​​Want to talk? Call:+44 1773 821689

​Want to talk? Call: ​+44 1773 821689


The Accountants Growth Academy
Helping your firm survive and thrive in a quarterly-reporting world...

"Having someone come to the practice and with the view to keep it short and sweet and just focus on accountability that really does make a difference actually because you do feel accountable, and it gives you a focus in both your actions and time. Yeah, that really makes a difference.

Conor McDonnell
GPC Financial Chartered Accountants, London

Cloud accounting and Making Tax Digital are reshaping the way accountants work.

This challenges the way your firm makes profit, generates cash and builds capital value.

The changes also mean your people will have to work differently as you transform your firm from an annual accounting firm to a quarterly reporting firm.

  • At the moment you have 9 months to produce 1 set of accounts for every limited company client
  • Soon enough you'll have just 4 weeks to produce a set of management accounts for every client - and you'll have to do this every 13 weeks

The people and processes you use to manage your annual accounting firm will not work for quarterly accounting.  And the way you communicate with your clients will likely need an overhaul if you're going to successfully share the quarterly tax obligations for every client every quarter.

Join our next cohort for the Accountants Growth Academy and discover how you kick-start the changes in your firm sooner rather than later...

Join the Accountants Growth Academy to avoid inaction, to preserve your fees and profits and to make your firm both competitive and valuable in a new quarterly reporting world.

Working together we will unlock the full potential of your team's productive capabilities; together we will future proof your firm in a fast-changing, tech -driven and quarterly reporting world.  You'll discover how to improve fees and profits every time we get together at workshops, 1-to-1 accountability sessions and in each training resource.

AGA workshops & follow-up accountability


3 times a year you and up to 11 other like-minded owners of accounting firms get together to hear relevant high-impact content and then discuss how to implement it in your firm.

You are invited to bring team members too (especially those with management responsibility) to actively participate.

The 11 firms in group 1 brought 31 people to their most recent AGA workshop.

Content will be delivered by Paul Shrimpling based on his many hundreds of consulting meetings plus guest speakers too.

AGA workshop subjects will include:

  • Workflow in a quarterly reporting world;
  • Pricing for profit in a quarterly reporting world
  • Moving 80%+ of clients onto monthly direct debit
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    Team motivation to improve profitability
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    Building capital value in a cloud accounting world
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     Improving capacity by 20%+ without hiring more
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    Making cross selling additional services simple
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    The best use of technology for greater profits and less stress.. 

You and your AGA colleagues will also influence the topics too.

3 follow up accountability sessions that sit between each of AGA workshop helps ensure you implement the action promises you make at the AGA workshops. 

Of course, a workshop without follow-up actions is just an event. That’s why we spend part of every workshop building a suite of follow-up actions that will make a difference for your firm.
We also recognise that making changes can be a challenge – we’re all busy and the demands of team and clients can sometimes deflect us from implementing the very actions which can effect lasting change.
For that reason we arrange an accountability call and also a meeting, in your premises, at a suitable date following each workshop.

This accountability meeting is designed to make sure you and your team are implementing the action plan; to talk through any challenges or barriers to implementation and, if necessary, to tweak agreed actions to suit the circumstances of your firm.  

These workshops,calls and visits ensure we have an end-to-end process for helping you move your firm to where you want it to be, and are a crucial part of the AGA programme.

The exclusive group chatroom keeps you in touch with your fellow AGA firms and encourages sharing and interaction on the actions, insights and learnings you have as you implement your promises.

Join our next cohort for the Accountants Growth Academy and discover how you kick-start the changes in your firm sooner rather than later...

This is what existing AGA members have to say about the workshops and accountability sessions...

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Paul Windmill Paul Windmill director at Myers Clark Chartered Accountants

What value do the accountability visits add to the whole Accountants Growth Academy process?

