It still boggles my mind that many of us have highly intelligent colleagues that literally cannot see the nose in front of their faces – they can’t see/hear/feel the rumblings of what Chris Hooper calls “AccountApocalypse.” Serious disruption in the Accounting Industry is a thing, not just a plot by millennials to take over the world.
I’ve noticed 3 distinct levels of apocalyptic heroism/victim:
Exhibit A – They really ‘get it’
We estimate only 10% of accountants in Adelaide really ‘get it’. They enjoy excellent margins, non-compliance fees well over 60%, likely less clients but far higher revenue per client and hourly rate recovered, all jobs value priced. And most importantly – exceptionally happy clients.
If they’re not quite there yet, they are taking a deliberate, structured approach to change throughout the whole firm – from recruitment criteria to firm ownership structure.
Exhibit B – They understand but underestimate
These accountants are likely the victim of a larger firm ‘bubble’, within which some partners lose touch with the wider industry. Likely subjected to less-than-inspiring performance metrics, wondering why its getting harder and harder to generate good margins. They don’t believe that clients could logically consider moving away from a well established firm to the fresh new young thing down the road, but yet tolerate working without the necessary enjoyment in client work to remain motivated. These accountants have ledgers swamped in compliance work with well over 60% fees here, and operating in generally un-inspiring cultures. They think disruption is still 5 years away, and struggle to steer the large ship in any new direction.
Exhibit C – The Non-Believers
Yes, the dinosaurs, the ostriches. Ignoring automation, cloud skeptics, millenial belittlers #facepalm.
Winter is Coming – Who will be our Jon Snow?
Luckily for many Cs, the ‘big bang’ will likely coincide with retirement. But alas, the As won’t pay what the Cs expect for their fees when the Cs retire, because the quality is just not there. Clients will choose quality of service and profit generating advice for their business that the As are consistently delivering over the value of the big brand. The As will (and already are) rescue the clients of the Bs and Cs from the zombies.
Change is essential for all accountants – either upward and onward or literally out of the industry.