Skip to main content
Smithink - helping accountants turn their practices into great businesses

Smithink - helping accountants turn their practices into great businesses

By Andrea Ives
We provide practical firm innovations, based on the decades we have spent as practicing accountants and business consultants. We know what works best, because we've done it. Smithink provides a wide variety of consulting services and educational events, tools and resources under the one roof. Now including a monthly podcast.
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Business Advisory Software – what is the industry using in 2022?
There is a vast array of software and solutions in the market all designed to assist accountants in providing initial and engaging business advisory services to their clients. At first glance, many appear to do the same things. Understanding the differences and how products fit into the business advisor process is critical if firms are to select the tools for their firm. This session will provide some insight into some of the solutions that can assist in your advisory service delivery. Presented by: Mark Holton, Smithink
31:24
August 11, 2022
Process automation - how it will change the accounting profession
Introduction to process automation Why the accounting profession is a perfect fit Real-life examples Different approaches/leading vendors Pitfalls to avoid Presented by: David Smith, Smithink + Rob Cameron, FYI
47:24
June 16, 2022
Getting the right structure and process to deliver more advisory services in 2022
How do professional service firms re-focus from compliance services to value-added reliance services? Mark shares his innovative 7-step to success divisional advisory process that includes insight on the correct firm structure, infrastructure requirements, turning numbers into knowledge, action planning and identifying your clients' additional needs through innovative engagement strategies. Presented by: Mark Holton, Smithink
33:25
May 12, 2022
Help your self-directed clients make better investment decisions - without giving financial advice
David Smith discusses with OpenInvest co-founder Andrew Varlamos how clients unwilling to pay for financial advice often make poor investment choices, potentially damaging their chances of a financially secure retirement. The webinar will highlight how accounting firms can help while also avoiding the regulatory burden that comes with the financial advice regime.
32:08
April 13, 2022
Facilitating your client's monthly management meetings
Many small businesses struggle with the strategic management of their business. They are often in the here and now of solving today's issues. Yet, we all know that taking a regular step back to review progress, set targets and develop plans is highly beneficial to ensure focus is maintained on the issues that matter over the longer term. Many small business people do not have the skills to establish an appropriate framework for monthly management meetings, governance and accountability. This session will outline how, as your client's key adviser, you can assist in creating and participating in these important meetings. PRESENTED BY: David Smith
33:49
March 23, 2022
How to be a financial storyteller
Today's accountants and consultants need to consider providing high-level advisory services as well as compliance services to their selected clients. In this webinar we will cover how to be a proficient financial storyteller, extracting meaning from the numbers and help clients understand their financial story, using web-based techniques like the 4 Chapters, the Power of One, and the 3 Big Cash Flow measures. Turn numbers into knowledge using simple strategies that will really impress your clients and help develop your firm's advisory services. Presented by: Mark Holton, Smithink
28:13
December 07, 2021
Creating a culture of delegation
Most firms find their senior people are often overloaded with work and have very little spare time. Yet it is these same people that need time to drive further growth and development of the firm. This webinar will highlight how firms can improve delegation so that additional capacity can be unlocked for your senior people. Presented by: David Smith, Smithink
41:08
November 16, 2021
The keys to quality client service
Having completed the Exceptional Leadership, Recruitment, Selection and Training and Exceptional Customer Service programs at Disney University in Anaheim, California, Mark shares his insights on the hugely successful Disney management model of "on stage and off stage" service delivery and "over managing" through an attention to detail that drives success. Mark will also articulate the learnings into how they can be applied to an accounting firm staff, operations, efficiencies and client service standards. Presented by: Mark Holton, Smithink
31:58
October 26, 2021
Rocks to look under as you hunt for staff
Recruitment seems to be getting harder and harder. Traditional channels have dried up. This webinar will explore different alternatives firms can consider as they hunt for staff and how firms can be positioned to give a competitive edge in recruitment.
