The Surprising Link Between Stress and Your Weight

AVN’s resident wellness expert, Kerry Riley, helps you understand the connection. Stress has become a common part of daily life for many people. From work deadlines to family responsibilities, the pressures of modern living can take a toll on our mental and physical well-being. And one area where stress can have a significant impact is […]

Time management techniques for accountants

By Shane Lukas, Managing Director, AVN Time management techniques that actually work aren’t complicated. But that doesn’t mean they’re easy to implement. When you’re running an accounting firm, it’s crucial to strike the right balance between operational tasks and strategic activities. But many owners/partners find they’re overwhelmed with day-to-day tasks and just can’t find the […]

Make the Most of Real Moments: Lessons from a Song

By Jenny Lukas, Practice Growth Expert, AVN The other day I heard a song I hadn’t listened to in a long time, “Cats in the Cradle” by Ugly Kid Joe. Although it was written in 1974 (by Harry Chapin), the words and their message couldn’t be more relevant to now. If you don’t know it, […]

A simple way to create a powerful client meeting agenda

The meeting agenda that helps you get the right outcome. By Shane Lukas, Managing Director AVN Do you ever feel you aren’t in control of your client or prospect meetings? You go in with the intention to win additional fees or to bring in a new client, but somehow the meeting runs away from you. […]

Are you undercharging for your services?

By Shane Lukas, Managing Director, AVN Are you undercharging for your services? Undercharging is all too common in the world of accountancy. And, while the most obvious impact of this is on your profitability, it goes much further than that. Undercharging affects the way your clients perceive your accountancy practice and the kind of prospects […]

Networking for introverts: 5 ways to succeed

Networking for introverts can be hard – here’s how to make it productive and even enjoyable! By Shane Lukas, Managing Director AVN Networking. Don’t you just love it? Have you ever actually gained a new client directly from a networking event? No? The truth is that most of us find networking challenging and unproductive. And […]

Are You a Business Operator or a Business Owner?

By Shane Lukas, Managing Director AVN Are you steering your accounting firm strategically as the business owner, planning for growth, with clear goals in sight? Or are you simply working as a business operator, caught in an endless cycle of day-to-day tasks? Knowing the difference can make or break your business. The difference between a […]

Is this the key to achieving your goals?

Achieving your goals is about more than setting targets and milestones. By Shane Lukas, Managing Director AVN Have you ever set ambitious goals at the start of the year only to find them gathering dust on your desk as months pass by? The secret to turning these aspirations into reality might be simpler and more […]

Feeling Overwhelmed?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. By Shane Lukas, Managing Director, AVN Inspiring Accountants It’s one of the most common complaints I hear when I talk to accountants. And I absolutely get why it happens. You take on those extra clients because, well, you can never be certain what’s going to happen in the […]

How To Grow An Accountancy Practice: Make Yourself Redundant

If you really want to grow an accountancy practice, it’s time to get out of there. By Shane Lukas, Managing Director, AVN Inspiring Accountants Most accountancy practice owners (and other business owners too) are hands-on. They’re highly involved in the day-to-day operations, making sure that everything gets done to their own high standard, often working […]

AVN is 25: what does that say about us?

AVN: 25 years old and counting By Shane Lukas, managing Director, AVN Did you know the average age of a UK business is 8.6 years? And less than 5% of businesses have been around for 20 years or more? So I’m really proud that AVN reached our quarter century in 2023. If a business has […]

A New Mindset For Tax Return Season

Tax return season doesn’t have to be hell! Practice Growth Expert Kerry Riley has noticed a mindset shift in the accountants she coaches. Here, she explains what’s changed and the difference it’s made. “A remarkable transformation is underway! The mindset of the accountants I work with has undergone a significant shift. The reason behind this […]

Developing Confident Client Managers: 4 Key Strategies for Success

Confident client managers are essential if you want to scale your accountancy practice and escape the trap of doing everything yourself. By Shane Lukas, Managing Director, AVN Inspiring Accountants So how can you develop your team so you trust them with your precious clients? These 4 key strategies will help: Boost their confidence with prepared […]

Where is your accountancy practice right now?

Navigating the 5 stages of an accountancy practice By Shane Lukas, AVN Managing Director Over the last 25 years I’ve had the privilege of talking to – and working with – accountants from across the entire spectrum of the profession. Partners in large multi-partner practices with swish city offices. Sole practitioners working from a shed […]

Unlocking Your Inner Advisor

By Shane Lukas, Managing Director, AVN Let’s face it, “business advisor” sounds daunting. It conjures images of high-powered suits in boardrooms, wielding PowerPoint decks thicker than your arm. But here’s the secret: you already hold the key to unlocking that advisor within. Forget the intimidating jargon and abstract strategies. Think of advisory services as an […]

Award winning accountants share their stories

What does it take to be an award winning accountant? Find out in this very special issue of The Navigator, the magazine for AVN members. We interviewed the winning firms in the 2023 AVN Most Inspiring Accountants Awards to learn what they did to overcome their critical challenges. And reading the interviews is a really […]

Starting an accountancy practice: 3 big mistakes to avoid

By Shane Lukas, Managing Director AVN Starting an accountancy practice is exciting, isn’t it? At last you’re your own boss! You get to choose who you work with, the kinds of services you provide, the technology you use. In fact you get to choose everything, from the name over the door to the biscuits in […]

2023 AVN Most Inspiring Accountant Award – the winner!

We are delighted to announce the winner of the 2023 AVN Most Inspiring Accountant Award is… MDH Accountants! Managing Director Michael Hemme is no stranger to winning. This is the third time he’s picked up the top prize in the AVN Awards, after winning in 2017 and 2019 (sharing it jointly with Beyond The Numbers […]

Asking the right questions

Why you don’t need to know all the answers to deliver advisory By Jenny Lukas, AVN Practice Growth Expert Accountants have long been known for their expertise with the numbers. However, as the profession evolves, many accountants are now offering advisory services to their clients. While it may seem that you need to have all […]

Unlocking the Power of Knowledge: Menopause in the Workplace

In today’s dynamic and diverse workforce, the acknowledgment of various life stages is a vital component of promoting a supportive and inclusive work environment. Menopause, a significant milestone in a woman’s life, often goes unnoticed and undiscussed within workplace settings. However, it is high time that we recognise the importance of knowledge about menopause and […]

2023 AVN Most Inspiring Accountant Award – finalists announced!

The 2023 AVN Most Inspiring Accountant Award is here! Across 7 categories, the AVN Most Inspiring Accountant Award showcases the AVN member firms who have stepped up to support their clients, develop their team, advance their own firm and be all round amazing at what they do. Each category winner has demonstrated continuous improvement and […]

AVN: supporting accountants for 25 years

By Shane Lukas, Managing Director AVN Back in 1998, Steve Pipe lit a beacon in the accounting world. He envisioned a world where accountants weren’t just crunching numbers but actively shaping their clients’ futures. It was ground breaking; and from that spark, AVN was born. Over the years, our journey has been nothing short of […]

The power of vision

Why Having a Clear Direction Matters By Kerry Riley, AVN Practice Growth Expert In the journey of life, having a vision is like having a compass that guides us through uncharted waters. It is the North Star that keeps us focused, motivated, and moving forward with purpose. Whether in personal endeavours, career pursuits, or even […]

Optimising your work environment

How your work environment can unlock productivity, creativity and well-being By Kerry Riley, AVN Practice Growth Expert The physical environment you work in plays a significant role in your overall well-being, productivity, and job satisfaction. Whether you’re working from home or in the office, paying attention to the space you’re in has many benefits. Productivity […]

Measuring what matters

As an accountant, you know how important it is for a business to track their key metrics. It’s essential to measure things like cashflow, debtors and profits to understand how the business is doing. But as Seth Godin says, “Measurement is fabulous. Unless you’re busy measuring what’s easy to measure as opposed to what’s important.” […]

Boardroom disputes – causes, effects and hidden messages

The vital role accountants play in resolution Guest blog by Norman Younger, Maximiti Arguments between the people at the top of a company regularly make headlines in the financial press or mainstream media. We love to watch big egos square up to each other, particularly when there are millions at stake. And just look how […]

Boost your energy!

