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James Solomons

Accounting, Business & Technology; Advocate, Entrepreneur & Educator

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Accounting

6 practical steps to introduce advisory services in your firm

The next phase of the accounting industry — where accountants become true advisers to their clients and not just data hoarders — is very much underway.

But it’s often difficult to know exactly where to start, and what changes to make to help that transition. Having made that change myself in recent years, with a practice of 150+ business clients and growing, here are some practical tips for any firms looking to fundamentally change the way they approach advice.

Let the technology do the heavy lifting
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Get Connected Edition #6 is out !

Thanks for tuning into Get Connected Edition Six !

 

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Ten big challenges facing small businesses in 2016

10 challenges and tips to help overcome them for SMEs and their advisers

 

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Get Connected Edition #5 – v2.0!

Welcome to Get Connected 2.0 ! Edition Five

 

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This weeks edition of Get Connected – #4

Get Connected Edition Four ! Thanks for tuning in !

 

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Making your business more attractive to buyers

My latest article on Startup Daily http://www.startupdaily.com.au/2014/11/founders-can-make-startups-attractive-buyers/ 

A Poll – Making Uni Students MORE Job Ready

After writing my last post I thought more about what makes an accounting student job ready when completing their degree. And it became very clear that if they work while completing their degree they not only learn the skills required while at Uni they reinforce those skills obtained as they are using them every day (well most of them)

I was a product of working full time and studying part time while completing my degree. One year full time and 3.5 years part time. So 4.5 years all up.

When I worked full time and studied part time at night my rate of learning increased dramatically.

Without even researching the usual impacts, I wonder what would happen if government encouraged part or full time work with part time study by offering incentives to students or employers or both? HECS/HELP reductions for students ? Grants for employers? Payroll Tax concessions? Work Cover concessions?

I know these exist for apprentices for many trade based businesses but I have not come across many if any for professional organisations wanting to employ uni undergraduates (so happy to be made known of these).

What would happen if a student was able to earn more quicker and pay back their HECS/HELP debt faster. Surely that would come from having more skills, thus helping their employer grow, thus helping the economy grow ? I know these are some pretty out there comments but in these changing times where more and more HSC leavers and international students are going to Uni we need to think outside the box to ensure they are able to help the economy at large prosper with the skills they have obtained in their degree faster.

So here is a poll. Two questions…Yes or No answers. Love to know your thoughts.

Macquarie Uni pioneering changes to benefit accounting students

On Thursday evening I was invited to attend a welcome function for the Guest Speakers / Industry Professionals that are part of the new unit being run by Macquarie University titled ACCG315 – Accountants in The Profession. I have been asked to be one of the first batch of Industry Professionals, representing the SME space of accountants and public practitioners.

Along with myself, there are representitives from all strands of the profession. Big Four, Publicly Listed entities, Commerce, Banking, Not for Profit & Government as well as CPA Australia. (side note, I wonder if the ICAA was invited?)

The aim of the unit is to expose final year accounting students to as many of the different parts of the profession that it can over the course of the unit. It hopes to help the students identify which parts of the profession will suit their particular skill sets and interests. It will give them the opportunity to perform a skills gap analysis on themselves as they prepare to make the transition from student to employee.

They will be spoken to by industry representatives in a lecture format and then complete personal course work and a group assessment which is marked in part by the industry reps as well. Essentially they will be being assessed by those persons and organisations who may one day be their future employers if they chose to follow the career of an accountant. This will surely provide both students and university staff with a fresh perspective on what us industry professionals are expecting of our new graduates when we employ them.

Overall the unit hopes to make graduates more “job ready”. As many in the profession know graduates of accounting degrees, whilst armed with good technical and theoretical knowledge, lack any real hands on skills and the investment required to be put into a new graduate in terms of the job training to get them “job ready” and able to complete work efficiently is quite large.

I am hopeful that this is just the start of University degrees having a greater focus on developing practical skills as well as teaching the important theoretical skills in a subject area and building an undergraduates critical thinking skills. Hopefully this greater industry participation filters down into earlier degree units. For example, Accounting 1A and 1B in the commerce degree at Mac Uni are completed in year 1. By graduation, most employees have forgotten the fundamental basics of how to perform a bank reconciliation, which is mainly because since year 1 they have not had to perform another one (so really, no fault of their own). !

A number of focus groups I have participated in have asked what is a barrier to employing a new graduate and the lack of practical skills is always my answer. I go on to add that it is more cost effective to employ an undergraduate student and develop them that way (even at the risk of losing them when they have finished their degree) than it is to employee a new graduate who has a high starting salary expectation.

The Unit kicked off this week and the first round of industry speakers starts soon. I will be speaking on April 10th. I’ll post some regular update on how the unit is going as the weeks go on.

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