31:05
September 21, 2021
How to see the financial impact of key financial decisions before you make them
Being in business is a constant battle of key decision making for an accounting firm's clients. Decisions like; "should I or should I not?" or "do I commit or do I not?" are often a regular occurrence. This session will show you the impact of key financial decisions before they are made using a simple graphical software solution. Any debit or credit can be shown and the consequences considered before a decision is made. You and the client need to know in advance! Presented by: Mark Holton
28:04
September 03, 2021
KPIs that work
Driving the right behaviours from your people should be the objective of any accountability framework. In this webinar, David will highlight the accountability measures that firms can adopt that can be readily managed and drive desired outcomes. PRESENTED BY: David Smith
34:37
July 20, 2021
The Firm of the Future - Part One
What will an accounting firm look like in the future? What will clients expect from us? Let's look forward and consider the future of the profession and what firms should be doing now to be successfully positioned in the years to come. Presented by: David Smith + Mark Holton, Smithink
36:42
June 16, 2021
Business advisory tools update
With the advent of cloud technology, there are now a vast amount of dynamic, client focussed business advisory software solutions in the accounting market. Which one is best? Which one suits your firm and its current and planned service offerings? In this webinar, we will look at the primary solutions available at this time and link them to the type of services you currently want to offer in your firm and those that may be on the horizon. Mark will also recommend what solutions he believes firms should invest in to get advisory services moving. Presented by: Mark Holton, Director
33:08
May 18, 2021
Turning compliance data into innovative advisory services
Historical financial information is an important and often safe part in the provision of advice on business improvement, however, is it all that we should be using? Do clients really want to be looking backwards each quarter and discussing items they cannot change? Further, what happens if a firm cannot correlate the compliance data into advisory services? This webinar will concentrate on how to profit from compliance delivering innovative advisory services from compliance data. Presented by: Mark Holton, Smithink
27:25
March 24, 2021
Team Structure
Since the dawn of the profession, debate has raged about the optimum team structure for firms. In this webinar, David will highlight pros and cons of various structures and why one structure tends to create the best outcomes in terms of team member performance, delegation and accountability. PRESENTED BY: David Smith
41:53
February 16, 2021
What's your SMSF audit plan?
With the new rules about audit independence for SMSFs now is the time for every firm to review their SMSF audit arrangements and choose an auditor that will deliver high quality services at the right price. David will review the issues and consider the options for firms wishing to get the most out of their SMSF audits and the criteria that should be used in selecting an auditor. PRESENTED BY: David Smith
28:38
January 29, 2021
The need for a business advisory implementation plan
This session will concentrate on the need for a business advisory implementation plan for accounting firms when undertaking business advisory work. Material covered will include; managing commitment and capacity issues, developing a proven implementation system for advisory work, selecting the right staff, appointing a business advisory champion and resourcing them, overcoming confidence and the comfort zone and finally finding the right clients to work with. PRESENTED BY: Mark Holton
30:37
December 10, 2020
Using strategic planning to leverage advisory services
One of the best ways to get clients engaged and on deck with ongoing advisory services is by using strategic planning and engagement services. This webinar will demonstrate online how to engage clients and get them thinking about future business visions, goals and directions and your firm offering more recurrent advisory services. PRESENTED BY: Mark Holton, Smithink
31:12
November 17, 2020
How to grow your firm - simple marketing that works!
