March 29, 2024

Episode 102: Mark Walker, VFD Pro

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The Story

The key question – how do you and your firm make a difference? – makes a difference itself in the conversations you have with your team members as you try to ensure that they are connected to the real meaning behind what you're doing.

Actually making a difference and then finding a way to communicate that will also help you connect with potential recruits so that they're more likely to join your firm rather than another, ultimately making a difference to your current business owner clients, as well as to prospective clients.

If these prospective clients are able to see that you can really make a difference to them and to their business, they’re obviously more likely to want to work with you and your firm.

In this podcast with Mark Walker of VFD Pro, Mark unpacks his experience as a senior financial professional, including his time as a board-level finance officer at Carnival Cruises and his work with The Co-Op, as well as with a number of SMEs.

He has built a product, a tool, that has shown him, his client accountancy firms and their clients how they can make a difference by becoming better connected. Yes, there is a conversation around the future of their business, and yes, around the finances, but there is also one to be had around the business as a whole, leading to a stronger relationship.

That's why I think this podcast discussion is so important. Please scroll down this episode page for the contact information for Mark and for the additional, downloadable resources mentioned in this podcast.

The Solution:

VFD is frustrated that the quality of the output isn't timely and up to date because of the quality of the bookkeeping.

VFD speaks to the accountant about – “Why isn't this up to date?”

The accountant is frustrated with the fact that their client doesn't care, so VFD blames the accountant, and the accountant blames the client, but we're wrong, we're the ones to blame because we're not educating the client as to why.

As far as the business owner client is concerned, I need to get their information up to date, for tax purposes, to deliver on a deadline that the government has stipulated I need to meet and that's it.

So I can't get frustrated with the business owner, because the only reason they've been educated that financial information on a timely basis is important is because the government has told me I have to do it. It's a necessary evil.

And that's where this education piece comes in. Let's just start helping them understand exactly why it's important and let's work with them. It's a great opportunity for the accountant to help them with their bookkeeping so it's accurate and up to date, so there's a revenue opportunity there, but they won't see the benefit of it unless the accountant educates them as to why that is.





Connect with Mark

Connect with Paul

Resources relating to this podcast:

During the podcast, Paul and Mark discuss the importance of asking questions and why so many accountants wrongly think they cannot do it or are not very good at it.

The role of an accountant is to challenge, and you can only do that from a base of knowledge. You only gain that knowledge if you have accurate data or information, and you only get this by asking questions of your clients.

When you ask the right questions, not only do you find out about their business, you also find out more about them as people – their hopes, dreams and plans for the future. You build a stronger, better relationship with them – you are the go-to person for them.

If you want to discover more about the importance of asking better questions and why the decisions that people make are directly influenced by the questions you ask, please click the button below to read the Business Breakthrough report 'Ask Better Questions'. You'll discover that the magic happens when you master the simple science of asking great questions.

Paul and Mark also talk about change management and how hard it can be to implement change in your accountancy firm. This is because most people fear change – it's something different and they are likely already comfortable with what they do. There is fear attached to change as it may force them out of their comfort zone.

Mark talks about change being even harder in large firms where you have multiple personalities and different skill levels.

The key to managing this well is to take your team on the journey with you by carefully mapping out the steps.

If you want to discover more about how to manage change successfully in your firm, click the button below the read the Business Breakthrough report 'Successful Change'.

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