Tips and ideas from AVN to boost your energy, be more productive and get things done!   If you need more get-up-and-go in your life, this issue of The Navigator is for you. Tired of struggling through that mid-afternoon slump (or just tired)? Kerry Riley gives you 5 top tips to boost and maintain energy […]

How to get people to do what you want

By Susan Clegg, AVN Team Wouldn’t it be great if you could get people to do what you want? Your clients, your team, maybe even your kids. You ask your clients to send you their information and it comes in straight away. Your team members do exactly what you want them to do, when and […]

3 reasons for getting your Will checked

By Richard Thomson, Co-founder Kinherit If you already have a Will, well done! You’re more organised than most. But if you want to be sure you’re protecting your family properly, there are a few key things you should know first… Around 30% of Wills have major mistakes that make them not fit-for-purpose Alarmingly, the majority of Will-writers […]

AVN accountant wins Entrepreneur of the Year Award

We’re so proud of AVN accountant Hazel Bango Moyo! She’s the winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year in the 2023 Women of Stature South Africa Awards – a phenomenal achievement to add to her 2022 AVN Most Inspiring Accountant Award. The WOS Awards focus on women who mentor and empower other women to have […]

Worrying about work keeps 45% of UK accountants awake at night

A survey of 1034 UK accountants has found that 45% are kept awake at night worrying about work – and that even more are unhappy with their fees, their income and their work-life balance. Results from the survey show that a staggering 84% of respondents aren’t certain they’re charging the right fees. This lack of […]

Understand your prospect Pains and Gains

Guest blog by Marianne Smith, Doo Marketing The number one rule before spending time or money on marketing is – understand your prospect Pains and Gains If the headline sentence on your website includes how long you’ve been in business, where your office is based or how big your team is, you’ve lost me. If […]

Beat the challenges of 2023

3 key strategies for accountants By Susan Clegg, AVN So January is out of the way and it’s time to forge ahead with your plans for the rest of year. How can accountants beat the challenges of 2023? In a rocky business landscape, how can you make sure your business continues to thrive?  And your […]

Is your work-life balance all ‘work’ and no ‘life’?

By Jenny Lukas, AVN Practice Growth Expert A few weeks ago I was working with an AVN member and he told me that his mission was to help people whose work-life balance was all work and no life. This really struck a chord with me. When I first started work, there were no mobile phones […]

Insider’s tips on writing your Will

By Ben Mason, CEO of Kinherit We all know the number one rule when it comes to Wills is to make sure you actually have one. But aside from ‘get on with it’, what else should you know about writing your will? Here Ben Mason lays out some of his “industry-insider” tips for writing your […]

Should accountants focus on a niche in 2023?

By Shane Lukas, AVN Managing Director It’s a recurring question for accountants. Should you focus on a niche – a specific type of client? Or is it better to work with many different sectors, sizes of business, or geographic areas? Our recommendation is to specialise – but with one important caveat. Why accountants should focus […]

Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards – a night of glitz and glam!

By Holly Booker, AVN Administrator It’s not often I go to London. It has to be something really special to get me out of the Midlands, onto a train and into the Big Smoke. The Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards promised to be worth it! Since I started with AVN I have been so […]

AVN Most Inspiring Accountant Awards 2022 – meet the winner!

For the first time ever, the winner of the AVN Most Inspiring Accountant Awards is not a UK firm. This year the top prize went to Hazel Bango-Moyo of Primorial Solutions, who is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. AVN is now working with accountants in several different countries and it’s clear that the challenges faced […]

Most Inspiring Accountant 2022 announced

We are delighted to announce the winner of the AVN Most Inspiring Accountant Award 2022. And for the first time ever it’s not a UK based accountancy firm. Johannesburg firm, Primorial Solutions, beat 7 other finalists in a vote by the audience of the popular AVN Accountants Helping Accountants webinar on 20th October.   Hazel […]

Being a great place to work

Is your accountancy practice a great place to work? There’s so much more to a job than the job itself. The culture of the business. The way it treats the team. Colleague relationships. All of these have a big impact on how we feel about going to work in the morning. And the evidence is […]

Winners announced in 2022 AVN Inspiring Accountants Awards

AVN is delighted to announce the eight category winners in the 2022 AVN Inspiring Accountants Awards, celebrating the best accountancy firms in the UK and beyond.   Each category winner now goes forward to the vote for the overall title of Most Inspiring Accountant 2022. The eight award categories showcase these accountants’ determination to keep […]

Scope creep and how to avoid it

Scope creep is a major cause of stress for accountants. It’s demoralising and unprofitable – after all, it means you’re working for nothing! And it wreaks havoc with client relationships. So what’s the solution?   What is scope creep? Scope creep happens when your clients think their fee includes work that you haven’t priced for […]

A strategy for year-long learning

By Shane Lukas, AVN Managing Director Did you have that back to school feeling last week? (Sorry if you’re reading this in Scotland – you did this ages ago!). However long ago you left school, at the beginning of September I bet you still remember how it felt … that sense of anticipation … feeling […]

Who are you really? DiSC profiling for accountants

By Joanne Wharam, AVN Practice Growth Expert How DiSC profiling works and how the measure of the four factors of personality explains the ‘language’ we speak. I am confident that as an accountant in practice, there will be times when you find it hard to motivate yourself to do certain tasks. You might feel overwhelmed […]

Staff versus team

By Jenny Lukas, AVN Practice Growth Expert Why I don’t like the word ‘staff’ In a small business it’s crucial that everyone, from the business owner to the newest recruit, works together well. That’s something I’ve learned after 23 years of working with accountancy practices – and working in a small business myself. If they […]

How can I get my team to step up in 2023?

By Shane Lukas, MD AVN, author, speaker, coach It’s one of the questions I hear all the time from accountancy practice owners. They want to grow their business but they just can’t get their team to take on more responsibility. The truth is, very often the problem doesn’t lie with the team – it lies […]

How to find your confidence and courage

By Kerry Riley, Wellness and AVN Practice Growth Expert   As humans we are constantly bombarded with messages that we aren’t good enough. We always need to work harder, work faster, do more, be more, be slimmer, be taller, be prettier. And as accountants, there always seems to be someone more successful than you. When […]

Prepare now for a stress free summer holiday…

… and how to avoid the post-holiday blues! By Kerry Riley, AVN Practice Growth Expert   When I think about the 6 weeks summer holiday my palms start to sweat and my stomach goes into knots. How am I going to juggle work and the school summer holiday??? If you’re like me and suddenly have […]

Levelling Up – is it for our economy or our society?

Guest post by Philip Webb, Investors In Community. Political leaders are currently pushing the message of “Levelling Up”, our economy. For too long, they say, the divide between the South of England, and the rest of the UK has deteriorated and widened. Quite right too, that the distribution of infrastructure and government spending needs to […]

What makes an effective USP?

By Susan Clegg, AVN Team A compelling USP (Unique Selling Proposition) helps to position your accountancy practice in the right way within your target market. By focusing on the areas you want to focus on, your USPs help to attract the kind of clients you want to work with and develop a strong brand identity […]

Feeling stressed all the time?