Are you thinking about hiring external resources to assist you in your marketing? Before you do, listen to this webinar where we highlight the 17 things you should do before external help should be considered. Much of marketing is about process and consistency. We will highlight the key things you should consider in an effective marketing plan. Presented by: David Smith, Smithink
34:14
October 20, 2020
Business Advisory Software - what is the industry using in 2020
If you want to re-engineer your processes you need a goal. Perhaps that goal is to now eliminate the paper in your firm. It is possible - an increasing number of firms have been doing it. It needs a commitment to process change and a variety of technology solutions. Hear how firms have achieved their goals. PRESENTED BY: Mark Holton, Director
28:47
September 22, 2020
Buying a practice - issues to consider
In this low growth world, it is difficult for firms to achieve substantial organic growth. An approach taken by many is to look to acquire fees to improve economies of scale and create a book for emerging leaders. However, care is needed. An ill conceived acquisition can be a disaster costing by time and money. In this webinar, we will highlight the key issues to be considered if you're thinking of acquiring fees. PRESENTED BY: David Smith
33:49
August 25, 2020
The benefits of doing charity work
Often in the accounting industry, we are asked to sit on boards of not for profit organisations. One consideration is "should I accept the appointment?" The other is the benefit of helping others, doing "your bit" for the community and growing your network of contacts. This web session will focus on my experience and the personal benefits gained from working with charities and other not for profits. PRESENTED BY: Mark Holton
27:40
July 21, 2020
Learnings from COVID-19 to permanently change your practice
David will share his predictions on what he thinks accounting firms will be implementing ongoing coming out of COVID-19. PRESENTED BY: David Smith
31:14
June 16, 2020
Business Advisory in a COVID-19 world
We have changed our May topic to consider what firms are doing in quasi-advisory to support clients in these unforeseen times. Mark will summarise his observations and highlight some ideas that you may wish to build into your business advisory plans leading out of the COVID-19 crisis. Presented by: Mark Holton, Smithink
37:54
May 19, 2020
What's working / what's not
We changed our April webinar topic to consider what firms are doing practically in these unusual times. David will summarise his observations to highlight some ideas that you may wish to build into your plans. Presented by: David Smith, Smithink
39:11
April 21, 2020
Pain free practice succession
Dealing with succession can often be a very stressful time. Many often put their head in the sand not wanting to acknowledge the problem. Many resist the idea that they need to plan to exit the firm. Firms that have a well considered plan have achieved an almost seamless succession with no angst or disruption. In this webinar, David will highlight the elements of a successful succession plan which he has used to assist firms in this transition. PRESENTED BY: David Smith
40:37
March 17, 2020
The risks of using compliance data when offering business advisory services
Historical financial information is an important and often safe part in the provision of advice on business improvement, however, is it what we should be using? Do clients really want to be looking backwards each quarter and discussing the same old points? Should we be using up to date representative data? These are all great questions however what happens if the data is not totally accurate or management entries have not been posted. This webinar will consider the risks of using certain data when providing financial analysis to clients. PRESENTED BY: Mark Holton
28:60
February 17, 2020
Holistic advice - how to embed in your practice
Every practitioner has a desire to be a holistic adviser to their clients to assist them in building their business and addressing their whole financial needs. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. Resource, deadline and regulatory constraints get in the way. Skills to engage effectively with clients to unlock their goals and concerns are required. Success can be achieved but it requires a plan, processes and training and accountability to achieve success. This webinar will highlight how success can be achieved. Presented by: David Smith, Smithink
29:59
January 21, 2020
Getting the right structure and process to deliver more advisory services in 2020.
To build an ongoing lucrative business advisory service in your firm, you need to address four key questions; •Do I have the right structure in my firm and if not what do I need to do? •What infrastructure changes do I need to make to ensure I have the right people and the right levels doing the right tasks? •How do I build a client engagement system that really works? and •What delivery models do I need to build when I have the clients signed proposal in hand?This session will address all these issues and we will start to build the Trusted Advisor model in your firm. Presenter: Mark Holton, Smithink
29:58
December 11, 2019
Another year of change in financial planning
Is your firm positioned to capitalise on the disruption? PRESENTED BY: David Smith, Smithink
31:12
November 19, 2019
Building exceptional customer service in your firm
Exceptional customer service is an ongoing challenge for accounting firms as well as your client's businesses. This session will focus on the hugely successful Disney management model of "on stage and off stage" service delivery and "over managing" through attention to detail that drives performance success. Experiences will be shared from a recent US trip to Disney University in Anaheim to undertake the Exceptional Leaders, Recruitment, Selection and Training, and Exceptional Customer Service programs that can be articulated to an accounting firm. Presented by: Mark Holton, Smithink
26:23
October 15, 2019
Paperless yet? Why not?
