How do you and your firm measure the impact you have on your clients' lives? And what difference does that impact have for your clients?
In this podcast with Harvee Pene from Brisbane, Australia, you'll hear Harvee describe the crystal clear way they've worked out how to measure the impact they have on their clients' lives and the difference the value they create and the results they achieve makes to their clients
I hope you enjoy the podcast.
"We knew we made an impact. We knew it made a difference, but we didn't have any way of making that tangible. And if we didn't have any way of knowing the tangibility of that, then how did our clients have a chance to know it?
"If we wanted to grow our practice or if we wanted to raise our fees then we needed to articulate our value in some way, shape or form. The better we can articulate the value we create and the results that our clients get from us, then the easier it is to set the context for which our clients will invest."
Connect with Harvee
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TRANSCRIPT - unedited
[00:00:00] Paul Shrimpling: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Humanise The Numbers podcast, series leaders, managers, and owners of ambitious accounting firms, sharing insight, successes, and issues that will challenge you and connect you and your firm to the ways and means of transforming your firms.
Harvee Pene: [00:00:21] Prior to measuring that impact. We knew we changed lies.
We knew we made an impact. We knew it made a difference, but we didn't have any way of making that tangible. And if we didn't have any way of knowing the tangibility of that, and however, did our clients have a chance to know it. And so if we took all the fluffy wealthy, you know, feel good feelings and let's put like a.
A business case for say, if we wanted to grow our practice, or if we wanted to raise our fees and we need to articulate our value in some way, shape or form, and the better that we can articulate the [00:01:00] value out, that the impacts that we create, the results that our clients are getting from us, then the easier it is to set the context for which our clients will invest.
How do you
Paul Shrimpling: [00:01:11] and your firm measure the impact you have on your business owners lives, your client's lives. And what difference does that impact have for your clients? Well, on this podcast with Harvey, penny, from Brisbane, Australia, you'll hear Harvey described the crystal clear way. They've worked out how to measure the impact they have on their clients.
And this conversation is human conversations. We then have them about the difference. It will make. Let's go to that podcast with Harvey name.
Harvee Pene: [00:01:42] Hey, Paul it's, uh, Havi penny here, uh, by way of introduction. Uh, I'm an author TEDx speaker and the co-founder of an accounting firm called inspire life-changing and accountants.
And in case the accent, doesn't quite give it away, uh, [00:02:00] dialing in here from Brisbane, Australia.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:02:03] Brilliant. It's great to have you on the plank. Harvey. Um, life-changing the counting. So that's a big statement where it was. W what do you mean by
Harvee Pene: [00:02:11] that? Yeah, well, uh, I really believe that accountants change lives and it's the reason why I am perhaps many of those listening in, in listening in, got into accounting in the first.
It, isn't just a desire to crunch the numbers, but a real desire to help people and to make a difference. And, uh, in my own practice, I'm really proud to say that we've all share that in the context of helping our clients we've as of today, been able to, uh, proactively save our clients over $10 million, uh, in tech.
And counting, which they use to reinvest back into growing their business and growing their families. So [00:03:00] a pretty interesting, uh, sort of context, uh, given the theme of this podcast around humanization and, uh, numbers, therefore. Yeah, yeah,
Paul Shrimpling: [00:03:09] yeah, absolutely. So there's that? Yes. There's the accountants regretted crunching the numbers.
Um, Uh, one of the, yeah, one of the pieces that, uh, I think you say accountants start out to change people lives. And I'm wondering whether actually the vast majority Caitlin's tripped their way into accounting. I'm not sure there's too many set out to be accountant from the get go. They sort of fall into it.
So how do you square that with your view that, um, they actually want to change people's lives?
Harvee Pene: [00:03:41] Yeah. Well, my observation take my own experience. Getting into acting. We grew up really poor. My mum was 13 when she had my sister and 16, when she had made and we were born into a really poor part of New Zealand.
Hence a little chat about the rugby sevens before. Uh, jumping online today. And [00:04:00] so we came, uh, we, we left New Zealand. We came to Australia, the land of opportunity, uh, for, for a fresh start. And so I got into accounting and I chose to become an accountant, um, because it was an opportunity for us to give back to my family because we had nothing.