By Kerry Riley, AVN Practice Growth Expert Anger, sadness, physically tense, overeating and drinking, snappy, sharp, don’t think before I speak… These are the words I used when I answered this survey question – ‘Think about a time when you have felt stressed – what effect did the stress have on your emotions, behaviour, and […]

How accountants can help their clients in tough times

By Emma Slack, AVN Practice Growth Expert Do you remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? As the cost of living soars and global events make the future very uncertain, many people are right back at the bottom of the pyramid. They’re worrying about paying the bills and being able to feed their family. It’s easy to […]

Beware the loser trap!

By Shane Lukas, speaker, coach and MD of AVN Inspiring Accountants. If your improvements aren’t improving things, you could be in the loser trap Have you started a journey of change in your business but you feel like you’re not seeing progress? Or even that things are actually getting worse? It’s demotivating, isn’t it? And […]

Is confidence more nature or nurture?

By Einav Avni, Confidence and Empowerment Coach Many people say their most pressing challenge is their lack of confidence, but how do you become more confident? And how do you then measure it? For a long time, there was nothing I wanted more than to find a way to tell my husband I no longer wanted […]

It’s lonely in business – who can help?

Running a business is hard and lonely. Even with multiple people involved it can be difficult to vent frustrations or know what your next move should be. We all have a different definition of success, but there’s one thing I know for sure. Everyone who has achieved their success has done so with the help […]

How to fix business overwhelm

By Jenny Lukas, AVN Practice Growth Expert As a business owner it can be incredibly overwhelming just to keep everything running from day-to-day. And after all the stresses we’ve had from Covid and lockdown, we now have another level of uncertainty with war in Ukraine, interest rates and energy prices rising and all other costs […]

A brilliant example of a different kind of accountant

These time-travelling accountants serve clients in multiple dimensions. When the first thing a visitor to an accountant’s office sees is a whopping great TARDIS, a very different conversation happens. And that’s a good thing! A conversation that’s more about business growth than purely accounts work. Accountants that are different attract. And they get talked about. […]

3 mistakes accountants make in prospect meetings

By Susan Clegg, AVN marketing and content creator. Are you making these mistakes in your prospect meetings? You’re sitting down with a potential client – and they look like a perfect fit for you. But somehow, despite you explaining all about your services and giving them a fantastic sales pitch at the end, they walk […]

3 reasons why you’re in tax return hell

And how to get out of it.   You’re busy so let’s make this quick – tax return hell is not inevitable. But to get out of it you have to know why you’re there in the first place.   You rely on tax returns to make a profit Your clients don’t pay you enough […]

9 tips to beat the winter blues

By Kerry Riley, PGE and Wellness Coach The cold, dark days of winter can have a big impact on our mood and our energy levels – which isn’t great for maintaining productivity at work. And as we head into the thick of tax season, that’s bad news for accountants dealing with hundreds of tax returns! […]

Is your team holding back your accountancy practice?

Or are you the real problem? If your accountancy practice isn’t growing the way you’d like, maybe it’s not because of your team. Maybe it’s you. Apologies if that sounds a bit confrontational – you probably don’t want to hear that you’re the problem. But the truth is that the business owner is very often […]

Are your employees driving you nuts?

By Joanne Wharam, AVN Practice Growth Expert. One of the key frustrations I hear from business owners is that managing their people at times drives them nuts. Whilst this is to some extent inevitable, because people are all different and more than that they are thinking and feeling, there are some common frustrations that can […]

It’s International Accountants Day – let’s celebrate!

10th November is International Accountants Day Whether you’re an accountant yourself, a business owner or neither one of these, you should be giving a big high five to the accountancy profession today. While they may have an image of being unsociable, process-obsessed introverts, the reality is very different. Here are three good reasons to celebrate: […]

10 tips for a stress-free tax season

By Practice Growth Experts Emma Slack and Alan Woods Act now to make tax season a breeze There’s nothing inevitable about a hellish tax season. There’s plenty you can do now to reduce workloads and relieve stress so January isn’t a nightmare. These are our top 10 tips to stay sane: 1 Remember, you run […]

3 things stopping you moving your accountancy practice forward

Most accountants want their practice to be more successful, productive, profitable, and efficient. But somehow nothing seems to change. So what’s stopping you moving your accountancy practice forward? After all, there are thousands of tools, software programmes, consultants and training sessions available to help you (and I should know – I’ve created loads of them […]

2021 AVN Awards – the winners

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 AVN Awards. These firms have shown absolute commitment to making progress, despite the many challenges of the last 18 months. They have demonstrated leadership, teamwork, imagination and vision plus total dedication to doing the right things for their clients. The winners are…   Business Clarity […]

Are you just an accountant to your clients?

Many accountants believe that business advisory work is the way ahead for the profession. Compliance work is increasingly less valued by business owners and brings in lower and lower returns. So business advisory has become a kind of holy grail. And those forward thinking accountants are right. Your skills with numbers can make a big […]

Create an accountancy practice that doesn’t rely on you

What would happen to your accountancy practice if you weren’t there? One of the lessons we’ve all had to learn over the last 18 months is that we never know what’s coming around the corner. Whatever we thought we knew about being prepared was blown apart by the speed and scale of the Covid pandemic. […]

How to recruit the right people

It’s time to change the way you recruit new employees for your accountancy practice. The world has changed, people’s expectations have changed, and the old CV-based approach was never very effective anyway. But how do you know what works to recruit the right people? On a recent Accountants Helping Accountants webinar, Kim Farrell and Jimmy […]

You need to show up if you want to win

By Jenny Lukas, AVN Someone once said to me ‘you aren’t going to win if you don’t show up.’ It’s stayed with me ever since. You can interpret that in several ways of course. Below I talk about not showing up physically but also not showing up emotionally. And that’s what I want to focus […]

3 pricing mistakes accountants make

How many pricing mistakes are you guilty of? Getting it right is hard, isn’t it? How do you know if you’re charging too much? Or too little? Over and over again, I see accountants making the same mistakes; mistakes that lead to them earning less than they could be and being busier than they should […]

Why your clients don’t buy your advisory services

Many accountants say they do business advisory work but actually get very little take up of these services. To be successful at it, you have to see it from the business owner’s point of view. If they’re going to commit time and money, they want to know you can deliver real value. They want to […]

Buying an accountancy practice – mistakes to avoid

Buying an accountancy practice is an opportunity to grow and develop your firm, to boost profits and revitalise your team. It can open up new markets and enhance your brand. But if it goes wrong, it can also have profound and long lasting consequences on your time, your finances, your stress levels and your relationships. […]

Online reviews for accountants – ignore at your peril

The power of online reviews for accountants is increasing. In some sectors, they already carry enough clout to make or break a business. You’ve probably seen some of the news stories about fake reviews (both good and bad) on TripAdvisor and one law firm has even brought a libel case over a negative review (see […]

First day back in the office

It’s your first day back in the office after a year … By Kerry Riley, AVN. You wake up in the morning as usual. You have a shower, get dressed, head downstairs, make a coffee, settle down with your laptop at the kitchen table…. And then you remember – the pandemic is over and it’s […]

Make your number 1 client happy!

