Quickfire regional AGA event

Register your interest for one of the quickfire regional Accountants Growth Academy events in Autumn 2018

This Autumn Paul and Douglas will be running a series of regional quickfire Accountants Growth Academy (AGA) events where you will discover what's on offer from the Accountants Growth Academy and get a taster of how you can kick start the changes in your firm sooner rather than later.  The changes that you must make to be ready for Making Tax Digital and Quarterly Reporting.

The events are held as 2 hour breakfast events and will cost £47+VAT for your firm to attend and you will receive a free copy of Paul's book - The Business Growth Accountant to take away.  

There will be an event held in several regions throughout the UK.


Current regional events are to be held in:

Cambridge (14/11/2018)

Manchester (date tbc)

Leeds (date tbc)

Bristol (date tbc)

Gatwick (date tbc)

Here's what existing members are saying about the Accountants Growth Academy...
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How's the Accountants Growth Academy been for William Hinton so far?

Really good, we get a lot of value from the academy itself, I really like the fact that it’s three times a year ‘cause it gives us some time in-between to just try and concentrate on doing what you’ve told us and then, you know, the interim sessions are good ‘cause it gives a bit of motivation, so yeah, really good.

Ian Quartermaine , Director at William Hinton Accountants
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The specific impact on our firm has been the changes we have made in valuing all members of the team. Hosting a team day to present what we have achieved and letting the team be the best they can be. We have continued to monitor our results weekly and every one of us is held accountable

Nick Pinfield , Director - Pinfield Accountants
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I've really enjoyed it, I particularly admire their ability to not let me off the hook when challenging our plans

Warren McCleary , Director - McCleary Accountants
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Really useful, it has given me someone else to bounce ideas off, and refer back to if we are struggling with areas of our plans or they are just not going quite as we envisaged, having someone outside of the firm that we can contact and get their "unblinkered" opinion is very helpful, sometimes it only takes a small adjustment to put us back on track

Denise Keens , Client Account Manager, Thompsons Accountancy
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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.

Nick Pinfield , Owner at Pinfields Acocuntants
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The community that exists within the Accountants Growth Academy has helped us to change our business model and get buy-in from the team. It's been invaluable having the ear of fellow professionals so we can all learn from each other

Ian Gillard , Director
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Being in this community has had a very positive impact. It has helped us change our business model and get buy in from the team. Its very valuable to have the ear of fellow professionals so we all learn from one another

Ian Gillard , Director
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I like the different characteristics of both Paul and Doug and feel they complement each other. I feel both Paul and Doug are not just coaches but members of our own team

Nick Pinfield , Director - Pinfield Accountants
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It has made us action new ideas more quickly

Dawn Jones , Tax Manager
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The focus on workflow means that we are much further ahead at this time of year than ever before. This is reflected in considerably advanced fee income and a happier and less stressed team. The practice day with Douglas was really well received by everyone and I think the team much better understand our direction of travel

Warren McCleary , Director - McCleary Accountants
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The entire team is much more focused across the whole spectrum of service and not just the areas they deal with individually. We are now planning future workflows rather than merely reacting to client needs

Ian Gillard , Director
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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.

Chris Swinton , Director at Swinton Accountants
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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.

Conor McDonnell , Director at GPC Financial
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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. The last two sessions from a Making Tax Digital point of view have been a key factor in driving us forward and getting us to actually do something practical on it. I think we will look back in the future and be able to pinpoint specific points that have actually been key to it, but at the moment it's made up of lots of intertwined components that are all moving us forward.

Kevin Barratt , Director at Thompsons Accountants
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I have enjoyed hearing feedback from other firms, otherwise, you feel isolated in what you are doing. Seeing other firms take on AGA suggestions has given us the confidence to follow suit

Kevin Barratt , Director -Thompsons Accountancy
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Love the enthusiasm they exude and always come away inspired with ideas on how to improve the practice. Both are very personable and interested in our business and we are very keen to continue the relationship

Trevor Wiseman , Director -Thompsons Accountancy
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Being a member of the Accountants Growth Academy has kept us focused, brought new ideas to our internal management meetings, and listened to other firms and the things they have implemented that have worked and not worked.
Because we can take our whole team along if we want to, they can see that the ideas are not just thought up by us, they are plans that have been tried and tested and found to work by others. Very importantly it's brought the 3 senior management closer and made us look at the long term goals of the firm and given us something to work toward together

Denise Keens , Client Account Manager, Thompsons Accountancy
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How is the Accountants Growth Academy is working for you at GPC Financial?