And when I realized early. Business that a business is actually a numbers game. Not only did I going into counting, get the ability to support my own family, but, uh, we uniquely as accountants have the ability to help our clients make the smart financial decisions that would ultimately help them to. What I would describe as get cashed up.
That's the main premise of what we help our clients achieve. It's also the title of the first book that I wrote for helping my accounting firms stand out. Uh, it outlines the seven smart financial decisions, the seven steps to pull more [00:05:00] money, time and happiness from your business. And so, again, who better than you.
Uh, business owners, accountants there to be able to guide them on these smart financial decisions and help them build a business. Allows them to do so much good for their team, their clients, the founders, the family, and hopefully ultimately the world Javier
Paul Shrimpling: [00:05:22] I'd like to pick up on the w w the, the background behind cashed up in a minute.
But, uh, it, it strikes me that there's a, there's two types of decisions that get made in businesses. The smart ones that build the numbers of the business, you know, won't be revenue, profit cash, and so on. But there's also the decisions that build in the health of the business, which aren't necessarily can be counted, but aren't necessarily connected with the smart decisions with the numbers.
So there's that decisions on smarts decision on health of the business. What are your views and thoughts on that based on your experience of working with your clients, but also working with other accountancy firms?
Harvee Pene: [00:05:58] Yeah. [00:06:00] Pull, um, I'm a huge fan of helping not just guide our clients towards achieving their goals, but maybe even playing a really proactive role in defining those goals.
So an example in the six years in public practice, one of the first questions I would ask to business owners are, what are your goals? Where do you want to head? Where do you see yourself in three, five or seven years time? And what I've found at least here in Australia is that quite often. As much as we seek out to achieve big goals and to be goals oriented, at least the clients that we had experienced been exposed to here.
When actually really clear on where they were headed, what they wanted to achieve, what goals they wanted to tick off. And it was because this saturation or overwhelm with simply just getting by week to week, just meeting the next payroll, just paying the next tax, bill bonds, Harmon street, just being able to kind of get through.
And so our antidote to that, or [00:07:00] what I created as a solution to that was. What I describe as the cashed up benchmark and benchmarks are great because they're our language as accountants we're used to setting these targets, these goals and these numbers, and it automatically positions us as an authority.
I believe when we're on the front foot, we're proactively setting some standards for which our clients could achieve. And so an example, The cashed up benchmark that I pulled together here in Australia, and that summarize my desire or goal for all business owners. And I would describe it like this. My goal for business owners is for them to work four days a week.
Which means they might have Fridays off, which is beautiful. And I want them to be working 40 weeks per year, which means they could be perhaps enjoying eight to 12 weeks per year holiday. Right. It might be into, uh, like inside their own country or outside, or, uh, and with that time invested in the business business, I want them to be [00:08:00] pulling out $400,000.
Profits. Right. Right. And for that profit to be able to fund a great lifestyle now, but also to be able to make some smart future financial decisions and build it's a net worth of $4 million. And we want that financial legacy. To be able to last for generations. So I've got myself and my wife as the first generation.
I want to look after my beautiful daughter at Havana. And then I just love this idea that her daughter and her daughter's daughter, long after I'm gone, I still going to feel the both emotional, spiritual, and family legacy that I've left behind. But also as a result of the smartphone introduction. The financial legacy I've left behind.
Right. And so not only does the cash down benchmark four days a week, 40 weeks, a year, 400 K profit, 4 million [00:09:00] wealth lasting four generations. None of them does that sort of summarize my personal business and wealth goal. But as an accountant and authority, I can signal that that's the aspiration for my clients to aspire towards.
And guess what? Yeah, it was embraced with open arms and who will automatically. Is positioned best to take them on that journey? Yes, me. Yes. Yes, those were listening in their accountants to, to take them on that. So that was my experience in that space for no,
Paul Shrimpling: [00:09:30] that's an amazing clarity. Isn't the, uh, uh, the, for the 40, the 400, the four generations, a formula that's, that's real, that's really elegant, really elegant, but I guess, listen, listening to this, and I'm curious too, is what's how, you know, how, how do you work with the business owner in and around this?