Who’s your number 1 client? At AVN, we often talk about your number 1 client being your own accountancy practice. It’s vital to look after your own business before you can focus on helping someone else’s. Makes sense, doesn’t it? But actually, that’s not quite right. Your number one client isn’t your business. It’s YOU. […]

How to add value for prospective clients

The way you position your accountancy firm to prospects influences the value they place on your services. When you do something compellingly different, you don’t have to compete on the same terms as your competitors. So adding value right from the point when a prospect first becomes aware of you, makes it more likely that […]

The AVN Masterclass – virtual event, real life results

The first ever virtual AVN Masterclass finished on Saturday Up until now we’ve be running the Masterclass 3 or 4 times a year, spending 3 days getting to know the delegates, having meals and drinks together, and gaining an understanding of who they are and what they want from their accountancy practice. And the delegates […]

Get your accountancy practice noticed online

By Susan Clegg, AVN. Like it or not, we live in a virtual world now. The COVID pandemic has only accelerated a shift that was already happening and put simply, if you don’t move with it, your accountancy practice will be left behind. A strong digital presence is more crucial than ever. In a recent AVN […]

From making a loss to 50% gross profit

How one simple figure transformed this business By Susan Clegg, AVN As an accountant, it’s not often that you know the exact impact you’ve had on your clients. You might give them some advice or a useful report, but you don’t always know if they’ve taken it in. So Giles Corby of Merlin Accountancy was […]

Get ready to go back to the office

By Andrea Higginbottom, AVN Practice Growth Expert. There’s a glimmer of hope that the end of lockdown Mark 2 might be coming soon. So are you ready to get back to the office? Or to put it another way, is your office ready for you? Now is the time to blow off the cobwebs and […]

Put business advisory in the DNA of your firm

Business advisory has been a bit of a buzz word for some time now – you’re probably sick of hearing it. But there’s a reason it’s bandied about so much: it’s where your real value to your clients lies. As compliance work becomes increasingly automated and devalued, your specialised in depth knowledge continues to be […]

VAT after Brexit – key points for accountants

In our recent weekly webinars we’ve brought in experts to explain the key points of Brexit for accountants and their clients. Changes to VAT after Brexit will have a wide ranging impact on UK businesses and this was the topic for our webinar on 7th January. Andrew Needham of The VAT Specialists highlighted the issues […]

How to have client meetings that count

If you want to have client meetings that count, you have to do more than just hope for the best. As the saying goes, Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance – and this means more than just having their financial information to hand. When you use your business advisory skills and look at the bigger picture, […]

177,927 acts of kindness

AVN is a business with a purpose. We want to change lives for the better, whether that’s accountants in the UK or disadvantaged people elsewhere in the world. When something good happens in our business, we give to a charitable project. So … … Each time someone joins our Accountants Helping Accountants webinar it makes […]

How to measure business performance

By Jenny Lukas, AVN. You probably know the expression, ‘What gets measured gets managed.’ And it’s absolutely true. When you track a figure – monthly sales volume, for example – you want to see it improve so that’s where you focus your time and effort. And that’s why it’s crucial to be certain you’re measuring […]

Opportunity knocks – or does it?

By Andrea Higginbottom, AVN Practice Growth Expert Older readers might remember the talent show Opportunity Knocks, hosted by Hughie Green and later Bob Monkhouse. If you’re too young to have watched it, contestants with a particular talent auditioned, the audience voted for their favourite and at the end of the show a winner was announced. […]

The easiest way to get new clients

By Jenny Lukas, AVN Your accountancy practice needs a steady stream of new clients if it’s to flourish. And the best way to do that is to use a range of acquisition methods. But there’s one option that I believe should be in every accountant’s toolkit. While Google ads, telemarketing or even direct mail can […]

Use monkey management to make your business more productive

By Jenny Lukas, AVN. How much time would you save if you never had to solve problems for your team ever again? Many managers spend a huge amount of time and effort solving problems brought to them by their team. Imagine the scene… A team member comes up to you and says “We have a […]

Working from home: challenges with your team

The shift to working from home has demanded a big mental adjustment, as well as the physical move itself. While most have adapted brilliantly, others have found it hard to adjust and their performance has dropped as a result. In the short term, you could possibly afford to ignore the issue. But home working is […]

How to prioritise your clients

The pressure on accountants is intense at the moment and it’s crucial to find ways to prioritise your clients so you work effectively. If you don’t, you risk wasting time on things that you don’t really need to do; not having enough time for the really important tasks; and not supporting your clients in the […]

How to be more effective

By Jenny Lukas, AVN There are only so many hours in the day and we all want to use them wisely. So how can you be more effective with your time? These are my top tips for being more effective: Write down your goals Establish your goals – remember SMART when setting them – and […]

One simple thing you must do to achieve your goals

By Jenny Lukas, AVN. One of the challenges that we hear over and over again is that accountants are really struggling with time management at the moment. There are dozens of strategies to help you manage your time, but one of the simplest is also one of the most effective. What do you want to […]

Help your clients plan for a post-Covid world

The only thing certain about the post-Covid future is that nothing is certain. When it will happen, what it will look like, what will be different, are all unknown. But it will arrive at some point. And when it does, will your clients (and your own practice) be ready? While we’re still in the throes […]

Too much to do – is your To Do list infinite?

By Andrew Miller, AVN Practice Growth Expert   Feeling overwhelmed? Aware that there is so much to do and just not enough time in the day? Does the current ‘To Do List’ feel like a impossible mountain to climb? I’m sure this feels very familiar to many of you and, no doubt, you’ve read the […]

Identify your ideal clients

Emma Slack explains how to do it.   Feeling overwhelmed yet? If you haven’t reached that point already, the Chancellor’s recent statement might just have tipped you over the edge. With yet more changes around tax, VAT and the new Job Support Scheme, there’ll be plenty to do over the next few weeks and months. […]

We’re all human

Lessons from lockdown When we asked for submissions for the Excellence In Challenging Times Award we knew we’d be hearing some amazing stories. We knew that accountants have been doing all they can to help their clients stay in business and to keep them informed of the ever-changing rules (that was why we set up […]

3 things to do now to free up your time

Effective time management is a perennial problem for many of us. Dealing with your inbox, phone calls, meetings and managing your team could each take up your working day all on their own. There are many factors underlying our lack of time and hundreds of books have been written on the subject –  I’m not […]

Winning new clients: stop talking and start listening!

How do you go about winning new clients? Chances are that once you get them to a meeting, you try to impress them with your expertise and experience. You tell them what you’ve done for other business owners, the difference you’ve made, the amazing results. But the reality is that – however dazzling your credentials […]

The real value of client testimonials

You probably know already that client testimonials are one of the best methods of demonstrating your expertise and experience. After all, when clients speak in their own words, it’s not just you telling everyone how great you are! Testimonials provide ‘social proof’ and generate confidence so prospective clients are more likely to trust you. Using […]

Clients that make you miserable can impact your profit

It’s hard to let go of clients, particularly in the current circumstances. But are they worth keeping if they make your life a misery? If a client is making you stressed and unhappy, that has an impact on the rest of your work. Ultimately it can lead to you feeling demotivated and disengaged. Your team […]

Are you giving away too much for free?

Giving something away for free can be a very effective strategy. It’s a great way to catch attention and engage clients and prospects. But not if it’s something you actually want to be paid for. If you want to sell your added value services to clients, don’t give them away for free. Steven Pitchford of […]


Overwhelm has been a major element of the last few months, and there’s no real end in sight. Burnout is a real risk, so looking after yourself is vitally important – and part of that includes your mindset when it comes to looking at the size of that “in-tray”. Not getting enough done is always in […]

Do you participate in your own rescue?

Do you participate in your own rescue? Or are you waiting for that ‘knight in shining armour’ to rescue you? We all have challenges within our businesses, whether those challenges are cash flow, managing challenging team members, pricing your products, or getting new customers. I don’t know about you but I often spend time researching […]

Time Management is all About Boundaries

Time Management is all About Boundaries and it’s Your Job to Defend Them. How often do you get distracted from doing what it is that you really want to do? You end up focussing on priorities set by other people and you allow them to take control of your daily schedule. This leads to a […]

Relax? Don’t do it !

