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‘Bean counter’ image tipped to fade as accountants look to strategic partnerships

Strategic partnerships will take centre stage in 2018 as accountants begin to specialise and diversify, leaning on peers in the industry to service the burgeoning SME space, according to one executive.

Professional Development Jotham Lian 03 January 2018
— 1 minute read

Sequel CFO chief executive David Boyar believes that while traditional compliance revenue will continue to dominate the industry landscape in 2018, firms will seeks to differentiate themselves with specific types of advisory service, setting up an opportunity for strategic partnerships.


“We have taken for granted that buyers of accounting services just seem to know what the word ‘accountant’ means but as we start to differentiate and develop new areas of expertise, we will also see different types of accountants emerging,” said Mr Boyar.

“Accountants will begin taking time to differentiate themselves with targeted messaging on websites and social media which will help explain the value to potential clients and referral partners.

“As this happens, we will start working together more through strategic partnerships, not just casual referrals, to help meet the growing needs of SME businesses.”

Mr Boyar believes the industry is actively breaking the ‘bean counter’ stereotype, moving away from the backroom to form collaborative networks.

“Increased numbers at nearly every industry event, in a year where new events were attended by thousands of people, showed accountants are moving out of their offices and into the real world,” said Mr Boyar.

“We are forming connections with peers and suppliers to help assist with the change required to keep up with both client demands and more efficient work methods.

“I think this helps build real relationships and new communities promoting knowledge sharing and support. We all win when this happens.”

Looking ahead

Last year, Sequel CFO announced the launch of its first two franchisees and recently recruited Lance Rubin from KPMG as head of CFO services.

Mr Boyar says he plans to grow Sequel CFO’s franchising business in 2018, while focusing on educating the SME market on their services.

“We continue to invest in our head office training and marketing resources for our franchisees,” explained Mr Boyar.

“To do this, we are investing in talent and this has started with the recruitment of Lance Rubin as Group CFO from KPMG who will be looking to streamline the way our strategic advice and financial modelling is delivered.

“We are focused on growth both in franchisee numbers with confirmed training in March and June 2018, and increasing revenue for our franchisees through strategic partnerships and creating increased awareness in the SME market about CFO services.”


‘Bean counter’ image tipped to fade as accountants look to strategic partnerships
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Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian

Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.

Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.

You can email Jotham at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Professional Development