The ExCeL centre in London played host to the AccountEX National Accountancy Exhibition & Conference last week – the UK’s biggest accountancy exhibition.

The event, which took place between 10th and 11th of May, gave hundreds of leading suppliers the opportunity to showcase their products and services. The occasion also offered those in the field of accountancy the chance to attend a number of seminars hosted by front-runners in the accountancy sector.

Steve Pipe FCA, researcher, best-selling author, and founder of the company Accountants Changing the World, hosted a particularly interesting seminar on ‘How to become one of the world’s most inspiring, respected and profitable accountancy practices’; in this article we highlight his most useful insights. In 2012, Steve was named the world’s most highly rated advisor to accountants.

Taking to the stage with the (successful) goal of demonstrating what a difference accountants make to themselves, their families, team members, and their clients, Steve opened his talk by stating, “In a world full of bad news, accountancy can make a huge difference; accountants can change the world.”

During his seminar, Steve discussed several of the 62 case studies or success stories from within his recently published book, The world’s most inspiring accountants. He spoke at length about how ‘accountants have the ability to change lives,’ through helping individuals or business owners manage their finances, and as a result, increase their profit margins.

The issue Steve raised several times during his talk was that “Accountants have terrible self-esteem issues… We need to realise the impact we have,” said Steve. “We have the power to change lives and the psyche of business owners through being accountants… When you believe in yourself, they (business owners) will believe in what you’re selling,” he explained to the audience.

News website Accounting Today recently published an article posing the question: “Do accountants have low self-esteem (LSE)?” Their post identified the key traits of someone who is an LSE sufferer, and they looked at how LSE could manifest itself into the management of an accounting practice.

The article, written by former Big Four CPA, and industry coach and consultant, Bill Tsotsos, highlighted several issues ‘typical’ accountants have, such as not being proactive, a lack of networking skills: “accountants don’t network”, and being afraid to bill clients what they’re worth. Bill came to the conclusion that accountants “tend to be firm-centric and reactive when interacting with clients…this follows the template of an individual with LSE – poor social skills, being self-focused, and not engaging with others.”

Nevertheless, the good news is that LSE is not a terminal diagnosis. As Steve pointed out “You don’t need to be Superman in order to change lives.” Steve concluded his seminar with the final line: “Once accountants start to realise what a difference they can make to people’s lives, simply by being an accountant and being passionate about what they do, their business will reap the benefits.”


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