Relax? Don’t do it ! It’s still early days but the first steps have been taken to release us from lockdown.   Ok, there will be some fluctuations moving forwards and the timescale is uncertain but surely now the dark times are starting to lighten? Well, not exactly. Certainly, I hope that we are now moving […]

A Pinball Wizard

  One of the most dangerous situations for any business is when the person in charge starts to panic. Bouncing around as if they’re in a pinball machine, catapulting off of one wall and careering into another.  Zipping across to the left and then zooming away to the right. Taking on a new project that […]

Hidden Assets

When was the last time you drew up a list of every “hidden asset” in your business?   “Hidden assets” are the things that your business takes for granted and does little or nothing with. Things that, with a bit of creativity and lateral thinking, can be used to create exciting new opportunities and profits. […]

Survival of the fittest

It is still a common misconception that the phrase “Survival of the Fittest” means that the strongest will win. That is not what that phrase means, nor what it was intended to mean. What it really means is that those who ‘fit in’ best will be the ones to survive. It’s not about strength – […]

Crisis …what crisis?

Ok, so the world is in panic. But out of every crisis there comes an opportunity. The definitions of ‘Crisis’ are :- a time of intense difficulty or danger. “the current economic crisis” a time when a difficult or important decision must be made. “the situation has reached crisis point” the turning point of a […]

Self isolating and working from home

If you or your team need or wish to self isolate in order to reduce the risk of infection here are a few tips to help you continue to get the results you need. We’re privileged to have access to such wonderful technology right now that working from home has never been so easy for […]

Don’t leave me hanging on the telephone…

Each day I speak with lots of different business owners over the phone.  As you would expect sometimes, I get an answerphone or an answering service. Sometime one of the team picks up the phone. At times I encounter a pleasant person who answer the phone with the firm’s name and takes the details and […]

Thinking of merging? Read this first

Mergers, on the face of it, are a great way to scale up and position the newly formed firm as larger.  Finding another firm, getting ‘married’ to them and becoming one entity, often sharing resources and overheads, reducing costs, tapping in to the skills of other partners, seems like such a great idea.   I […]

STOP! Here’s your solution

Social media is full of solutions, I get out my credit card and hey ho! I’ve bought a solution to a problem I didn’t realise I had. Once I’ve looked at their advert, or even stumbled across it, that’s it, it’s everywhere. You hear about mattresses in a box, well look at it once and […]

How could you become great?

The last couple of weeks we have had 2 amazing members achieve AVNExcellence Six Star, which is fantastic achievement and they both have amazing practices. Big calls out to MDH and Blend Accountants, the two practices that have made massive changes to their practices in the last few years. But at what point did they […]

When it’s just not good enough

Recently my boss said to me, that from what he had heard, one of my clients wasn’t really making progress. When I asked where he had heard this, he said from the client themselves! I was astounded and reeled off a list of all the things I know they have accomplished in the last 12 […]

Held to ransom by a team member

Isn’t it funny how sometimes our good nature doesn’t always work in our favour. I have heard several stories this year of Accountants who have allowed a once trusted team member to become the most terrible of business terrorists. It often happens because we need someone to turn to, because we don’t have anyone else […]

Who holds you to account?

I would love your thoughts on this one……. My 12-year-old son had a science test set by school. He came home and we set out a revision timetable using his schoolbooks and BBC Bite Size (this is a fantastic online resource by the way to support the national educational curriculum) We provided lots of encouragement […]

Why giving a little can go a long way

In a world where everything has a price – sometimes giving a little bit of help or support can go a long way. We are also so busy that doing anything extra seems like a big ask. Many years ago, I picked up a little book called ‘Random Acts of Kindness’. If you haven’t heard […]

Improvement doesn’t happen by chance

Having a wish to improve, earn more money, work less hours doesn’t happen by chance. It happens by deciding on what you want to – having an aim and then working towards it. Often our role at AVN starts with helping Accountants determine what they want from their lives and business – this isn’t navel […]

You’re not alone.

We recently ran an event with some of our members where we shared our challenges and came up with solutions and resources to help. When we asked what the most valuable part of the day– they all said– without exception– that it has been finding out that others in the accountancy profession have the same […]

Beware! The tunnel vision consequence of goals

It’s important to set goals, they give us focus, they keep us on track, we can measure our progress against them and if the goal is right, our lives should become better by striving toward them - even if we fall slightly short of achieving them. HOWEVER! Setting goals focuses the mind on the objective, [...]

Turning things around completely

Trevor had fallen out of love with accountancy. He had an ok practice. A decent number of clients.  A team that mostly got things done. Mostly. But cash was still tight and the hours were too long. Ultimately, he was spending too many hours running around for people who really didn’t appreciate what he was doing for […]

Does being part of a professional Accountancy Network pay dividends?

Professional networks are often passive beats with not much happening in the true sense of networking and co-operation. Members can be suspicious about giving too much away and fear about sharing their gains with other Members. I think from my experience of working with AVN, this doesn’t have to be the case. AVN is a […]

When did you last work on your accountancy practice?

Here at AVN we see many Accountants change their lives and change their Practices. All of these Accountants are at different stages in their business, all with different client bases, all starting with different aspirations for their business. What they do have however is a determination to succeed, a determination to not just put up […]

“I get goose bumps when I think about the rush I got from the AVN Masterclass.”

Michael was working seven days a week. No systems. Long hours. Burnout was on the horizon. Michael was doing too much of the work himself, while investment in team resources was non-existent.   “I had a business that was OK – a shade of average. It was ticking along.  I had historic practices which I learned years previous, which became bad […]

Finding the courage to take action

In 2017, Harriet set up her own accountancy practice, having been passed over for partner once too often in the larger, male dominated company that she had worked in for the last 15 years. She set up her business with two family members who, whilst not accountants themselves, were competent and well meaning and able […]

Who’s got the most annoying client?

Last night I had a conversation with 4 accountants who appeared to be in a contest for “who has the worst, barmiest, annoying client” competition. It is amazing that even these “switched on” accountants still work with these types of clients. Each admitted that they consume huge amounts of time and energy and are bad […]

What’s all this stuff about values?

Have you ever met someone and found it difficult to strike up a conversation, don’t necessarily ‘get’ what they’re saying?  Chances are they don’t have the same values as you. Your values and beliefs differentiate you as an individual and attract like-minded people to you. Those with the closest values are your loved ones, your very close […]

A picture paints a thousand words

A picture paints a thousand words, but one phone call can paint a whole picture. As part of my role I talk to many people each week, sometimes this is coaching, sometimes it is giving advice, guidance or support about Service or Business Development. As the conversation progresses I can build up a picture of [...]

Convenience is the enemy of value.

For a Father’s day get together, my family and the families of my two sisters had arranged to take my parents out for dinner. For a variety of reasons, we agreed on our local Harvester pub and on the following Tuesday since Father’s day itself didn’t work for us all. So we pre-booked a week […]

Deal with it

I often hear this phrase about an employee… “They are really sweet but I just can’t trust them to do everything they are supposed to!” Sound familiar?   Well, you have 2 choices: Get rid of them – if you can’t trust them to do the work you will be constantly worrying about it and […]

Measuring your success

A common set of metrics that are measured within an Accountancy Practice might include: – Turnover, Gross Recurring Fee Income, Profits, Average Fee Per Client …   Do these resonate with you? Do they move and inspire you? Some of these don’t reflect success and some are consequences of doing the right things. What’s the right thing for you?   Drive […]

Asking for what you don’t want

A strange thing happened the other day. I was at the gym with my personal trainer and he set me a really horrible exercise. The exercise itself doesn’t matter, the point it is left me absolutely knackered. Muscles hurting, chest pounding, lungs bursting. “How was that?” he asked. “Bloody horrible,” I said, “I’m in pain […]

Selling vs Listening

Observation 1: Most Accountants hate selling Observation 2: Most Accountants are great listeners   Let’s face it, few of us enjoy ‘selling’ in the conventional sense of the word, it feels uncomfortable, you sense that the guard goes up when you begin discussing products and services that are over and above what your prospective client – […]

How Much Do You Actually Need To Be Financially Safe ?