So I get, if you share that story, With a business owner, they'll go. Yeah, I they'll either say, yeah, I want some of that and they'll go, yeah, that's not familiar. And that would probably [00:10:00] define whether they're going to be a client of yours or not. I presume I've I have, I guess right there
Harvee Pene: [00:10:04] more or less. And you know, in that, in those four numbers, five numbers with instantly stood ourselves apart from at least in Australia, we've got 13,000 other accounting firms that a business owner could choose from and understand the UK.
Significantly much larger than that competition is even higher. So in the humanizing, the numbers were finding ways to stand out from, uh, from the crowd. And so around the how, um, in our expression of this, we became authors to be able to stand out and to be able to sort of signal that pathway. And that was the book that we published and every book that we've ever written.
And every book that I've published is all based around a central methodology. So cached off I mentioned was the seven smart financial decisions. They're pretty standard. Uh, the step one was to cut tax step two was to capture [00:11:00] profits. Step three was to control cashflow. So that was the methodology that we put together uniquely for our firm.
And we used an asset like a book that helps or to help express that. So that was some of the mechanics of what. Do and have done in uniquely now from, however, in addition to my practice nowadays, I work with accounting firms globally and my central philosophy around how accountants should be able to stand out and more importantly than standing out.
I think why can it should exist? Paul, I believe is that they need to stand out because of the results. That they create for their clients. So I use a simple example, you know, our kind of cultural authority here in Australia is that we've saved that clients $10 million in tax and accounting. So instantly we've kind of got this authority and credibility in based on that.
So how could any firm globally stand out because of the rules? They create for their clients. So yeah, there could be tax savings. He has, it could be, you know, profit [00:12:00] improvements. It might be, uh, the reductions in debt that we've been able to achieve for our clients. Really what sort of outcomes we all clear on the advice that we give and we know that advice makes an impact, but in humanizing the numbers, what exactly is.
That impact. Yeah. And if I just give a simple example, Paul, I know this is an audio, so not everyone will be able to see this, but one of the things that we did in creating, uh, our measures of success, we, we chose tax savings as our measure is we created impact statements. So what I'm sharing on screen, now this isn't a four piece of paper.
And what we wrote on here is the client's name, how much tax would save them, which in this case was $32,000. And just simply ask them the question, what difference is this going to make to your, your, your business and to your life? And so for Wilin bow, who also happened to be my personal [00:13:00] dentists for them, they look after me.
Uh, we saved them $32,000 in tax savings, which is the number. So what is the humanity behind it? Or they said, they're going to reinvest that into the business to make a bigger impact, which I know they do a beautiful job of doing, uh, another simple example, Jeff and Karen nib. We saved them $20,000 in tax savings.
And with that, they're going to put that towards a holiday to New Zealand and extra cashflow for the business. Yeah. Final one that I just wanted to share is a gentleman named Ray. He runs a business called Greenstone $36,000 in tax savings. I'm not sure if you can see what he's saying, he's going to do with his savings there.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:13:43] go on a bendy. What's the bank.
Harvee Pene: [00:13:45] It is up on a vendor. So I don't know what it is. That's a bit of a funny one that I know Ray. Well, he's my father. And, uh, I know he did. In fact, go on that bender. With me, right? [00:14:00] So
Paul Shrimpling: [00:14:00] that's a bit tight,
Harvee Pene: [00:14:03] but I just want to share them as just simple, practical examples of what this podcast is all about.
And we make that our advice every single day with prayer, that next step and articulate it in terms of, you know, some sort of numbers based measurements. And once we have the number of that, that impact quantifying it, then just simply. Humanize it by asking the client, well, what difference is this going to make to you, your family, your, your team, your business, and maybe even the world?
