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

"Having someone come to the practice and just focus on accountability 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

Join the Accountants Growth Academy to avoid inaction and to preserve your firm's fees and profits in a fast-changing cloud accounting and MTD 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.  

And together we'll work on reducing the reliance of your firm on ​the partners and directors and bring a sense of control and certainty to the way your firm ​produces work in a timely way (not to HMRC and Company's House deadlines).

At a recent AGA workshop one of the firms shared a radical improvement in the production of tax returns at their firm.

"This January ​we halved the number of tax returns compared with last year, we had one less ​person in the tax team and still reduced overtime during January by two-thirds. ​We expect no overtime next January and well-balanced tax return completion numbers from May through to January." - Nick Pinfield, Pinfields, Bromsgrove

Other firms on the Accountants Growth Academy have seen similar improvements. The impact on their team's morale and motivation is rewarding in itself but the fact that these firms are able to do more client work in less time is contributing to improved profitability.

​You'll discover how to improve fees and profits every time we get together at each workshop, and in the 1-to-1 accountability sessions in your office we'll help make sure you take the actions needed.

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

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

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.

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. 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.

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 (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.

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 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.

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, 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.

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. 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.

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

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 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.

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. 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 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.

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

To stay competitive your firm must respond or, even better, drive ahead of your competition.

Cloud accounting and MTD changes are challenging the way all firms make profit, generate cash and build capital value. And as the technology gets smarter and faster the impact on your firm and your people is becoming significant - it's a BIG opportunity if and when you respond to the changes positively.

The changes mean your people will have to work differently as you transform your firm from an annual accounting firm to a quarterly reporting firm (as required by MTD).

  • 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 taster event on October 17th and discover how you kick-start the changes in your firm sooner rather than later...

​Training and workshops are ​JUST NOT ENOUGH! ​

​The Accountants Growth Academy workshops (3 times a year) will inspire you thanks to the guest speakers, thanks to the support of your fellow accountants and thanks to the focus on practical and proven ways of improving the results of your firm.

But all training and all education is just not enough. For deep-seated and long-lasting ​improvement you get an accountability visit between each of the three workshops. These accountability visits ensure your action commitments are done. This then builds repeating, and eventually, habitual action that delivers the long-lasting improvement you want for your firm.

You are invited to bring team members too (especially those with management responsibility) to actively participate in the workshops and the accountability meetings. Their participation speeds the change and brings you faster wins.

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

Content will be delivered by Paul Shrimpling and Douglas Aitken based on ​their many hundreds of consulting meetings plus guest speakers will share their insights 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
  •  Team motivation to improve profitability
  •  Building capital value in a cloud accounting world
  •  Improving capacity by 20%+ without hiring more people
  •  Making cross selling additional services simple
  •  The best use of technology for greater profits and less stress.. 

As we work together and get to know each other you and your AGA colleagues will also influence the topics too.

Of course, a workshop without follow-up actions is just an event. That’s why we spend part of every workshop ​agreeing your 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.  

The workshops, the calls and the visits ensure we have an end-to-end process for helping you move your firm to where you want it to be - more profitable, more enjoyable and more rewarding.

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 taster event on October 17th and discover how you kick-start the changes in your firm sooner rather than later...