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Measuring The Impact Of Business Development Training For Accountants

By | Marketing Tips | No Comments

Why should Accountants measure the effect of business development training?

  • To support implementation and ensure sustained deployment
  • To ensure return on investment and make the business case
  • To constantly improve the training and ensure durability

What should Accountants measure?

The classic measurement approach (primarily developed by Professor Donald Kirkpatrick), looks at four levels of evaluation;

  1. Reaction to the training
    • Often using end of course evaluations and surveys
  2. Evidence of skills learned
    • Learning can be defined as the extent to which participants change attitudes, improve knowledge and/or increase skill as a result of attending the program
  3. Evidence of a change in behavior
    • The training itself will only be one of the drivers for this change. As Kirkpatrick points out there needs to be 4 conditions for a change in behavior
      • The person must want to change
      • They must know what to do and how to do it
      • They must work in the right climate
      • They must be rewarded for changing
  4. The effect on results

While most Accountants measure at level 1, fewer measure at 2 and 3 and only a small minority measure at 4.

How and when should we measure?

When?

What?

At planning stage

Measure current alignment of skills and business goals/strategy

Before training

Measure participants’ expectations, confidence and view of own capabilities

During training

Understanding

During training

Ability and commitment to apply

End of training

Opinion of training and commitment to apply

Plus one week

Opinion of training and commitment to apply

Plus one week

Change in understanding

Plus one-three months

Change in activity (quantity, direction and quality)

Plus three-six months (depending on buying cycles)

Result

Plus six-twelve months

Change in competence

 

Measuring Return on Investment

Here are some useful indicators to measure changes in behaviour and changes in results.

This list is not exhaustive but reflects KPIs we have used with clients. Clearly it will be important to select the most appropriate KPIs for the specific situation. Select the most appropriate measures for you by looking for the measures that are relatively easy to make and which will be the most useful.

Level 4. Results

KPI

Value?

Easy?

Share of wallet

No. of deals

Average deal value ( spit by new business / existing customer)

Actual against forecast

Income

Margin

No of new clients

Rebuy rate

Growth rate per account

Rate of in-sell against target and stage goals

 

Level 3. Behaviours

 

Activities

Value?

Easy?

No. of customer visits (per week/month)

No. of proposals

No. of referrals/introductions

No. of opportunities into pipeline

% of time spent in direct selling activity

Time spent actively managing social selling

 

Concentration of Focus

Value?

Easy?

Balance of activity between prospects and clients

Use of selection criteria to ensure prospects fit strategy

Use of GO/ NO-GO points to ensure opportunities fit strategy and tactics

Number of contacts in each client/prospect

Balance of time split between different buyer types/points of contact

Balance of activity across segments (vertical markets, customer size etc.)

Balance of time between pro-active and reactive customer work.

 

Effectiveness

Value?

Easy?

Conversion ratios at different points in the sales process

Pre call/meeting/pitch preparation (time spent or % prepared for, use of meeting planner)

Clear call objectives set (main and fall-back)

Quality of approach (phone, e-mail etc)

Entry behavior

Positioning statements – yourself, your company, your products

Running the first 5 minutes

Creating openness

Asking questions to get to the customer’s real requirements

Listening

Summarizing

Structuring the meeting and controlling the flow

Forming a value-added solution

Presenting the solution to individuals and groups

Handling price challenges

Handling objections

Reading adapting to different personality types

Gaining commitment

 

Conclusion

Measurement of Business Development training is difficult but it’s important. If you’d like to look further into measuring the impact of Business Development training please contact us

cloud accountaing applications

4 Practical Examples Of How Cloud Accounting Applications Can Transform Your Clients Business

By | Practice Technology | No Comments

Young Companies are seeking to scale in cash tight environments, the ability to access real time financial information is of prime importance, both for internal analysis and decision making, and also to assure external stakeholders, such as banks, that the Company is moving forward in the right direction and the correct pace.

Xero is therefore critical to your firm’s approach in providing these services and should be utilised by ALL of your client Companies.  If they are not on Xero you simply can’t deliver the full value add service you strive for.

The added benefit to using Xero, however, is the ability to utilise the Xero Add-On ecosystem and create bespoke, tailored business processes for each individual business.  You should take the opinion that, a startup company should seek to implement, from day one, effective operational and financial systems that can scale with the business without significant additional cost or manual input at a later date.

Xero allows you to do this and add significant value to your Clients from the outset of their business, increasing their investment attractiveness and reducing costs in the long term as revenues commence and grow. If you are new to the cloud accounting world, this article will hopefully give you a better understanding of the types of application that exists, and what benefits they can bring.

Nuvem9 one of the leading cloud accounting specialists  likes to categorize the Add-On ecosystem into the following categories of solution when discussing with clients and you should do the same:

 

  1. System Integration – these add-ons are cloud solutions in their own right but have a Xero interface that allows the transfer of financial data from that solution into Xero. This removes duplicated data entry, reduces the risk of user error, and integrates the Company’s financial system better into the wider operational processes for that business.  As an example, Nuvem9  have a client that has integrated its Magento webstore with Xero, thereby enabling all transactions on its online site to be transferred into Xero as draft invoices at the start of each working day. They previously used Sage and had to employ a clerk solely to input the records from Magento onto Sage;
  2. Data Automation – there are a growing range of tools that are being used to take previously manual intensive financial processes and automate them via specialist Xero add-on tool. For example, Satago and Chaser allows for automated and consistent credit control processes and Receipt Bank removes Purchase Ledger data entry costs via OCR automation.  In this day and age, our rule is that, if any financial process in the business is repeated, there will be an Add-on to automate that process;
  3. Process Enhancement – these tools add value to an existing process with a Xero link. Once set-up they will continue to generate savings for a business time and again. For example, Stripe, Paypal and GoCardless payment links on sales invoices will increase the speed at which an invoice is paid, and using integrated foreign exchange applications such as Transfermate will speed up outgoing payments; and
  4. Deeper Analysis – whilst the range of reporting in Xero is good and growing with each release, the default nature of the report formats mean it is likely a Client will have a specific need that cannot be met directly in Xero.  The availability of tools such as Fathom, Spotlight, Futrli, ProfitSee and Float enable data to be exported from Xero and analysed in much more customised detail in the reporting tool.  This is essentially the modern way of taking data from a Sage desktop system and analysing on spreadsheets, but without the time, errors and inflexibility a spreadsheet based report would provide.