Paul Shrimpling: [00:14:34] Yeah. Yeah. And that that's elegant, isn't it? You know, the business owners look at their accountants to be the expert in numbers. They want clarity. And whether the accounting firm like you're doing is focused on tax savings, or whether you talk about profit improvement or well, wealth improvements. If you wanted to make it broader in terms of the human, rather than just the business owner, whatever measure you wanted your firm to focus.
Just [00:15:00] taking the next step of which I love that language around. Okay. So what difference is that going to make now that you're earning more or have built your wealth out or, and so on, but I think there's something isn't there. Harvey, in terms of that four generations pieces, you, you, you see that, I mean, that's humanizing at a different level, isn't it?
It's not just, you know, me, you now here. It's that? Um, longer-term piece. I think that's, um, that's. In this humanized space, because we're actually impacting not just on everyone that's walking around now, but everyone who's going to be walking around in a generation or two's time. That's that's neat.
Harvee Pene: [00:15:38] Absolutely. And do you mind if I share this a little bit of context around that, that piece? I truly believe Paul, that we can find these types of metrics and impact measures when we go deeper. And the question is how, how and why do you. Deeper. Yeah. And my, my method or my way that I found that metric for instance was through my, my [00:16:00] why.
So one of the ways that we can stand out most easily from. Uh, other accounting firms, if that's our goal is to stand out because of why we do what we do. And what's beautiful about standing out because of our, why is that? Our why is unique because our lives are unique. Our experiences are unique, the uh, the time and the values, the times that we shared on this earth and the values that we've all built up and experience.
If we had all come to form this unique wine. So. Um, uniquely in our firm and for the life-changing candidates that I work with globally. Uh, we, we describe our, why is that we are numbers people and we believe that family is number one. And what I've noticed when speaking to large groups of business owners, uh, as an example, when call it promoting my firm, or when speaking about the [00:17:00] cash up methodology, I would open by say, hi, my name's Harvey, penning, uh, run an accounting firm called inspire.
And, um, let me just start with our why, because you might think most accounting firms are boring. So before you fall asleep and just start with why, why I'm here while I'm in business. And I'd say it was long, like, you know, we're numbers people and they're like, yeah, yeah, I get it. Uh, but, uh, we, we believe that family is number one.
It has this, this deep sense of resonance, at least that was my experience. Poor connection. Yeah. Brilliant. And I think I've maybe even felt it with you just as I said that line as well, but family is number one and that's the power of connecting on this human level because now we're not moving. We're moving above from I'm an accountant.
Who's potentially fishing for you, a business owner to become a client of mine, which has this real. Competitive type dynamic to it. A sale needs to be made and you know, a, a winner and a loser [00:18:00] to actually, no, we're just humans. And we're just in business because we've got this common belief, that family is very important.
And I just love the way that this accountant articulate it in that family is number one, because the truth is I believe that too. And so we ended up as a result of that, Paul, uh, working with business owners who shared that common philosophy only because we put it out there. First we did what Simon Sinek told us.
He said, start with why, and is the better you can articulate that the stronger that kind of attraction or the magnetic pull is towards that. Why? And therefore we start working with people who resonates and we detract. Those who don't. So that's the, the origin of philosophy of the sort of family orientation, the family focus.
Cause it comes from within. Yes.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:18:54] And you, as soon as you get clarity on the why, and I'm a huge. [00:19:00] Simon Sonic too. Uh, and, and he's influenced along with, uh, certain, uh, colleague with both know reasonably well. Mr. Paul, Don is, um, what, um, who tap into the meaning of, of being in business and the meaning of being an accountant for me, the meaning of supporting and helping and, uh, challenging and supporting accountants.
Um, It, uh, it brings a zeal in and energy and air and so on. Doesn't it, but it, um, that's for you. However, you've got, you know, accountants to we're numbers, people in the number one number is family loved that. But it's sometimes difficult, isn't it? That, you know, firms, business owners are challenged around those conversations about why and meaning, how does that resonate with you?
Does that, how do you think that plays out in Australia?
Harvee Pene: [00:19:49] Yeah, it definitely is a challenge. And I'm going to share one more story. That's possibly going to make it initially seem even harder to treat, which is kind of how, how I found my [00:20:00] wife. But, um, perhaps within that story, people won't be able to find their own.
