Barry Schimel, author of several books on proven business strategies, recently spoke to more than 700 accounting firms at Thomson Reuters’ Annual Users’ Conference in Orlando, Florida. At the heart of Schimel’s message were three core ideas: 1) clients should be viewed as people and not numbers, 2) technology is required to consistently communicate timely value-added ideas and strategies to clients, and 3) strategy and process are key to profitability.
“Firms must remember that their clients are people, not just numbers,” said Schimel. “The job of the accountant is to make the client successful and more profitable. As their trusted advisor, it’s the accountant’s responsibility to go the extra mile and help turn obstacles into opportunities for clients.”
Schimel added, “Communication is also critical. On a regular basis, firms should be communicating new, timely ideas and business strategies to their clients. This enhances the client-accountant relationship and opens the door to new revenue streams for firms. To communicate effectively and conveniently, firms need to maximize web-based technologies like email newsletters.”
During his keynote, Schimel provided relevant examples of how he has helped his clients identify resolutions to issues. A Michigan-based power company continued to experience power outages, which adversely affected profits. The company blamed outages on lightning storms. Schimel later helped his client identify that the problem was a high rate of car accidents that damaged utility poles—accidents caused by slick roads from the storms. Under Schimel’s guidance, the power company moved poles further away from the road. Power outages decreased and profits went up.
Schimel also reminded firms that strategy and process are critical in helping clients succeed. “Clients need direction in the form of a structured business plan. If they don’t know where they are going, clients will likely take any random road. And of course to be successful, it’s important for clients to be reminded that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.” Schimel stated. “Firms must be diligent in helping their clients define their business and put a solid plan of action in place.”
Thomson Reuters Users’ Conference took place November 4-7, 2009.
About Barry R. Schimel, CPA
Schimel is president of BizActions LLC and is one of the driving forces behind the success of the company. Previously he co-founded and served as president of The Profit Advisors, a business-consulting firm that coached hundreds of firms worldwide to maximize profitability. He also served as managing partner of a large Washington D.C. area accounting firm for over 25 years. Schimel is a speaker for trade and professional organizations worldwide. He has co-authored several books, including 100 Ways to Profit in a Volatile Economy, All About Earnings, The Profit Game: How to Play–How to Win, and 100 Ways to Prosper in Today’s Economy.