e-commerce business — Anna Lee (The Iconic) 

One takeaway

Knowing whether your clients are happy is pivotal for every accounting business. You need to honor the promise you made to them. 

One action item

Use Net Promoter Score (NPS) to know how satisfied your clients are.

The most important question you can ask your customers is, would you recommend my business to your friends?
Anna Lee — The Iconic

How to run a client-centric firm — Peter Docherty (CPA Australia)

One takeaway

Your clients want their accountant to be a business partner who understands their vision and priorities. Strong and long-lasting relationships with these clients are the key to your firm’s growth. 

One action item

Schedule a planning session for your clients where you cover cashflow management; their key business goals; sales & marketing; and people & operations.

Peter Docherty presents to a standing only room.

Peter Docherty presents to a standing only room.

How people skills power your profit — Leanne Berry (Love My Numbers)

One takeaway

85% of job success comes from having well-developed soft and people skills.

One action item

Invest in improving your own soft skills, and your team’s. These include communication, decision-making, leadership, creativity, teamwork, problem-solving, time-management and flexibility.

If you want to survive and thrive in this era of disruption, soft skills are vital. Yet less than 30% of training dollars are being spent developing these skills.
Leanne Berry — Love My Numbers

Critical skills for 2017: teach clients to automate — Lielette Calleja (All That Counts)

One takeaway

Your clients are suffering and crying out for help. As their accountant, you are in a core position to help them. They want to hear that you are going to help their business.

One action item

Become an expert in automating, streamlining and systemizing your clients’ businesses.

Your mind is like a parachute. If it’s not open, it won’t work.
Lielette Calleja — All That Counts

Why I would never buy your firm — Guy Pearson (Practice Ignition)

One takeaway

It’s now cheaper and more efficient to grow your own practice rather than buying another practice

One action item

Calculate the metrics that matter to your firm. To grow without acquisition, look at payback period and lifetime value (LTV) for your clients.

Award for best finish to a session at #ABExpo today goes to @guy_pearson from @ignitionapp, with his crowd selfie! pic.twitter.com/IVBZDg3App — Karbon (@karbonhq) March 21, 2017

Everything about marketing you were afraid to ask — Wayne Schmidt (Karbon) & Lielette Calleja (All That Counts)

One takeaway

Marketing online isn’t an option, it’s essential if you want your practice to be successful. You need to ensure you have consistent messaging and social proof. If you can do this, prospects will come to you.

One action item

Revisit your firm’s brand messaging and communicate what makes you unique. Show your prospective clients how you are different to every other practice out there.

The first handshake is now digital.
Wayne Schmidt — Karbon
Wayne Schmidt & Liellette Calleja discussing all things marketing for accountanting firms

How to succeed in radical change — Jane Challinor (Real Business Group)

One takeaway

You’re in a position to start reworking and automating your processes. If you can do this, you’ll have more time to spend on the most important parts of your business.  

One action item

If you really want to grow your accounting firm, you need to get some time back. Rework your processes to make them more efficient.

You can only succeed in business and life from one place—the driver’s seat.
Jane Challinor — Real Business Group

Business is a game & the best team wins — Steph Hinds (Growthwise)

One takeaway

If you act as the leader in your business, everyone will be looking at you. If you’re not the leader they’ll be doing their own thing. 

One action item

Set objectives and key results for your team so that they know what they’re working towards, and to keep them on track.

If you play sport, you have one objective—to win. Why should your business be any different?
Steph Hinds — Growthwise
Steph Hinds telling an engaged room how to build a team that will win

How to crack the code on compliance process — Anton Donde (Myworkpapers)

One takeaway

You need to be as efficient as possible as a team. You achieve this by standardizing your processes.

One action item

Look to improve and standardize all of your compliance processes. Break down the steps, evaluate the, identify wasted time, and become a factory that repeats the process the same each time.

Automate the mundane, personalize the exceptions.
Anton Donde — Myworkpapers

Creating a culture of innovative communication — Tanya Titman (Consolid8)

One takeaway

A great team creates an amazing culture, where staff are fully engaged and want to deliver exceptional service to your clients.

One action item

Invest in technology and initiatives that will help your team innovate, communicate and collaborate better together. This will dramatically improve your culture and ultimately turn you into a much more successful accounting practice.

Day 2 of #ABExpo begins with @ttitman of @consolid8_aus discussing how they have built a culture of innovative communication. pic.twitter.com/2gDGGpIdvL — Karbon (@karbonhq) March 21, 2017

Making it work: How accountants and bookkeepers can form profitable relationships — Tim Munro (Change Accountants), Kerry Black (Ebony Accounting Consultants), Leanne Berry (Love Your Numbers) & Mel Power (Bookkeeper Revolution)

One takeaway

If accountants and bookkeepers working together form a good relationship, the rewards for both can be extensive and long-lasting.

One action item

Set clear boundaries at the beginning of a relationship, so that all parties know what is expected from them, and what to expect from the other.

We need to establish the same relationship with our accountants that we have with our clients.
Leanne Berry — Love Your Numbers
Tim Munro, Kerry Black, Leanne Berry & Mel Power at ABExpo

Subscribe to receive curated articles and free resources direct to your inbox.

Great.
You're subscribed. ️✔