So the story in their own version or pathway to why, and where I found my way was really interesting place. Paul. It was on an operating table, um, in Brisbane at a hospital, uh, where four days prior to being on that operating table, I had found a lump. Where us men who are listening on today's podcast is especially, don't want to find anything abnormal downstairs.
Let's say in my testicle, my left nut. Okay. Or not. Sorry, I just talked about testicles and et cetera, you know, very professional. No, no, but
Paul Shrimpling: [00:20:43] it's great. That's the first podcast where we've been able to mention testicles. So that's, that's
Harvee Pene: [00:20:47] good. What's included in the keyword optimization. But, you know, it spoke to this idea that I was on this hospital when my whole world was sort of falling down on top of itself.
Cause [00:21:00] I was 31 at the time. Right. And how do you feel when you're 31? You're you're invincible. You bet. You think you've got your whole life ahead of you. Let's just call it the peak of my career and doing great things in the family sense. And I wanted to have kids in the future. And then here we are about to kind of, uh, not just lose.
What's a very important part of, of men, but also potentially. Life. And I had to kind of ask myself the question and here's perhaps the takeaway for everyone in terms of finding their own, why, which was if today was the last day of yours. Wow. To be happy with what you're leaving behind and what I'm speaking to, or speaking about there as is my legacy or your legacy.
And as accountants speaking with our clients, we can naturally take that to our financial legacy. Um, but it was in that moment, that sort of moment of [00:22:00] reconciliation. I'm not talking about the classic accounting reconciliation, but it was like, well, if, if this is the last day of my life, would I be happy?
And the truth is I wasn't at that point. And so I'm grateful that I'm still alive. Uh, I'm grateful that, uh, what are we three years on? I'm still at 100%. Cancer-free now I've got to, uh, mentioned, uh, I'm a father and the doctor said that I wouldn't be able to do that because of chemo and radiotherapy, but, uh, here we are two beautiful girls, Havana and Molly that, um, I, my miracle babies then remind me every day then.
Life is precious, um, that it was within that context, Paul, that, um, I realized that, well, you know, one day we will all die. And I thought that that was going to happen. I literally have an app on my phone. I plan to live to 110. I was looking at the [00:23:00] app and seeing the date and was 31 years old. Like, man, I've still got 70, 80 years more to go in this planet.
And so it was in that sort of moment that I had to kind of. Really put Y at the center, you know, I'd been friends and mentor by pull down for, for many years prior to this pivotal moment. And I'd heard him speaking about find your, why, you know, what is your purpose? Start with why? Yeah. But unfortunately it took a really pivotal moment to actually realize that the true central importance of that.
And so personally for me, I had to find myself in that operating table. I don't encourage anyone else to perhaps go to that extreme in order to be able to find it. Yeah. Y yeah. However, um, you know, haven't, we all, perhaps it's been through some life-changing moments over these last year or two through COVID-19 and what that has done to, to all of our lives.
And so. It has been probably [00:24:00] possibly one of the most challenging periods and experiences for us all. And I'm curious about this idea that I wonder if there is a silver lining as we come out the other side of this and we would ask ourselves, well, you know, if today was the last day or two throughout that COVID-19, that was, that was it.
Would we have been happy with what we've left behind? And if the answer is no, then. The question is how do we reorient our life? How do we reorient tab business as accounting for homeowners? And how do we take that leadership position with our clients to help them reorient their businesses, given that they've all gone through this challenging experience too.
How about, we all just hit the reset button post COVID-19 and let's rebuild this business with the right intentions of being a business that exists for the good of our selves, our family, our team, our clients, and ultimately the world. So yeah, perhaps a really timely opportunity for us to all. Yeah.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:24:59] It's an [00:25:00] interesting bridge.
Yeah. Uh, yes, I, I, I agree with you in terms of the, you know, the experiences in the last 18 months where everyone's realized that we're everyone, I think three last year, we're not, we're all not living forever. In fact, none of us are living forever. Um, So what's what is of most importance like you I've been in there sort of situation with the emergency surgery?