It’s worked extremely well.

The main thing to start with was three tier pricing which that was an eye-opener, giving options, etc, we were probably early adopters in that we just went back and did it because we just got it day one, and that was revolutionary in terms of getting our prices up, but also more importantly from what we saw was clients were making the choice, and you know, what Paul says, if they have a choice they can go to you or someone else, so they can choose, they can give them a choice and go to you or go to you or go to you, there’s three different levels. So that that really did work very well for us.

Conor McDonnell , Director at GPC Financial
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I was actually initially against joining however my business partner attended a taster day hosted by Paul and Doug and his feed back was to go to the next presentation which we did. I have remained an AGA member due to the continued support by the whole team

Nick Pinfield , Director - Pinfield Accountants
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There are no actions without accountability - the fact that you know we are going to have to explain what we have done to someone else makes you make time for getting this work done. Too often before we had heard a good idea but never implemented it

Nick Pinfield , Director - Pinfield Accountants
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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.

Paul Windmill , Paul Windmill director at Myers Clark Chartered Accountants
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This has given our firm the opportunity to discuss pressing matters with other like minded accountants and understanding we are all in the same boat. The resource has been exceptional

Denise Keens , Client Account Manager, Thompsons Accountancy
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The community has been a wholly positive experience, it is always useful to know how other similar firms are dealing with issues, mostly the same issues!

Warren McCleary , Director - McCleary Accountants
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We created a management team which has focused us on running the business not just operating in it. We welcomed Doug's team day and everyone is now aware of the direction we are heading in and the new methods we have implemented. The practice is just better set up all round

Kevin Barratt , Director -Thompsons Accountancy
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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 that to grow, we need to develop our team, we cannot do everything ourselves. We’ve come from a small practice that’s been 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. We are now doing this and it's been better for everybody, including ourselves.

Jenny Waugh , Partner at Hamilton Morris Waugh
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The accountability visits have helped as they help me reflect on what we have done not what we haven't done they also keep me focused on the next steps and moving forward

Kevin Barratt , Director -Thompsons Accountancy
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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. I’m quite a young partner and it's very easy for me to slip into taking a client no matter what for a lower price just to get the client but the downside is you end up completely under-pricing your services and then struggling for years to come. Listening to Pauls approach on pricing makes it so clear that being bold, having the right clients at the right prices means that not only are you giving a better service, but you’ve got that profitability across all the parts of the business.

Chris Drinkwater , DIrector RS Partnership
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It's been a blast! Informative but great fun as well. Thank you for stepping up when COVID struck.

Ian Gillard , Director
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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 believe that if you can offer valuable support to your clients it won't offend them - they will actually love it!

Ian Gillard , Director at Petherick and Gillard
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How is the Accountants Growth Academy is working for you at Swinton Accountants?

Yeah, it’s worked well, it’s helped us highlight a lot of issues that we knew we had but we, you know, it’s helped us focus on them to try and get solutions too.

Chris Swinton , Director at Swinton Accountants
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Our realisation that we needed help to radically change our business model to cope with forthcoming legislation (MTD)

Ian Gillard , Director
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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 (Business One Page Plan) - we did the BOPP, we came away from the BOPP and we’re now putting the BOPP back in place again and those regular meetings are the driver for that and leading us to what we are trying to achieve.

Ian Quartermaine , Director at William Hinton Accountants
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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.

Kevin Barratt , Director at Thompsons Accountants
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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.

Ian Quartermaine , Director at William Hinton Accountants
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The question of recommending the Accountants Growth Academy to any other firm is a double edged sword, on one hand absolutely due to what I have learnt and the progression our firm has made, on the other hand no as I feel i have an advantage over other accountants!