A few months ago, I was introduced to a successful businessman – let’s call him Dave – who agreed to be interviewed for research towards my next book. The theme of the book is around drive, motivation and purpose and it became clear that Dave was, indeed, a very driven person, with numerous financially profitable […]

Accountants – they are all the same

Trying to get your business off the ground but it just won’t fly? The analogy that you are bumping along the runway, seatbelts fastened and awaiting the take-off, but it just doesn’t happen……. It’s frustrating and regardless of the amount of time and effort you put in….. you are still bouncing along. Sometimes as you […]

“Fun with a serious intent”

Today I heard a wonderful example of combining great customer service with “fun with a serious intent” Val at Beyond the Numbers was telling me how her team had realised that many of their conversations with clients include jargon that we expect clients to understand.  Phrases like “we’ll journal that in your accounts” or “we […]

Being part of something special

It can be quite lonely running an Accountancy Practice can’t it. In our personal lives we have family and friends who we can share companionship with, air feelings, frustrations and emotions with.  But in our business lives we don’t always get the chance to do that do we?  Even having a team of people or […]

My Shock at Accountex

I had the pleasure of attending Accountex this year for the full 2 days, being able to take some time to speak to accountants in practice about the challenges they are facing at the moment. There seems to be a lot of talk about what to use as a practice management tool, with there being […]

How AVN helped Goddards Accountants grow by 30% in one year

In a nutshell  Goddards Accountants is based in West Molesey, Surrey and is an independent firm made up of highly experienced finance professionals. Manager, Derek Williamson, is passionate about the future of his firm and the accounting industry, that’s why he has built a team of young and enthusiastic qualified and part-qualified accountants. The team […]

How to Prioritise Systemising your Business Part 3

In two previous articles, I spoke about different ways in which you can systemise your business. The first of these was to take a look at your to-do list and look at which things would be easy to systemise. The second was starting with your customer facing systems and ensure that every time you interact […]

I get goose bumps when I think about the rush I got from the AVN Masterclass

Michael Hemme is the owner of MDH in Croydon and it’s fair to say that since attending the AVN Masterclass, his practice has transformed from what it once was. But unlike many AVN clients, there was no cliff edge – Michael wasn’t on the verge of a breakdown, finances weren’t running out and nor were […]

Technology won’t ruin your Practice, your decisions will.

There are many Accountants offering services to their clients and prospects. Some would be best described as Traditional and some Forward Thinking. Here’s a great method used by many AVN Members of illustrating the difference and where they sit. This fairly outdated Nokia makes phone calls and texts which is a fundamental aspect of what […]

A proactive Accountant you say? But are you really?

Recently I was presenting to a room full of partners and directors of Accountancy Practices, most of whom referred to themselves on their websites as ProActive Accountants. I posted the question to them, what exactly do they mean by ProActive? I was met by stunned silence. Eventually, a few suggestions were made but no-one was […]

From calamity to clarity – How Beyond the Numbers got back on track

In a nutshell Based in Edinburgh, Beyond the Numbers is an accountancy and business consultancy Practice. Made up of a small but longstanding team of five, including owner Val Wishart, the company helps small businesses with their financial performance. The close knit team place a great deal of importance on building strong client relationships and […]

AVN – Evolution and Revolution

Helping Accountants improve their Accountancy Practice, so they in turn can spend more time with their clients and help them improve their business, has always been AVN’s purpose. I recently surveyed the members of AVN to ascertain how quickly and effectively they are transforming their Accountancy Practice and I compared that to a survey I […]

Make mistakes sharing part of your culture

No matter how much of a perfectionist, we all make mistakes – fact.  What we do with those mistakes can make a profound difference to the success of your Accountancy Practice. All too often, we try to cover up the mistake, not admit to it for fear of being seen as incompetent.  In my younger […]

Do you have pre-conceived ideas about which clients want your help?

We are always being told to offer more added value services to our existing clients, and the feedback I often get from accountants is that ‘my clients are too small!’.  While this statement seems to make sense, I believe that clients are never too large or small financially for your help – it’s all about […]

How to make money while you’re on the beach

Imagine this…a two week Caribbean cruise with your family. No internet access. No telephones. No access to your business. But you are completely relaxed, just enjoying the sights and sounds around you, and making memories with those people that you love the most. Back home you know that your business is thriving – you have […]

Get better referrals

Many Accountants tell me they don’t need to advertise as their work is referred to them. That’s great because it speaks volumes about the quality of your work, but let me ask you, are you in control of those referrals? Sometimes, the wrong people are referred and you feel compelled to deal with them. So, […]

Why financial incentives inhibit quality thinking

We’ve always understood that a great motivator is to attach financial incentives to goals and targets haven’t we? The promise of bonuses and commissions will surely get the workforce going. Although it’s true that people might try to work faster in order to achieve this result, research has shown time and time again that this […]

If Superman was real

In the comic books and films, Superman felt duty bound to use his powers for good.  He’s often portrayed as saving a cat from a tree or preventing the odd jewellery heist and most often in the fictional city of metropolis in the USA. But if Superman were real do you really think he’d focus […]

Why grow your business?

Tell me if you agree or disagree with my answer, I’d love to know your thoughts. A good friend of mine asked me the other day “Why are people so obsessed with growing their business to make huge and increasing profits year after year, why not just earn enough to live on?” Is it Greed? [...]

Awards – Why Bother?

I was asked recently why we win awards and the simple answer was because we enter them. So if you’re sitting on the sidelines here are 3 very good promotional reasons to make 2019 the year you enter awards. Reason 1: Media Proof Industry awards allow you to be acknowledged by your industry. It’s important [...]

When it comes to customer service only remarkable service will do…

Why you need to deliver ‘Remarkable’ customer service and why does it matter? It will help you in an ever increasingly competitive market, if you aren’t delivering a ‘Remarkable’ service then somebody else will Give people something to talk about…Spread the word…’YOU ARE REMARKABLE’ Help you stand out among competitors and get it right, every [...]

The 7 mistakes stopping you earning £200,000 annual profit

At AVN we regularly carry out benchmarking studies of the UK accounting profession. And since 1998 we've worked with hundreds and hundreds of accountants in the UK and seen what works - and what doesn't. One of the things that's really interesting about our profession is that accountants are not performing very well. The average [...]

A rainy day doesn’t have to be a bad day

Thursday 26 July 2018 was a wonderful day. Yes, I know it was the day the heatwave broke, and thunder and rain returned to the UK, but I had one of those truly uplifting days at work. You see, I attended the first of AVN's Strategic Development Group meetings. The day was designed to meet [...]

When you are raped…

On a fairly regular basis we like to publish our latest givings on social media.  Often we’ll state that we’ve provided books, water, bricks etc to people in need throughout the world.     It occurs to me that this might come across a little like ‘look at us, we give!’  It’s not about us! [...]

Time for an out of body experience

Shane Lukas, AVN When was the last time you walked in to your office and assessed it as a potential customer? What do your prospects see and think when they walk in to your office? You walk in there every single day; you may have become blind to the things that a fresh pair of […]

It takes time to catch the correct “fish”

Many businesses tell me that they want more customers. They throw lots of money at marketing campaigns with few successful ideal leads. So who are your ideal clients and what’s the best way to catch them? It may be an odd link but perhaps you should think of yourself as fishermen/women. Getting more customers is […]

From considering drastic action to a cultural (and cash-flow) revolution

Quick read: CPT was founded thirty years ago. In recent years, with two partners leaving, Brian (the sole partner) faced a choice – bring in new partners or work smarter. Brian chose the latter. This is his (and his team’s) story.    “There were months before the AVN effect started to kick in when I [...]