You know, looking at my mom's looking at my mom's eyes and all I can see has been mom's fear you go, right. You know, when you come out the other side for me, it was on the other side for me, Harvey. He was like, right. You know, second chance, here we go. Let's make the most of it and tapped into the same sort of energy you're talking about now.
That's um, This sounds a bit weird and now it's easy for me because I've been shaken up and to a degree easy for you. Cause you've been shaken up, but most business owners, most accountants are really busy doing the busy-ness of running a busy firm [00:26:00] and don't have that shakeup. Now of the last 18 months, you could argue, there has been however.
Most of the firms I talk to that are really caring about their business owner. Clients have been busier than ever, because they've been on the phone more on zoom more, obviously can't see them face to face in person, but the business has stepped up. And so it's really hard to take that time out in a hospital bed.
It was, you know, I run red, man's search for meaning at that point. And it's like, oh right. You know, I get to Franco, you know, you've got to, you know, I've got to do something with this. Not everyone has that opportunity. And so I'm just wondering, you know, with all the work you've done with your clients and working with other accounting firms, what do people do to step out to the busy-ness that challenge, which is we've got to keep this going to then settle and do the hard thinking, feeling time on what's the, why what's the purpose?
What, what, what guidance, what indicators, what experiences have you had in working with business owners? That's helped in that.
[00:27:00] Harvee Pene: [00:27:01] Yeah, well, I think the common theme out of yours and mind's mutual experiences, perhaps perspective that ability to step out of our usual routine or our usual perspective on life and to, you know, look back with a bit of space and perhaps this number that I'm about to share might give us that gift of, of perspective.
Now, uh, given that it gave me a similar sense of perspective when I first discovered it. And it was this realization that. Did you know that if we in our business or with the businesses to whom we're advising over $50,000 profits per year, that's us dollars as for international purposes. Yeah. If we earn more than $50,000 profit per year, did you know that that puts us in the top 1% of humanity by income?
Which this wild experience. Cause we, you know, at least in [00:28:00] Australia, $50,000 is got it. Comparatively. Not that much. Yeah. When we give ourselves the gift of perspective to realize how well we're actually doing in the context of the bigger picture we put ourselves in the top 1%, or we all of a sudden, perhaps feeling just that a little bit more grateful and abundance.
And maybe for, for lack of a better word, rich with what we actually do. Have access to. And so, uh, we've spoken about his name. A number of times pull down, gave me the ability as an accounting for a moment to reconnect to this perspective, almost on a regular basis through through the giving platform called B one ones, you have a business for good.
And so I'll give you a practical example of how we embedded it in our firm, Paul, to help reinforce. This gift of perspective. Every day, I mentioned that we tracked our tax savings. And so as of [00:29:00] today, we're up to $10 million and counting. But what I created not long after the cancer experience was a giving initiative called day for dollar.
And what that was the commitment. Wasn't just a join me when G went to be a business for good, but it was a giving commitment to. Recognize that I'm already part of the lucky 1% of humanity who've won the lottery of life just by virtue of being born here in Australia are there in the, in the UK. And so I'm making a commitment that for every dollar in texts that we proactively say that small business clients, we're going to give a day of access to food, water, health, or sanitation to a family in need.
Thanks to our partnership with . And so what it meant is that in the context of humanizing numbers and is that, you know, I could get up and, uh, and talk about our firm and say that not only were we really proud to have practically said that clients [00:30:00] $10 million in tax and counting, but things that are day for dollar giving initiative, it means we've also given over 10 million days of life-changing help to families in need, you know, the 16 countries.
Which gives us pure joy and helps reinforce and remind us of the fact that. We are so lucky. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. The 1% and these little micro givings or recognizing it every time we make an impact, say to a client on the other side of the room, uh, thanks to our partnership with you. And we're also making an impact with family on the other side of the world.