Nick Pinfield , Director - Pinfield Accountants
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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 identify areas of your business that you just need to focus on and then really focus on them. The success of staying on track and maintaining this focus ties in very nicely with the accountability visits. In other words just make sure you’re clear on what you’re focus is and just do that single mindedly and then move on to the next area.

Conor McDonnell , Director at GPC Financial
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We've hugely benefitted from hearing feedback from other firms - otherwise you feel isolated in what you are doing.
Seeing other firms take on AGA suggestions has given us confidence to follow

Trevor Wiseman , Director -Thompsons Accountancy
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Keeps us focused on what we need to implement/achieve before our next meeting, otherwise, we would drift from our plan of action or simply not do it at all, because of other things we possibly perceive to be more urgent...

Denise Keens , Client Account Manager, Thompsons Accountancy
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The accountability sessions have been vital! We've made excellent progress in our workflow planning and delivery, progress that we just wouldn't have made without the structure that the visits provide

Warren McCleary , Director - McCleary Accountants
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This has given our firm the opportunity to discuss pressing matters with other like minded accountants and understanding we are all in the same boat. The resource has been exceptional

Nick Pinfield , Director - Pinfield Accountants
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What's been the single biggest learning point for Myers Clark or for you during the Accountants Growth Academy

For us as business it's the three tier pricing. We realised quite early on that we’re leaving money on the table. We’re not giving the client what they want necessarily which is choice and 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. It’s the biggest thing that I’ve learnt and is the biggest element of our business we can build on for maximum benefit.

Paul Windmill , Paul Windmill director at Myers Clark Chartered Accountants
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COVID could not have been a bigger challenge for us all but being part of a friendly helpful group, actively trying to help each other, without doubt, had a major impact on how we have successfully supported our clients through such a tough period, and continue to do so

Kevin Barratt , Director -Thompsons Accountancy
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Hows the Accountants Growth Academy working for you?

I think the AGA has been excellent for our firm, it took a while to get off the ground, to actually get buy-in from the whole team, and what have you, it started off with me going along, the implementation process afterwards was tortuous, but really since we’ve got real team involvement in the process it’s really started to gain momentum.

Kevin Barratt , Director at Thompsons Accountants
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Our ability to look beyond the accounts and tax returns and have really challenging conversations with clients which add value to them has been improved by understanding what clients really want. We have also learned to change and streamline our systems to make the workplace more efficient, embraced outsourcing and seen a less stressful 2021 (COVID aside)

Kevin Barratt , Director -Thompsons Accountancy
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Paul and Doug are an immense support for us - they challenge us, there is no doubt, and we still get plenty wrong but they are our trusted advisors and someone we regularly turn to or just think, What would Paul/Doug say?

Kevin Barratt , Director -Thompsons Accountancy
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How has the Accountants Growth Academy been working for Hamilton Morris Waugh?

It’s working really well for us, it’s made us very focused on what we’re doing, it’s helped us to focus the team, and develop the team, and we can see big changes in our firm coming out.

Jenny Waugh , Partner at Hamilton Morris Waugh
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How is the Accountants Growth Academy is working for you at Myers Clark?

We’ve found the AGA great, great fun to, you know, what are we, two, nearly three years of the way through. It’s been a good learning exercise for the three of us, Jonathan myself and Ian, good opportunities to get away, get together, and the networking side of it in terms of chatting to like minded firms, sometimes you learn something new, but sometimes it’s just about also knowing that other people as going through the same thing as you’re going through, you know, like a reassurance factor. As well as the new learning that obviously it’s brought in so makes you stop and think different about the way you’re doing things, what should we be doing. Paul’s a great person to learn from and listen to, he’s never boring, he really is a… we always look forward to the next one.

Paul Windmill , Paul Windmill director at Myers Clark Chartered Accountants
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Definitely yes I would recommend it to a firm/accountant who accepts they do not have all the answers.

Ian Gillard , Director
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We were looking for business support to improve our processes and systemise the business to continue the growth

Sam Gooding , Partner, Gooding Accounts Ltd
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I would but only to a firm that was willing to accept change and looking to future proof themselves in an ever-changing environment

Sam Gooding , Partner, Gooding Accounts Ltd
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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.

Jenny Waugh , Partner at Hamilton Morris Waugh
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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.

