I recently enjoyed the privilege of attending a recent practice development session with a firm who grew gross profit by 18% in the last 12 months (by growing total fees mostly).

Because we were fine-tuning the firm’s growth plan (250% fee growth in 5 years) we had to consider the changes in clients’ behaviour connected to the accountancy services they buy. Technology (bank feeds, Receipt Bank, Xero, CrunchBoards, etc) are disrupting the way business owners now behave.

These expected changes have influenced the plan.

What changes did we agree on?

We were all unsure of the timing but agreed that the profession is on a journey from:

1. Data processing (of accounts) to…

2. Extracting relevant and valuable information from the accounts to…

3. Helping business owners interpret the information to…

4. Helping the business owner decide on actions and helping hold the business owner to account

Technology changes and government initiatives are reducing the business owner’s reliance on accountants to ‘crunch the numbers’ – stages 1 and 2 above.

Whether a human or a computer or a web site or an app produces relevant numbers the numbers still need interpretation and if better decisions are made the business owner will be more successful.

I left the recent practice development session and read the following blog. A blog about customers’ behaviour, which fitted neatly with the ‘planning the future’ conversation we’d just had.

Are you clear enough on your client’s behaviour around the service you deliver and the service you must deliver in the near future to stay relevant?

Here’s a quote from the blog:

“The opportunity to go deeper and gain valuable insights into our customers behaviour is open to each and every business. Those insights we observe can transform innovation, service and marketing.”

“How much time are you devoting to understanding how your customer’s actions drive their buying decisions?”

Yes the blog is about Leboutin shoes but it’s really about how well Leboutin understands his customers’ behaviour when she looks in the mirror.


Would you let me know what you think of the blog, and what behaviour change you think business owners are having around your different accountancy services?

Think about auto enrolment and payroll. Think about real-time management accounts.​

​Here's a 4 page bitesize report on how to manage change within your accountancy practice. Click here to read now. ​

Paul Shrimpling