The accountability visits with Douglas are really great, because obviously you come away with lots of ideas, but it makes you focus on, okay, what am I going to do between now and when the meeting is or the phone call is, it kind of forces you to get on with it. Stop and think about it, and then actually implement one, two or three of the things you’ve learnt during the session. So I think without it you wouldn’t think about it again till you were just coming to the next one, yeah so they are really important.

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Chris Swinton Director at Swinton Accountants

What would you say has been the single biggest learning point from the whole Accountants Growth Academy program for you?

Probably just maintaining the focus more. It's all stuff I know we should be doing, it’s all stuff that I like doing, but the day-to-day gets in the way doesn’t it, the phone rings or you get an email and you run off and sort everybody else’s business out before you think about your own. So that’s probably the discipline to throw it back and think about the business model and what we are going to do with it.

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Ian Gillard Director at Petherick and Gillard

What would you say has been the single biggest learning point from the whole Accountants Growth Academy program for you?

I think the biggest learning point we’ve taken so far is really don’t pre-judge your clients, believe in yourself, believe in your product, your service, believe in your value, and don’t sort of think you can’t do that, client won’t like it.

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Lisa Brown Partner at Accounting Workshop

What's been the single biggest learning point for you or for the firm in the Academy?

The biggest impact for us so far has been the support we've had for implementation of three tier pricing, so it’s taken us ages to put it properly in place, I started off in two tiers at the beginning, ‘cause I wanted to try it but I was a bit scared of doing it the whole way, so we kind of half did it but now we’ve got it and we do it for all new clients, so that is really really big. And you find everyone pays more than you expect they would want to.

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Kevin Barratt Director at Thompsons Accountants

What's been the single biggest learning point for the firm?

It's quite difficult to pick one single thing because I think it’s a gradual culture shift, I think it’s that, I think if anything I suppose we were already aware. The last two sessions from a Making Tax Digital point of view have been a key factor in sort of driving us forward and getting us to actually do something practical on it. I think we probably will look back in the future and maybe able to pinpoint specific points that have actually been key to it, but at the moment it's made up of lots of intertwined compenents that are all moving us forward.

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Chris Drinkwater DIrector RS Partnership

What value do the accountability visits to your firm add to this whole process?

You know, quite a lot really because even when you go to a workshop day where, you’ve got these really inspirational speakers and you sit there and you think, oh, wow, if they can do it we can do it and then you, you sit in the car driving back and you think, oh, yeah, I’m going to do this, this, this and that. And actually you open your emails the next day and you just continue plodding along doing the same thing that you were doing before you know, you actually do need someone coming in and saying, “Well hold on a minute, you’ve hit another of your targets, or you’ve hit one out of five,” and if you keep having someone banging on at you I suppose it’s the same really with your clients, yeah, you know, if you tell your client to keep changing things, actually if you tell them once they’re not going to do it and you tell them ten times and that they’re going to so, but yeah, it’s the same sort of thing with this.

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Kevin Barratt Director at Thompsons Accountants

What value do the accountability visits add to the whole process of the Accountants Growth Academy?

The key problem that we have had with implementing change was following it up, getting back to the office.Like everybody we’re very much, you know, a small firm, small firm mentality and you get back to the office, you’ve got a pile of emails, a pile of post to deal with, and what have you, and it slips, and before you know it you haven’t got that focus. Having Douglas come on site last time I think we really got alot out of that in terms of actually directing and keeping our attention on the things that need to change. Without that accountability process there is no development and it will always drift.

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Conor McDonnell Director at GPC Financial

What would you say has been the single biggest learning point from the whole Accountants Growth Academy program for you?

I would say it is to put in place areas where you just need to focus on and then to focus on them. I think it's supported by ties in nicely with the accountability visits. In other words just make sure you’re clear on what you’re focusing on and then focus on it!

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Lisa Brown Partner at Accounting Workshop

What value do the accountability visits add to the process for you?

I can’t tell you what a difference actually getting the follow up meetings has made. It has certainly spurred us into action and made me see where we were holding up progress by keeping all of the responsibility to ourselves and not giving it to the whole team.