If you want to re-engineer your processes you need a goal. Perhaps that goal is to now eliminate the paper in your firm. It is possible - an increasing number of firms have been doing it. It needs a commitment to process change and a variety of technology solutions. Hear how firms have achieved the goal. PRESENTED BY: David Smith, Smithink
43:57
September 17, 2019
Leverage the power of video - what's your plan?
I've often insulted millennials that they can't read and to engage them multimedia is king. While this is not entirely true it is true that video engages audiences in a different way and enables you to provide insight into personality as well as the content. Every firm needs a plan to develop video content to engage with clients and potential clients. What's your plan? Presenter: David Smith, Smithink
30:30
August 20, 2019
Opportunities for growth
Let's explore the opportunities for firms to achieve growth from their existing clients and how they can be unlocked. PRESENTED BY: David Smith, Smithink
36:27
April 16, 2019
7 discussions you need to have with your clients
Key to building strong client relationships and growing your firm is how you engage with your clients. This session will discuss the 7 key discussions you should be having with your firm on a regular basis and how you can embed these discussions into your compliance activities. Presented by: David Smith, Smithink
33:60
November 21, 2018
7 key marketing initiatives for success
Marketing professional services is not rocket science. External marketing advisers have their place for creative elements and specific knowledge such as online advertising. However, the vast majority of a firm's marketing can be handled internally with the right administrative support, attitude and time commitment from practice leaders. This session will discuss the 7 key marketing initiatives that get results. PRESENTED BY: David Smith, Smithink
33:09
October 23, 2018
Using strategic planning to leverage advisory services
One of the best ways to get clients engaged and on deck with ongoing advisory services is using strategic planning and an engagement service. This webinar will demonstrate online how to engage clients and get them thinking about future business visions, goals and directions and your firm offering more recurrent advisory services. PRESENTED BY: Mark Holton, Smithink
30:60
October 05, 2018
7 performance measures to focus your team
Many firms focus on productivity measures to performance manage their team. Yet these measures often encourage the wrong performance. This session will examine 7 performance measures that will send the right message to your team and achieve desired outcomes for your firm. PRESENTED BY: David Smith, Smithink
30:16
October 05, 2018
The advisory 7 step system from A to Z
Creating the right structure, infrastructure, engagement model and delivery system is critical to long term advisory success in your firm. From your Client Relationship Management system to preparing for a needs analysis meeting to strategic questioning to dynamic proposals that really sell benefits, this webinar will paint the picture of best practice in a simple 7 step flow that will achieve real results. PRESENTED BY: Mark Holton, Smithink
27:31
October 05, 2018
Business advisory software - what is the industry using in 2017/18
There is a countless number of business advisory solutions in the market today. All of them are dynamic often cloud-based applications. Understanding what they can do and select the most appropriate solution for your practice is often a challenge. This session will focus on the mainstream offerings and help you understand which solution suits each stage of the business advisory cycle and the processes and people in your firm. PRESENTED BY: Mark Holton, Smithink
40:05
May 03, 2018
7 ways to stop the hackers
Accountants are a target for the hackers with the treasure trove of information to enable identity theft and all sorts of frauds. Every firm needs to ensure that they are minimising the risks and have a disaster plan ready to execute should the worst happen. This session will highlight some key issues to consider. ​PRESENTED BY: David Smith, Smithink
33:20
May 03, 2018
Time for a process spring clean
Mark and David will outline how firms are reinventing their processes to improve client service, build advisory services and improve efficiency and profitability. PRESENTED BY: Mark Holton & David Smith, Smithink
34:33
May 02, 2018
Mistakes firms make when implementing business advisory services
This session will concentrate on the key mistakes made by accounting firms when undertaking business advisory work. Material covered will include; managing commitment and capacity issues, developing a proven implementation system for advisory work, selecting the right staff, appointing a business advisory champion and resourcing them, overcoming confidence and the comfort zone and finally finding the right clients to work with. Presented by Mark Holton
32:10
May 01, 2018