Gaining clarity – To start you need to stop.

The first and most important step in gaining clarity about my life and my business was finding some headspace so that I could regain focus in a very murky and busy mind. I’d like to share with you the way in which I worked to achieve clarity, not only for my business, but also for [...]

Accountant discovers an extra day per week

What would you do with an extra day per week? The conventional journey of a start up accountant is usually one that starts from the spare bedroom.  As the client base grows and the revenue comes in that situation progresses to rented office space in order to give the practice a more professional feel for […]

B is for Benchmarking

Often just by understanding where you are against that of your competitors you can identify where you are just giving away money. Are you really performing as well as you think? If you own a business ask your accountant if they can Benchmark your firm against others in the same industry or area. With a […]

Communicating the value to ensure you get the prices you want

There’s something far worse than Artificial Intelligence that threatens your Accountancy Practice right now. It’s the assumption that business owners have that the software you have access to already perform most functions you charge for with just 1 click. Added to this, they see year-end accounts as a legal necessity much like having the MOT [...]

4 Years + Northern Accountants + AVN = £1,000,000

Phil Ellerby was working 70 hours a week in a shed – making £50,000 a year in GRF. Fast forward four years and he’s putting in a leisurely 35 hours per week, in return for £1,000,000 GRF. This is how he and his team made the staggering transformation. “We wouldn’t have the things we have [...]

How to get more clients as an accountant #1

…And great quality clients that pay well, appreciate you and refer you.   Many Accountants tell me that they want more clients, the clients they have don’t want to pay them much, don’t really respect them and expect everything to be done at last minute.  This has a lot to do with how they’ve been [...]

How much does AVN membership cost?

This is often the first question asked and the last thing anyone wants to answer, especially on a website. ‘It’s important to sell the value before revealing the price’ is quite rightly what the pricing experts will advise. However, it also gives the impression that you are somehow ashamed or embarrassed about your fees if [...]

From headless chickens to a masterclass in training clients

Quick read: The 31st of January - each and every year this is the date that fills accountants with nerve-jangling dread.   This case study is a story of client training change that has led from annual tax return purgatory, to the 31st of January being just like any other day (despite a year on year [...]

Getting Leads For Accountants

Representing AVN Accountants, Emma Slack and I have spent 2 days at The London Business Show - exhibiting and presenting to Business Owners of all sizes, length established and of an incredibly diverse set of industries and niches. 22,000 Business Owners were booked to attend and the footfall was huge. The book The Business Owner’s [...]

Purposeful Award Winner 2018 – wood and disney

The Purposeful Award - Access to proven coaching programmes and methodologies. Making a difference, changing lives and choosing to be able to give something back to the local and wider community.  Quick read… Wood and Disney are committed to making a difference to their clients’ lives. Here are just four examples of what they do [...]

Profile Award Winner 2018 – Beyond The Numbers

The Profile Award – Become highly valued and highly sought after by your ideal prospective clients.  Quick read… Beyond the Numbers are no stranger to the AVN award stage. Having won the tough title of Clarity in 2017, here they are again – picking up our award for raising their Profile among their target market.   [...]

Automation Award Winner 2018 – JDH

The Automation Award - A practice that’s scalable, consistently delivering to high standards even when you’re relaxing on holidays.  Quick read… 13 may be unlucky for some, but for JDH, this magic number represents the amount of systems they’ve created and software they use to revolutionise their firm, its unstoppable growth and the ability to [...]

Gearing Award Winner 2018 – MDH

The Gearing Award - Changing gear for less effort, more results through a productive, customer focussed team.    Quick read… MDH feel the struggles felt by all accountancy firms – the pull between developing systems, training their people and finding fresh-ways to deliver exceptional service. After all, time is finite. MDH continue to win the [...]

Value Award Winner 2018 – CPT

The Value Award - Successfully deliver exciting solutions at premium fees, including paid for Advisory work.    Quick read… It’s not often a firm scoops two awards in the same year. Yet this is exactly what CPT has achieved. Accountants can and should be so much more than compliance workers and box tickers. Our value [...]

Positioning Award Winner 2018 – Grant-Jones

The Positioning Award - Truly differentiate yourself from your rival and attract better quality clients as a result    Quick read…Grant-Jones set themselves apart by focussing on the future for their clients, and the future of societies around the world. They’ve gained a lot of attention this past year – and every bit of it [...]

The AVN Customer Journey

In this video Shane Lukas, Managing Director of AVN explains the AVN Roadmaps. Accountants in practice who want to earn more, work less, work with better clients and have less stress and pressure are going through this proven process. It helps them implement important strategies that help them grow the practice in a way that [...]

Clarity Award Winner 2018 – CPT

The Clarity Award - What success looks like for you and how you get there, solving cash flow, profit and time restraint issues as a first priority.    Quick read…From gruelling 9-to-5’s, low morale and problematic cash flow, to a flourishing, advisory-based firm (with a deliriously happy team).   Prior to their AVN adventure, work life [...]

The AVN Roadmaps explained

In this video Shane Lukas, Managing Director of AVN explains the AVN Roadmaps. Accountants in practice who want to earn more, work less, work with better clients and have less stress and pressure are going through this proven process. It helps them implement important strategies that help them grow the practice in a way that […]

5 Signs You Should Invest In AVN

We help accountants build a practice that gives them better choice about, the role they play, the hours they work, the income they generate and the difference they make. This is achieved through a fusion of coaching & training delivered by proven experts, and handholding accountants through a 7-stage signature roadmap; transforming accountancy practices in to […]

Jackie Hooper: From considering shutting shop, to cash flow contentment

Quick read: This is the story of how Jackie Hooper, owner of JDH Bookkeeping, transformed a stress-plagued practice with less than perfect clients, into a cash-flow content, owner-happy business that goes from strength to strength.   JDH Bookkeeping – In a nutshell Meet Jackie Hooper, owner of a small accountancy practice in Wales. She qualified [...]

Why these are important to us

Supporting accountants and others is extremely important to Shane Lukas and all the AVN team The images on the bottom of our emails are incredibly important to us here at AVN.  Let me explain why… The Vonage Nexmo Business Enabler of the Year Finalist – The goal of AVN is supporting accountants to build the […]

New Year’s resolutions? – do it right.

So many people set New Year’s Resolutions but fail to maintain their new way of life for more than a few weeks on average. Why? Well, too many people strive for big change in a short space of time.  In my book – What’s Next for Accountants I share in detail why that’s not a […]

Interview with Tim Davies – John Davies and Co

Hi there, I’m Shane Lukas, and I’m the Managing Director of AVN. The AVN team are excited to announce the release of our new book The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices which is free to download here: Our book has been designed to help businesses find accountants who go the […]

The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices – Rennie Evans Interview

Hi, I’m Shane Lukas, the Managing Director of AVN and in conjunction with the release of our new book The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices, I have been interviewing some of the UK’s best accountants. These interviews have helped me to gain further insight into what makes their practices so different […]

AVN Accountant, Murray Associates, Helps Small Business See Astonishing Growth By Increasing Turnover By £250,000 In Just Seven Months

Glasgow based accountancy practice, Murray Associates has seen extraordinary success for their clients through their innovative mentoring group. The mentoring group helps small business to fast-track their business growth and has been noticeably successful with one client seeing astonishing results: an increase of £250,000 in turnover in just seven months. This story is just one […]

Goddards Accountants Prove That Cloud-Based Real Time Accounts Can Save Your Business From Imminent Cash Flow Crisis

In a recent interview I conducted with Derek Williamson for Goddards Accountants; I discovered how their accountancy practice utilises innovative cloud-based software to deliver a better service for their clients and how in some cases, they have helped to save businesses from immediate and severe problems, such as a cash flow crisis. Using The Cloud […]

How Artisan Accounts Help Creative Businesses To Shine

Artisan Accounts are one of the accountancy practices that have been selected to feature in the book The Business Owner’s Guide to the UK’s Best Accountancy Practices. A book written by AVN, the association for forward thinking accountants, is designed to help business owners find an accountant that will go the extra mile for their […]

Accountants, be liberated as artists

We know that technology is automating compliance accounts production at an ever increasing rate.   Does that mean that accountants are automatically going to go out of business? No.   This is simply a time to repurpose those skills with numbers.   Let’s take a look at a very different industry at a very different time. […]

Why do we enter awards?

