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24th August, 2023

Episode 4: Building relationships is key

Building relationships is key. This phrase encapsulates the essence of success in any business, but holds particular significance in the field of accounting.

This latest episode of Fiscal Therapy highlights the importance of building relationships in the accounting profession and provides insights into how one practitioner, Amanda Gascoigne, achieved success through this approach.

Amanda’s journey in the accounting industry began in 1999 when she started her own practice.

At that time, having a home-based business was not common, especially for a chartered accounting practice.

However, she took a leap of faith and decided to venture out on her own.

Her motivation for starting her practice was the desire to have a family, as her previous workplace did not offer a maternity leave policy. This personal goal became the driving force behind her entrepreneurial journey.

Going above and beyond

Amanda’s emphasis on building relationships extended beyond her clients.

She also prioritised fostering deep relationships with her team members. By making her team feel valued and appreciated, Amanda created a positive work environment that contributed to the success of her practice.

This focus on relationships extended to her clients as well. Amanda developed and delivered a personalised family service, which helped her build a strong reputation in the industry.

Accounting is not just about numbers and financial statements; it is fundamentally about building relationships.

Amanda emphasises that accounting professionals are in the business of building relationships, and this is what sets them apart in the long run.

The ability to establish and maintain strong relationships with clients and team members is what ultimately leads to success and longevity in the accounting profession.

Personal relationships are key

Amanda’s journey demonstrates how establishing strong connections with clients and team members can lead to business growth and success.

She initially started her accounting practice with a focus on providing personalised service to her clients. She made an effort to visit clients in their own offices, going to “weird and wonderful places” to assist them with their accounting needs.

This personal touch helped her establish trust and rapport with her clients, leading to positive word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals.

Her dedication to providing exceptional service and building personal relationships resulted in a growing client base and a thriving practice.

Facing challenges and burnout

One of the main challenges Amanda faced was the issue of profitability. She notes that many practice owners are not making enough money considering their skill level and expertise.

This lack of profitability can lead to financial stress and a feeling of being undervalued in the profession.

Another challenge is the overwhelming workload and never-ending deadlines.

Accountants often find themselves overworked and struggling to find a work-life balance.

This can undoubtedly lead to burnout and a decrease in overall job satisfaction.

Design your own success

Amanda emphasises the importance of setting clear expectations in order to avoid burnout and create a fulfilling career.

She suggests that individuals entering the accounting industry should take a step back and assess the challenges they may face.

By being aware of the potential obstacles, individuals can better prepare themselves mentally and emotionally for the demands of the job.

“Smaller practices can bring joy”

Amanda shares her own experience of scaling back her practice and finding more fulfillment and happiness in her work.

She emphasises the importance of prioritising work-life balance and being present for family and personal commitments.

Her story challenges the notion that a bigger practice is always better.

She predicts that we will see a rise in smaller boutique firms where accountants consciously choose to stay small and have more freedom and flexibility in their lives.

Continuous learning

A key theme for success is the value of staying curious and open-minded, and actively seeking out opportunities to expand one’s knowledge and skills.

Amanda mentions that she takes inspiration from various industries and perspectives, and incorporates them into her own practice.

This highlights the importance of having a broad range of influences, as it can lead to innovative thinking.

By embracing continuous learning and prioritising authentic relationships, accountants can stay ahead of the curve, adapt to changing circumstances, and create a positive and supportive work environment.

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In today’s fast-paced world, it is crucial for professionals to stay up-to-date with trends and practices in their field.

This is especially true in the accounting industry, where new laws and regulations are constantly being introduced, and technological advancements are reshaping the way business is conducted.

By subscribing to this podcast and actively seeking out opportunities for continuous learning, accountants can ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their careers.

Authentic relationships are essential in any profession, but they hold particular significance in the accounting industry.

Accountants often work closely with their clients, providing them with financial advice and guidance.

By building authentic relationships based on trust, respect, and open communication, accountants can better understand their clients’ needs and goals, and provide them with personalised and effective solutions.