And so yeah, half of it, isn't actually about finding why, but it's about really. Actually every day, we've got an opportunity, especially as accountants to reinforce that why and reinforce that meaning. And if your why, or if all you take from today's conversation, is that your why [00:31:00] is to help or your why is to impact or your, why is family yours, your clients, and maybe families who make up this global.
Family that we all belong to. Then just one word is enough. Yeah. Ability to act upon that and move towards that every single day, especially as accountants, that's where true meaning comes into life. And it doesn't matter how much money we've earned and how much of this sort of financial legacy we're leaving behind.
We can all be on that deathbed one day, hopefully very far away, Paul doing that reconciliation, uh, of, you know, are we happy with what we're leaving behind? I resoundingly. Yes, that's my
Paul Shrimpling: [00:31:46] goal, at least. And I love the way again, you know, the $1 turns into one day for somebody or a family or a village or whatever of a benefit, whether it be water, food, [00:32:00] education, whatever it is.
Um, so there's the, that, that number and the humanity of it best connected again, which is lovely. Um, So we've talked about, um, if you get a shakeup, you can work out what your purpose, your, your, why is, um, uh, if you reset a perspective that can trigger, uh, another way of looking at, um, what matters most to you outside of, you know, just running a busy business and making money.
Um, If there was one other thing, one of the challenges that you think accountants face in this space of humanizing the numbers or in this space of connecting with why, what, what, what do you think it is that if we chewed it over on this podcast and we had an impact on just one accountant, what would it be?
I mean, it might have a bigger impact, but you know, it's like one person at a time, isn't it? So,
Harvee Pene: [00:32:47] yeah, absolutely. Well, now I'm super clear on the fact that it's actually. Around the quantification of our impact. So [00:33:00] our simple example, we measured tax savings. We chose that as our measure of success. And so every time we'd give advice prior to measuring that impact, we knew we changed lives.
We knew we made an impact. We knew it made a difference, but we didn't have any way of making that tangible. And if we didn't have any way of knowing. The tangibility of that. And however, did our clients have a chance to know it. And so if we took all the fluffy wealthy, you know, feel good feelings and let's put like a, a business case for say, if we wanted to grow our practice, or we also raise our fees or raise our prices, then we need to articulate our value in some way, shape or form.
The better that we can articulate the value, our, that the impact that we create, the results that our clients are getting from us, then the easier it is to set the context for which our clients will invest in us. [00:34:00] So a practical, simple example in Australia, our core accounting service, we called it's all sorted.
It was proactive tax and accounting that pays for itself in tax savings. So it was a bit of a no brainer. Value proposition. But the only way that we were able to even remotely lean towards that value proposition was around this tangibility, this measurement of our impact. And so, you know, I was able to say, and there's no reason why any firm listening.
Isn't able to say something along the lines of, um, you know, our practice X and accounting budget, about $500 Australian a month, which might be 300 pounds or so a month. Nothing crazy. Six grand a year, Australian 4,000 pounds a year. On average, we've been able to save our clients $24,000 in practice tax savings each year.
And so we're setting this context of know $6,000 investment and $24,000 [00:35:00] return. And so in most cases it's sort of set the context and the set, the value proposition. So it was a fairly no brainer. Decision for most business owners to make sure that they are making a smart financial decision with us. Um, and so, you know, super simple example and, you know, nowadays there's how many more valuable metrics or measures of success then tax savings.
Like that's just, that was just a foot in the door for us. Um, so my challenge to everyone listening is. Yes. We know we make a difference. Yes. We know that we make an impact, but how could you take that step further and put a measurement around it? Which ironically is on our language. Yeah, absolutely. Our unique language that we uniquely understand all the skills.
To translate it into some sort of tangible effect. And so my overarching philosophy and the firms that I work with with, with light change accountants, we spoke about this idea [00:36:00] called results that we want to counter sustained out for the reasons results they create for their clients. So let me give you Ari, S U L T S.
Let me give you seven years, example of seven numbers that you might like to look towards when defining or truthing a measure of success. For your firm. Brilliant. So results stands for, uh, hours for increasing revenues. So why couldn't we look at what was the revenue our clients had one year and what was the revenue Oakland had another year and how has that increased or decreased as a result of us being their advisor?