Ian Gillard , Director at Petherick and Gillard
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I would recommend AGA without hesitation, but you have to be ready to embrace change. I hope as accountants we would all encourage our clients to invest in change for the better and there are significant challenges to our profession over the next few years. AGA is an ideal platform to give you the help to manage that change with expert guidance

Kevin Barratt , Director -Thompsons Accountancy
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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.

Chris Drinkwater , DIrector RS Partnership
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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!

Lisa Brown , Partner at Accounting Workshop
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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. Before the AGA it had taken us ages to put our pricing strategy properly in place. We had started off with two tiers at the beginning because I wanted to try it but I was a bit scared of doing it the whole way. So really we only half did it but now we’ve got it and we do it for all new clients. So this is really really big news for us and we've found everyone pays more than we expected they would want to.

Lisa Brown , Partner at Accounting Workshop
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Our practice at the time we joined was probably very similar to most normal practices with all the issues that go along with that. We wanted to change that and be in control of what we were doing, to make a real difference to our clients. Joining AGA allowed us to stand back from the day to day work and focus on what needed doing in bite-size chunks. The fact that we are still members is down to the fact that the job is not done yet. It's been great value not only getting great training but also networking with other, similar firms

Kevin Barratt , Director -Thompsons Accountancy
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Generally, I felt I knew what we need to do in the Practice but was struggling to bring the senior team along with me. I also felt that we needed an external mentor to hold us to account and keep us focused

Warren McCleary , Director - McCleary Accountants
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How has the Accountants Growth Academy been working for Pinfields?

Absolutely fabulously, really really well. Especially I had a bit of a kick in April when we first came, well when we first came and we met in Solihull and it was a little bit of an eye-opening experience for me, it’s all of a sudden realising Making Tax Digital is coming along, although we know about it the actual impact it’s going to have on the firm is going to be huge, and that’s just progressed and progressed, and we need to be monitored all the time, so I found it really really good, really good, yeah.

Nick Pinfield , Owner at Pinfields Accountants
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It's really kept us focused - it's brought new ideas to our internal management meeting, we've been able to listen to other firms and things they have implemented that have worked and not worked.
Staff can see that the ideas are not just thought up by us, they are plans that have been tried and tested and found to work by others.
Being in this group together has brought the 3 senior management team closer and made us look at the long term goals of the firm and given us something to work towards together. We're all on the same page

Denise Keens , Client Account Manager, Thompsons Accountancy
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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.

Chris Swinton , Director at Swinton Accountants
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Doug & Paul constantly make you think about everything surrounding the operation of your firm but in a way that neither seems intrusive nor overbearing. The feedback from team members has always been very positive

Sam Gooding , Partner, Gooding Accounts Ltd
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What would you say has been the single biggest learning point from the Accountants Growth Academy program for you?

Delegation, delegation, delegation, you really can’t do it all yourself. The biggest learning I had was actually at the April seminar it was focussed on tax returns. I was able to listen to the recommendations from Paul and Douglas, go back to the office and implement them fully. However I didn't implement them myself I delegated, So 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 fantastic and have really stepped up. They are actually getting more done and they seem to be a lot happier because they can see what’s going on, so it’s been a really really good experience for us so far.

Nick Pinfield , Owner at Pinfields Acocuntants
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Hows the Academy for Growth Accountantsworking for RS Partnership?

It’s working really well, yeah. I think the main point is that all the partners in the firm would generally in the past just be getting on with their clients in their little pockets and we weren't discussing where we're going. We've identified key points that you need to actually track for the firm, some KPIs to keep the overall business moving forward.

Chris Drinkwater , DIrector RS Partnership
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How is the Accountants Growth Academy is working for you at Petherick and GIllard

It’s worked very well from our firm point of view ‘cause we knew we wanted to make changes for MTD particularly, and we knew that there were a lot of old-fashioned things we were doing, paper files, etc, we needed to change, and so we needed to change, we needed the driver to help us change.

So that as the reasoning behind joining the Accountants Growth Academy last year.

Ian Gillard , Director at Petherick and Gillard


Please fill in the form below to register your interest and which regional area(s) you would interested to attend.

We will keep in touch with you to update you regarding dates and locations as they become available.