I am looking forward to making good use of the extra time this should free up for me!

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Nick Pinfield Owner at Pinfields Acocuntants

What would you say has been the single biggest learning point from the Accountants Growth Academy program for you?

Delegation, delegation, delegation, I’d say you can’t do it all yourself, the biggest learning I had was actually at the April seminar which we had, and that was about the tax returns, and those tax returns I was able to listen, go back to the office and implement them really, but not implement them myself, but it was delegate it. And rather than me setting the goals and setting the targets, I was able to delegate that to George and she has been fabulous, absolutely fabulous. Already after three months we’ve hit 25% of our tax returns, whereas before it was more like 5%, so we’ve got more of a smoother line going across rather than having that curve at the end of the year, we did 400 tax returns in January last year, hopefully this year we’re going to be coming on a much smoother line, and what we’ve also found is being able to sit down with those people which are involved and talk to them and say, “What can you do in a day, how much…” and giving it back to them then tell us, rather than us tell them. And the team have been, have actually stepped up and actually getting more done and they seem to be a lot happier ‘cause they can see what’s going on, so it’s been a really really good experience for us so far.

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Chris Swinton Director at Swinton Accountants

What value do the accountability visits add to the whole Accountants Growth Academy process?

It’s good, I mean that it feels like it’s a bit more joined up now with the full work and the accountability visits. With Douglas visiting it's been possible to be more structured. Off the back of the last visit that we had with you we’ve taken steps, we’ve redone the website, we’ve taken on a new member of staff, we’ve done those sorts of bits and pieces.

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Jenny Waugh Partner at Hamilton Morris Waugh

What has been the single biggest learning point from the whole Accountants Growth Academy program for you?

I think the biggest learning point for ourselves has been to grow, we need to develop our team, we cannot do everything ourselves, and we’ve come from a small practice that’s growing year-on-year, but since we have started the Accountants Growth Academy we’ve realised we need to get good team members in, get them trained, get them empowered to do the job and that’s the only way we can grow and we can keep moving the firm on, and it’s been better for everybody, including ourselves.

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Nick Pinfield Owner at Pinfields Acocuntants

What value do the accountability visits bring to the Accountants Growth Academy program for Pinfields?

I think the biggest beneefit of the accountability is being made accountable for your own actions, so when you’re a boss, a partner, who are you actually accountable to? I’ve used coaches in the past and but these visits from Douglas are more specific, not necessarily as a coach, but what I find is we’ve actually got a little bit more input from the Academy team and we’re getting now to see you or Paul once every six weeks, so it’s making us aware, right, we’ve got to make sure that’s done, make sure that’s done, make sure that’s done, and it’s not too much and it’s not too little, so for us it’s perfect. The problem we’ve got being a legacy firm, yeah, I’m third generation, that’s been a huge curved ball for us really, especially re-educating clients who have always been used to things a different way so it’s been good for that.

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Conor McDonnell Director at GPC Financial

What value do the accountability visits add to the whole Accountants Growth Academy process?

Having someone come to the practice and with the view to keep it short and sweet and just focus on accountability that really does make a difference actually because you do feel accountable, and it gives you a focus in both your actions and time. Yeah, that really makes a difference.

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Ian Quartermaine Director at William Hinton Accountants

What value do the accountability visits add to the whole process of the Accountants Growth Academy?

Immense value to the process, we really like the accountability visits, so for example Douglas coming down recently it’s given us a kick up the backside, what haven’t we been doing, actually we really should do that because of those reasons, and it just reinforces what Paul’s told us, so whilst we only get three visits a year with Paul, seeing Douglas in between, you know, really makes us refocus and think let’s get back to the drawing boards, why haven’t we picked up on that, and it’s a sharp reminder and that’s really really important. It absolutely keeps us moving forward and reduces the distraction of the day to day stuff.