That's a really simple measure. So that's ours for revenue is four. Equity. Yeah. So how could we improve the equity about clients by perhaps measuring their business value at one point and then business value at a number of points and, you know, the difference, uh, E stands for, um, oh,
Paul Shrimpling: [00:36:59] so revenue [00:37:00] for equity
Harvee Pene: [00:37:01] S uh, yes.
As is for, um, surplus profits. So, or our surplus. Hmm, I'm sorry. Again, how could we not measure the profit improvement that our clients have achieved? Uh, U stands for, uh, the UN global goals, which, uh, if I believe pull-down was on this podcast,
Paul Shrimpling: [00:37:26] episode nine
Harvee Pene: [00:37:31] uh, the UN global goals gives us a beautiful framework of 17 priorities for humanity. 17 goals for the world to, to get behind one of which is to end. Poverty that's goal number one. Yep. And uniquely true. The big ones you want to borrow and give on business. Good. We can measure not just the total giving that we've given to families in need, but we can measure it in the context of the UN global goals.
How many [00:38:00] impacts we've given. So you as uniquely for measuring the contribution towards the UN goals, uh, L stands for liability. So how could we measure the total decrease? In liabilities that our clients, uh, are exposed to or hold on to. Yeah. Uh, T is for tax savings, uh, and S uh, is for scaling cashflow.
So could we measure the, the cash flow? Uh, the liquidity, yeah. The ability for our clients to sleep well at night as a result of having the money there when they need it. Yeah. And so at a, at a really high level, We can all stand out for the results that we create for our clients. And at this really kind of macro level, you know, results stands for really, really interesting, an acronym of, uh, of what, you know, there's a number of accounting firms globally have a line based on this desire to be known, not for, you know, how big they are.
Well, how much revenue they've generated for themselves or how much [00:39:00] experience they have or how big their offices are, or how many offices they have, you know, all of these vanity metrics that most legacy firms, at least here in Australia have been known for and let's change the metrics. It's something that matters.
Um, for our clients and we can and build this legacy, not just when we die when we leave this earth, but I'm so proud of the legacy that my firm has created this in the $10 million in Texas. To date. Yeah.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:39:27] On the 10 million days. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Harvee Pene: [00:39:31] We're only just starting in the context of I'm 35 4.
That's still planning on living to 110. I'm sticking with plan a goodbye.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:39:39] Good, man. I love that. That the clarity of the impact, the. Creating the numbers that make that impact tangible, which is what accountants are expert that then demonstrate the human impact, not just the numbers impact. So you've got numbers, impact revenue.
Numbers impact equity [00:40:00] numbers, impact surplus, profit liabilities, down tax savings, scaling of cashflow, but right in the middle. And I love the fact it's in the middle. Is those the UN global goals, whichever, you know, that, that global human impact, however, actually your, your earlier question question to, to business owners in terms of what differences it made to you.
Brings a layer of humanity to the results that otherwise wouldn't exist and therefore give it, uh, uh, uh, uh, meaning, uh, that, uh, just, um, is on a different level than just the numbers and that, that that's quite, um, quite profound, really, uh, love that. Love that a lot. Um, However, it's been a fabulous conversation.
I've, I've loved this and you've, you've what you've, what you've done is caught me off the back of you mentioned there'll be earlier that I coached a seventh team at the weekend and had the most glorious day after having not done any live rugby for, uh, over a year and a half. [00:41:00] And I'm not about to go on holiday and smack bang in the middle of that.
I've I've got this podcast discussion with her. Panic and it's been brilliant. I really, really appreciate your time and your effort and your energy that you've, uh, you've given us today. Thank you very, very much.
Harvee Pene: [00:41:14] Thanks Paul. It's been an absolute pleasure. I've thoroughly enjoyed the time together.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:41:20] Find more valuable discussions with the leaders of ambitious accounting firms at humanized, the numbers.online.
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Resources relating to this podcast:
Harvee Pene & Ben Walker
Good is the New Great
Paul Dunn & Harvee Pene