#152: Debunking The Future Of Finance & Accounting with Mark Lee

with Mark Lee

Our Guest Mentors:

Mark Lee

Mark is regularly described as an entertaining, engaging and inspirational presenter who evidently has a lasting impact, serious intent and a great sense of humour. He now focuses on talking about the future for accountants, how their practices will evolve and how they can stand out from their competitors to be more successful in the future.

By profession Mark was a chartered accountant but he has never fitted the archetypal stereotype. His profile and reputation within the accountancy profession have resulted in him being invited to speak at dozens of prestigious conferences and seminars for accountants, lawyers, financial advisers, other professionals and consultants.

Mark’s experience as a presenter dates back to his teenage years when he first started to build his confidence in front of the most challenging of audiences. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1982 but has long stood out from many with a similar background.

Headhunted twice he was a partner in two top firms of accountants, including BDO and he has been a regular writer for the professional press since 1987. Thus he has all the credibility, integrity and independence you and your audience require to relate to his anecdotes, experiences, insights and advice.

Over the years Mark has worked with, written for and addressed audiences of thousands of accountants.

His career spans more than 30 years, during which time he stood out as a top accountant, a frequent financial commentator and one of only a handful of accountancy qualified magicians! He is now treasurer of the world’s most exclusive magic society, The Magic Circle. He is also deputy treasurer of Norwood, a top 150 charity, a member of the ICAEW’s members and commercial board and is regularly asked to judge industry awards.

He typically speaks to audiences of accountants who want to know what the future will hold, are keen to be more successful, to have more impact and to focus on what they do best. Mark debunks the hype and shares simple analogies and acronyms to help stress many of his key messages. Unlike other speakers, whose talks may be enjoyable but are also forgettable, Mark ensures that his audiences can recall his advice and so will remember how they want to be reMARKable, referred and recommended long into the future.

Mark lives with his family in London, England. Further details here: www.bookmarklee.co.uk

Key Quotes From the Episode: 

“I now focus on doing the things I love most; speaking, writing and mentoring and have built my new career on this.” [04:00]

“[On building your career) It’s not only a function of your technical skills, you must have interpersonal skills, presentation skills, communication skills and business development skills”] (4:40)

“By volunteering and giving back to the profession, you will get a lot from what you get rather than sitting back and hoping the good stuff will just come to you” [6:44]

“[On changing your mindset] You have to recognize what the people who you admire had done themselves. Sometimes we have the wrong tendency to look-up at those who are bullies and single mindedly focused on themselves.”] (7:38)

“There are plenty of successful people with positive, inspiring and natural attitude in their approach to colleagues, staff and to clients. Rather than those who have personal qualities and traits I don’t really like. There are more people i admire who have positive approaches to colleagues, staff and clients rather than being single-minded and just looking out only for themselves, because in the long run, if you copy them, you might get where you want to go but you’llbe alone. There’s no fun in that.” (8:50)

“[Making the best of you] Look for 10 people you admire who are at the top of the career ladder you want to be on. Then list their qualities, approaches and the attitudes that they have that you admire. Look for overlaps and the gaps compared with where you are now. Then start working to close those gaps – this gives you something specific to aim for.” (10:25)

“[Needed skills at workplace in the future] More of our day to day tasks which we originally all learned to do will be done by robots, robotic process automation or AI. The skills that accounting and finance people need will be less technical and less detail oriented – that may attract different people from those who were attracted to join the profession in the past.” (11:36)

“Historically accountants have always made time to keep themselves updated technically and to learn new stuff because they don’t want to be sued or don’t want to lose their job.” (15:07)

“To provide wide array of services to your existing and new clients by way of expanding your services that aside from charging bigger fees you need also to develop skills that will promote those services in addition to your compliance services.”

“Nobody buys an accountant’s time. Clients are buying the service, output, conclusion, results and the solution the accountant provides” (20:22)

“[On handling your social media presence] Don’t be discouraged by trolls if there are any. Simply be professional in dealing with them as this will add value to those who are following your threads.” (27:27)

“[On making social connections] Get in touch with people, look up the speaker and ask to connect with them through social media or Linked. Send them a personal message as most people don’t do that and so it’s an easy way to stand-out in a positive way.”(31:00)

(Other resources and how to connect with Mark below).

Get Show Notes and Links in your Inbox!


Key Points From the Episode:

· The importance of key business skills relative to soft skills and how these are valuable to organisations

· How to deconstruct the changes happening in finance & accounting into 3 time-horizons

· How to be the best finance professional you can be.

· Debunking the future of what our work looks like.

Time Stamped Show Notes

[02:18] – Mark started life as a children’s entertainer during his teens and later trained and qualified to be a Chartered Accountant. Specialized in tax and training, became a strategic advisor to lawyers, surveyors, accountants and other professionals. He now focuses on those aspects of his career that he has loved most; speaking, writing and mentoring.

[04:31] – What was memorable on Mark’s journey? He recognized early on that technical skills were not enough. You must have good interpersonal skills, presentation, communication and business development skills. He published his first articles in Taxation and Accountancy magazines, was invited to become a Fellow of the Chartered of Institute of Tax, receiving his award at the Guildhall in London and later being elected Chairman of the ICAEW’s Tax Faculty.

[07:33] – How to be a proactive in your career and give back to the profession you love. Mark will tell you how to be positive, successful and inspiring like the people you want to emulate.

[10:25] – Mark’s best tip for how you can become just like those successful person you admire.

[11:36] – If you would like to know what our work will look like in the future, what skills you will need and what changes it will bring, Mark will tell us.

[15:05] – Mark will enlighten us on the difference between the key business skills and the soft skills that are necessary in giving value to your service.

[24:41] – The role of our traditional accountancy institutes in helping us with our careers.

[26:40] – The best bit of advice Mark has ever received, also appears in the movie Frozen, “let it go”

[33:36] – How best to connect with Mark.

[35:16] – Resources Mark would recommend for the audience for them to be highly effective in their careers

[36:17] – Mark’s parting thoughts on how to plan your career in the next few years by looking for the best mentors who are successful in the field that you are also pursuing.

Resources Mentioned:

· 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (2001), by Stephen Covey o Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Habits-Highly-Effective-People-Powerful/dp/B0006IU4C0/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3E271W1T2OVBB&keywords=7+habits+of+highly+effective+people&qid=1555512485&s=digital-text&sprefix=7%2Cdigital-text%2C475&sr=1-1

· You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar: The Sandler Sales Institute’s 7 step system for successful selling (1995), by David H Sandler o Kindle https://www.amazon.com/Cant-Teach-Ride-Bike-Seminar/dp/B0744YHBQY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2IGGJFT28IUYD&keywords=you+cant+teach+a+kid+to+ride+a+bike+at+a+seminar&qid=1555512690&s=digital-text&sprefix=You+cant+teach+a+%2Cdigital-text%2C354&sr=1-1

Connect with today’s guest: · LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/MarkLee/

· Website: www.bookmarklee.co.uk · Twitter @bookmarklee · Facebook: Bookmarkleebiz


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