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Jenny Waugh Partner at Hamilton Morris Waugh

What value do the accountability visits add to the process for you?

It really does help, because quite often you go to things like there’s… you have a good day, you’re full of ideas and then you get back into the workplace and you absolutely forget everything because you’re back into the swing of the daily nitty-gritty and doing the data and stuff, so that really brings it back to mind when we’ve got tasks to do and things that we need to put in place before you come, whoever comes. So it’s essential to the whole programme.

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Ian Gillard Director at Petherick and Gillard

What value do the accountability visits add to the whole Accountants Growth Academy process?

I think the accountability visit actually has pushed it to another level so I think that’s really needed and really a key part of the whole programme.

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Paul Windmill Paul Windmill director at Myers Clark Chartered Accountants

What's been the single biggest learning point for Myers Clark or for you during the Accountants Growth Academy

I think it’s for us as business … and we’re still, if I’m honest, struggling to implement it properly, but the three tier pricing. You know, we realised quite early on that we’re leaving money on the table, you know, we’re not developing… a) we’re not giving the client what they want necessarily which is choice and b) sometimes we’re doing stuff for clients and we’re not charging for it. So basically we’re not earning as much as we can out of those clients. As I say we’re struggling to implement it properly, but it’s the biggest thing that I’ve learnt, still the biggest thing where we can build on it as a business as well.

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Ian Quartermaine Director at William Hinton Accountants

If you were to pinpoint one key learning from the whole Accountants Growth Academy to date what would that be?

I think the best thing we’ve done so far is having the whiteboards in each of our offices so that we’re tracking what, be it turnover, be it number of meetings, so that’s the key.

I think when you came down last time we spoke about the BOPP, you know, we did the BOPP, we came away from the bot, we’re now putting the BOPP back in place and those regular meetings are the driver for that and for what we’re obviously trying to achieve.

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Chris Drinkwater DIrector RS Partnership

What's the single biggest learning point for you or for your firm during the Academy

I think it is about having boldness on pricing really I think, because especially me, I’m quite a young partner and it's very easy for me to slip into taking a client no matter what for as lower price to get the client and you can end up, you know, completely under-pricing your services and then struggling for years to come. So I think, you know, being bold, having the right clients at the right prices means that, you know, not only are you giving a better service, but also, you know, you’ve got that profitability across all the parts of the business.

Join our next cohort for the Accountants Growth Academy and discover how you kick-start the changes in your firm sooner rather than later...

AGA breakthrough training resources


To support the 3 AGA workshops and follow up accountability sessions you can add training resources for your client-facing (if not all) team members.  The best firms take training deadly seriously - not just accountancy CPD but commercial business insight training too.

In these 3 AGA breakthrough training sessions you will get all the resources you need to help your team improve their commercial savvy (so that they become more valuable to your firm and more credible with your clients and contacts.You'll build a library of training resources for future team members and be able to go back to them whenever you or your team need to.

AGA breakthrough subjects in your library will include :

  • The science of great business habits
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    Client meeting best practice
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    Valuable questions worth asking the client
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    The sources of credibility
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    Why KPIs matter so much
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    Customer care priorities...

Join our next cohort for the Accountants Growth Academy and discover how you kick-start the changes in your firm sooner rather than later...

AGA soft skills resources


Nuts and bolts communication skills are often taken for granted and rarely given the attention they deserve.  As the technical accountancy work is done more and more by the technology, your team's soft skills can be a source of competitive advantage.  
So a series of simple, quick, light-hearted but important training snapshots on basic skills like 

  • shaking your client's hand
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    starting a conversation in a credible way
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    finishing a conversation in a credible way
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    meeting preparation for confidence

and many more, all contribute to your team's knowledge, skills and value to your firm and to your clients.

Check out this example video where Paul shares a framework for making the first moments that you spend with a client, prospect or introducer really count.

Getting these small things right will kick start the know, like and trust journey between you and your contacts...