Make More Profit Without Hiring


Back in 1996 when I started my own accounting firm, I was very ambitious and wanted to grow.

Within the first couple of months, I hired my first team member and 2 trainees, and the firm just kept growing. With this small close-knit team, I found the business really enjoyable to work in. 

But things started to change as my business grew. 4 years in, I had 12 employees. At that point, the fun went out of the business…

With 12 people in the office the dynamics changed. There were internal politics going off and I had to become very careful with hiring decisions.

In the late 90s, I had a team member who was quite good with technology, so they set up the whole office with all of their computers and set up a server for us all to communicate on. The server crashed at one point and that team member demanded a pay rise before they would fix it. 

I was so shocked! It made me realise, I don’t like working with people.

I love client work – I enjoy consulting,...

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How to Build an Extraordinarily Successful Accounting Firm

There are 6 critical steps to building an extraordinarily successful accounting or bookkeeping firm. Let me take you through them…


You can watch the video here.


#1 – Plan


This is a critical step that most businesses skip over.

If you want to build your business up into something really successful, you need to decide on what that vision of success means to you. What do you want your business to look like when it’s ‘done’?

When you have that vision, you can then work backwards. If you know what you want to achieve, what key milestones do you need to reach in order to get there? What strategies do you need to have in place to reach those milestones?

As part of that plan, you also need to consider who your ideal client is. A huge part of your business is about getting the right clients, you need to have a crystal-clear idea of who your ideal client is so that you can really work towards those ideals.


#2 - Pricing



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How to Get High Quality Appointments Consistently

We meet with potential clients all the time. Sometimes face-to-face, more recently it tends to be online through online meeting software like Zoom.

We meet with people because we are in the relationship industry. We want to work out if the client is right for us and also if we are the right fit for the client.

Meetings are the heart of our sales process. It’s how we convert brand new leads into paying clients.

Without a system, this process can be a bit chaotic.


You can watch the video here.


Systems are so important


Your system will help you to position yourself as the expert and attract the right sort of people – the sort of people you want as your clients.

With a great appointment generation system set up in your firm, you will start to meet with better quality clients.

If you build into your system a pre-qualification process, you will also avoid wasting time on bad clients, tyre-kickers and PITA clients that are just not right for your business...

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The 3 Core Ways to Grow Any Business

Very often businesses want to grow.

As their accounting professional, you are one of the best people to help them do that.

Growing a business is about understanding the numbers and developing core strategies for growth. In any business, there are 3 main ways to grow.

The marker for growth tends to be measured by the top-line sales. We are always striving to increase sales. The problem is, you can’t manage sales directly. It’s the end result of a series of other processes.


You can watch the video here.



Sales are made up of 3 core elements…


  • Customers: The number of customers a business has in a year
  • Frequency: How often those customers buy in a year
  • Amount: How much they spend on each purchase

If you had a business with 100 customers, and each of those customers bought on average 4 times a year, you will have 400 transactions in a year. If each customer spends on average $100 on each transaction, then your annual sales would be $40,000....

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How to Price Business Start-Up

value pricing Nov 16, 2020

When I started my own accounting firm in 1996, for the first 2 or 3 years I seemed to attract lots of business start-ups.

I spent a lot of time helping them, giving advice, telling them what they needed to do for tax purposes, how to keep their books in order – they had tons of questions. 

But I had no idea how to price.

I avoided the pricing conversation. I just answered all their questions and kept my fingers crossed that at the end of the year I would get the end of year accounts and pray that I could charge enough to make some money.

Unfortunately, what I often found was that some of those business start-ups didn’t actually make it through the first year. All that time I spent helping them for free was wasted. The businesses that did make it past that first year often struggled to pay my fees.


By the way, you can watch the video here if you prefer...


Business Start-Ups are Tough


For a while, I thought I should stop focusing on business...

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4 Ways to Price Clean-Up Work

value pricing Nov 09, 2020

Clean-up work is one of those services that can feel quite tricky to price.

When a client comes to you with their books and records in a complete mess and they ask you to fix them and give a price – the difficulty is the huge amount of uncertainty.  

You have no idea how much work is going to be involved. You can try asking the client to get a better idea, but sometimes they aren’t any more clued up on their books!

You might ask when they last reconciled their bank account and they tell you it was a few weeks ago, but in reality, it hasn’t been reconciled properly for 6 years.

The clients don’t know the answers and you won’t know the true scope of the work until you actually start.

It’s challenging – so how do you price that?


By the way, you can watch the video here if you prefer...


Option 1 – Charge an Hourly Rate


This is what most accountants and bookkeepers do, but it’s the worst possible way of...

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How to Price During COVID-19 and Tough Times

During the time of writing this blog, we are in a global pandemic causing a lot of issues for a lot of businesses. Of course, even outside of COVID19, we often go through tough times with recessions and such.

A question I get asked so often, and even more so with the current situation, is: 

“How to you change your approach to pricing when times are tough?”

It’s a difficult and delicate matter, but here are different ways you can think about your pricing during these hard times…


By the way, you can watch the video here if you prefer...


Should I reduce my prices?


Absolutely not!

You have to stay in business. If you don’t stay in business, you can’t help your clients! You have to stay commercial.


Not everyone is struggling


Even though times are tough, not everyone will be struggling in the same way.

Some businesses even thrive in these times of crisis.

There is no need to discount your prices for businesses...

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Why Business Advisory is a BAD Idea...

I got a question the other day from a lovely lady called Kim.

She showed me her plans to launch a new service and then asked:

“Is this a good idea?”

It got me thinking…

The current buzzword in the accounting space is business advisory. Accountants want to start launching their own business advisory services.

This can be a great thing to do… but some people really struggle with it.

If you are going to launch something brand new, like business advisory, and you want to go all out on that new service, there are 3 things you really ought to consider first... 


By the way, you can watch the video here if you prefer...


Can you do it?


  • Can you deliver that solution?
  • Do you have the skills, or are you willing to learn the skills?
  • Are you ready to do what is necessary to develop a successful service and deliver huge value?

I know many accounting and bookkeeping firms who are doing an amazing job with business advisory. However, I have also...

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How to Become More Confident with Pricing

One of the things that holds us back in pricing is a lack of confidence.

Accountants and bookkeepers are terrified of hearing those dreaded words ‘that’s too expensive’. We have a fear of rejection, and so we keep our prices low in the hopes that the client will say yes.

Here’s the problem…

When your prices are too low you end up having to work much harder and much longer hours just to make ends meet.

You need to change your mindset. You need more confidence. Here are 5 things you can do to build your confidence in pricing…


(You can watch the video here).


#1 - Build Your Knowledge


Confidence comes from knowledge.

You need to become obsessed with gaining knowledge on how to value price.

If you don’t understand value pricing – the systems, the techniques, the price psychology – then you will always be a little apprehensive when giving your price.

It’s the same with anything in life: the more we learn...

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Why You Should Create Packages

value pricing Jul 21, 2020

If you ever give a single price to a client, you can guarantee that price is wrong.

Everyone values things differently – it’s one of the difficulties we have to deal with when value pricing.

You have no idea how much any client is going to value the work that you do, so it’s your job to get as close as possible to what economists would call the buyer’s reservation price – more commonly referred to as the maximum willingness to pay.


You can watch the video here.


Why You Should Charge As High As You Can


The majority of the accounting profession are undercharging massively because of the fear of rejection and losing clients.

When you undercharge, you will find you end up having to cut corners, skip out on valuable extras and not give the client the results they really want.

It’s not intentional, but because you are so busy, you end up rushing jobs, making small mistakes or missing out on potential opportunities for the client.


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