 

Nuvem9 has developed a wide network of applications and this enables them to create a tailored formula of solutions from each of these categories as appropriate for each client. The solutions are primarily designed for the client to gain fast access to information and scalable growth, but also to allow us to keep costs to a minimum. Truly a win-win for all involved.

 

If you would like more information on how cloud applications can benefit your practice and would like support in client set up and training for your staff then please register your interest here.

5 reasons why Online Accountants should target e-commerce clients

By | Market Watch, Marketing Tips | No Comments

Be a specialist

Let’s just draw a line and move on. The days where your marketing can say:

“I’m an accountant I can be an accountant for all businesses” have GONE.

I know you can be an accountant for most types of businesses, after all 1+1=2 wherever you are. That’s not the point, the point is what does the client think. The powerbase has moved from professional to client and the younger clients believe they are very special indeed and want specialists to support them. You will flatter them by showing them you are a specialist in accountancy for e-commerce businesses.

 

#1. Growing market

Hooking on to the shirt tails of a market that is outgrowing our flat lining economy, ensures organic growth even before you outperform your competitors.

The rise in the rate of growth of ecommerce is falling, however the UK is still showing 7%-10% growth in online business. The fall in the rate of growth is inevitable and really just a consequence of the size of the market, estimated at about €180billion for 2017.

 

#2. High margins

Owners of smaller e-commerce businesses are far less worried about location and face to face. In effect they are happy to deal with you remotely and online. You are just like them!

They are content for you to be virtual, use outsourced staff, they don’t require bricks and mortar and importantly demand less of a partner’s time for menial work.

From cloudaccountant.today members, we here that their ‘new’ client base all use very similar systems and process through the likes of Xero. This is improving costs of production for the accountant.

All in all an e-comms client delivers higher margin.

 

#3. Your value proposition

Your familiarity with the nuances of e-commerce businesses is where your value proposition lies. Xero, Freeagent, EU VAT, duties, Trading platforms, expected returns, funding and more are all aspects and nuances which, if you promote well, can become good sales messages. You might even encapsulate it in a strap line. e-commerce business do better with Rosenwald accountants

#4. Ease of service

Your new eCommerce clients won’t even have a shoebox full of receipts to wade through,  their processes and payment gateways will already be digitalised waiting for you just to log in and manage  and of course wherever they are in the UK they will be more than happy to hop on to Skype for that first meeting making htem easy clients to win, manage and successfully support.

#5. Digital revolution

I know it goes without saying that the digital revolution has allowed you to become a cloud and remote advisor. However we are only really at the start, the big AI or machine learning and integration is about to begin. As a driver it is only going to make e-comm clients more valuable and exciting.

Finally, thank you for reading, I hope it proved worthwhile. The markets we talk about are the markets we can help you reach.

If you’re interested in targeting the eCommerce sector click here to learn about our e-com pro service pack.

Or call 01392 247 207 today

How to be XERO certified

By | Practice Technology, Resources, xero | No Comments

A whole new world opens up to your accounting practice when you pass the XERO Certification test.

And the best thing is it’s easy to get xero certified by completing a series of self paced, video based online training. You need to have completed the XERO Essentials course and be a partner already. This may sound like a lot of work, but it isn’t.

Once you have completed XERO essentials you simply apply to be certified.

Click here for XERO Essentials

It’s that simple.

And remember before you start your online course contact us to learn how we can help to build your online presence and set you up with a highly converting digital sales funnel to help find you new cloud accountancy clients.

How to be XERO certified video desciption

Accountants and bookkeepers can now learn all about Xero accounting software, and become certified, online. The training is self-paced and available any time, anywhere, from any device with an internet connection. You just need to head to the training tab in My Xero for Partners and activate online training. You’ll be able to see the progress you’ve made on current courses, other courses available to you and any training you have completed. Watch this video tutorial to learn more about the process!

Xero is beautiful accounting software for small businesses and their advisors. See your cashflow in real-time with online accounting, invoicing, payroll, billing & banking. Just login and see the difference. Sign up for a free trial at https://www.xero.com/signup

Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/xero.accounting/
Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/xero/
Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/xero
Follow us on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/xero

New Case Study – 3 Simple Steps To Search Engine Domination For Cloud Accountants

By | Campaign Ideas, Featured Campaigns, Marketing Tips, Resources | No Comments

marketing-for-cloud-accountants

If you are currently marketing your cloud accounting services and are looking for ways to dominate the search engines then this short and concise no nonsense guide is for you.

Included in the download are simplified instructions so you can understand the principals of what needs to be done and  why plus a case study so you can see exactly how we have secured multiple top spots in google for a lead generating phrase that is perfectly suited to our client base. (You!)

We have purposely kept this guide short, concise and give real life examples so you can easily digest this without a degree in SEO.

Click Here to Download The Guide Now

marketing-for-cloud-accountants

Click Here to Download The Guide Now