As a company we encourage our members to enter awards and as company we practice what we preach! So AVN entered the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards UK. We encourage our members to enter awards because its a great opportunity to reflect on what you have done. We are often too involved in the day […]

Benchmarking Your Accountancy Clients

I recently had a conversation with an Accountancy Practice about our benchmarking software (no this is not a sales pitch!). Whilst the software is intuitive, easy to use, gives great visual reports and highlights the areas you can really add value that your clients appreciate, this is just obvious value… the real value comes from […]

How to Prioritise Systemising your Business Part 2

There are many different ways to prioritise the systemisation of your business, and today I’m going to talk about my second suggested way of tackling this enormous task. In a previous article, I talked about using a graph to work out which of the tasks you do could you write a system for quickly, that [...]

How to Prioritise Systemising your Business Part 1

There are many different ways to prioritise the systemisation of your business, and today I’m going to touch on one of these. In a previous article, I have already mentioned listing all of the tasks that you, as the business owner do, that could be passed onto another team member, with just a little bit […]

Fantastic Teams #8 – Terrorists

Values are incredibly important in every day life.  You will know that there are some people you can instantly connect with, strike up a great dialogue and become friends very quickly.  Other’s no matter how hard you try, you simply can’t connect, you almost take an instant dislike to them and you don’t always understand […]

Fear Setting – We suffer more in imagination than in reality

Everyone talks about Goal Setting – but some of us just aren’t that motivated by goals.  Some of us are instead crippled by fear.  In this amazing TED talk Tim Ferris explains a simple exercise that can help us avoid self destruction and give us the confidence to do things that we currently feel we […]

Fantastic Teams #7 – Be Grateful!

It’s so easy to fall in to the trap of accepting great work and effort from members of your team and forget to express your gratitude.  Often, I hear people say – ‘I thank them through their salary’.  A salary is simply an enabler for someone to be able to work for you.  It enables […]

Fantastic Teams #6 – Do YOU really understand?

How well do you really understand your team? How much time do you invest in getting to know them? What motivates every individual in your team? Most often it’s assumed to be financial incentives but in fact, that’s not always the best motivator. Do you understand what might be holding them back from giving their […]

Fantastic Teams #5 – Passion needs patient zero

Everybody wants their teams to be more engaged and passionate about what they do but passion is contagious, it’s infectious. In order for it to spread, it has to be present in the first place.  It has to be present in you. Are you, the leader/business owners truly engaged and passionate about what you do […]

Fantastic Team #4 – Whose fault is it anyway?

When things go wrong in your business are you quick to blame others?  Or do you take responsibility yourself? In my blog about the Initiative Ladder (Fantastic Teams #1) I explained that mistakes must be allowed to happen – on the understanding that the team member who made the mistake is ready to take the […]

Fantastic Teams #3 – Defining Leadership

When I made the decision to write this blog about the definition of leadership I had a flashback to my youth.  I was a Star Trek fan (well, I still am!) and I remembered an episode where Spock reminded Captain Kirk that he would lose faith and command of the crew if he were seen […]

Fantastic Teams #2 Kill the staff…

…culture! I’ve always hated the word ‘staff’. It immediately infers an ‘us’ the employer/manager and ‘them’ the employed.  It puts people in their place. it’s derogatory, it dates back to a time of command and control and it’s not conducive to developing a team of people who all feel a sense of ownership to the […]

Fantastic Teams #1 – Get your team to step up

AVN Practice Growth Experts What do I mean by stepping up? Let’s look at a scenario and forgive me, it’s a negative scenario but it’s a common one… A scenario Lets say a customer has reported a problem; they have a complaint. An employee of yours takes the call, makes a note of the problem […]

Why blowing your Trumpet is a must…

Many people do not take the credit or shout about what a great service, experience or what difference they may have made to a person’s life. We are all guilty of this and we really need to accept the recognition of this and ‘Blow our own trumpet’ and be proud of our many achievements; this can […]

When is the best time to plant a tree?

What to consider when taking the plunge to grow an online presence… It is often very scary when you are faced with a blank page and you have to fill it. It can be terrifying to try to find the right words to express your thoughts and experiences to fill up that white space. As a new blogger, […]

The hidden jewel of recruitment that you could be missing

Looking back to the 1980’s when I was growing up there were set roles within a family. Once children were born the mums took a back seat in their career and took on the new role as housewife/full time care giver to the children while the dads continued with their career journey. My parents generation […]

Times are changing!

For centuries accountants have been seen as the trusted advisor and held in high regard. A source of incredibly valuable financial information and insight. Essential to helping businesses make sound financial decisions so they can plan ahead. But now the rate of change in the world is far too rapid for a set of year […]

Why did I choose to pay more?

I have had many discussions as a Practice Growth Expert about how your first impression when you are quoting really makes a difference and could allow you to increase your prices. Until last week I have never experienced this as a customer… that was until i needed a new/replacement garden fence. The lovely UK weather […]

Fantastic Teams, and how to create them

What does a great team look like in business?   Well, I’m sure many will have differing opinions about that.  In my opinion it’s a group of people who are 100% committed to the cause of the business, who selflessly act in the best interests of the business even if at the expense of their […]

9 years 4 months 6 days…

The 1st October 2007 I started my journey working with Owner Managed Accountancy firms helping them to become the most successful and enjoyable to run in the world. Starting out slow it was a case of answering reactive queries slowly building my relationships and gaining that ‘know, like and trust’ factor. Over the years I […]

What makes a great accountancy practice?

The things that really successful practices do and what they have in common was the subject of a three year research project by Steve Pipe for AVN. With remarkable candour and generosity of spirit, the firms we studied revealed in precise detail exactly what they do to generate extraordinary results for themselves and their clients. […]

C is for Clarity

Our research has shown that Accountancy Practices suffer from the similar issues and their ability to deal with them effectively is often governed by their own understanding. Therefore the first step is to get Clarity on what you as an Accountancy Practice owner is looking to achieve from your business and develop a plan around […]

An Inspirational Conference

I had the pleasure of helping to organise the AVN Conference, which was held on the 6th October 2016 in Nottingham.  The theme of the conference was ‘taking action’ and we heard some really great inspirational speakers – Steve Pipe, Richard McCann and Shane Lukas. I took 2 main pieces of learning from the day… […]

Disney is every companies competitor

I was listening to a great webinar today and one of the key points that hit home to me was that Disney is every companies competitor! Why? Well Disney delivers exceptional customer service. They don’t just perform above what you expect they go above and beyond that. They create an experience that lasts for years, they create memories that […]

How to win business without losing it in life

Recently I have been considering what is it that drives me. What equates to success and what drives me. When you ask what is success, you often think of earning money, profit or some other monetary gain. But when you actually really think, this is all irrelevant what really matters is family, health, love, understanding […]

A Magical Guide To Selling through Presentations and Webinars

Following on from a great webinar I watched last week, the presenter Shane Lukas shared with me his magical guide to a successful presentation or webinar:- Pre Party – get rapport going with audience. Say hello and talk to people, this shows it is live and allows the audience to connect with you. At the start […]