#190: Producing Fearsome Accountants to 5X our value with John Stretch

with John Stretch

Our Guest Mentor:

John Stretch has an accounting & finance career covering five decades. He began as a partner in the consulting division of a big 4 accounting firm before breaking away to form my own consulting practice. Nowadays John develops content on relevant topics in financial management and business strategy. His online e-learning libraries, blogs and case studies can be viewed at johnstretch.com. 

John can also be found writing blogs, magazine articles and books. His work has been published by Microsoft, CFO magazine, professional institutes, and in business school journals.  

John was formerly visiting lecturer at the Wits Business School and for many years and before that, at the UCT GSB, teaching on MBA and executive programs. He has also taught on SAICA CPE courses in four countries. 

John holds a CA (SA) designation, a Masters in Financial Modelling, and is based out of Johannesburg South Africa. 

Key Quotes From the Episode: 

[On becoming a trusted business partnerIf you want to become a trusted business partner, look around in your own life, and find one or two and emulate them.” [10:55] 

[On how not to get left behindDon’t fight that, become part of that automat8ion, master it, embrace it, because otherwise you will be left behind. [1:04] 

[On best bit of advice] And I really took that as a mission, I sat down and I thought now what would I need to be able to do be able to charge 5X. And it was things like my client was a grocery retailer, I went on a mission to read every single report that’s published in English of any grocery retailer across the world and you pick up the most amazing things. [23:26] 

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

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Key Points From the Episode:

  • The key traits to become a trusted business partner. 
  • Why there are so many fearsome accountants out there and how we can go about coming one. 
  • How to 5X your value. 
  • The usefulness of have your own 18 month rolling forecast. 

Time Stamped Show Notes 

[02:59] – John was a partner in his early 30s at a big 4 firm’s consulting team, how he developed a passion for teaching, and incorporated it into his consulting style. How he’s started his fifth career  

[05:11] – What’s really stood out to him during his 5 decades experience 

  • Financial modelling when it used to be coded onto a mainframe computer before Excel.    

[06:37] – The three fundamentals of a good financial model; 

[07:53] – Why people are better informed today 

[08:27 John shares his thoughts on the future and being a trusted business partner and why were not all cut out to be one.   

[12:05] – The key traits to become a trusted business partner. 

[13:30] – What’s exciting John most at the moment (fearsome accountants). 

[14:53] – The role of talent management. 

[15:30] – What type of things should we be doing. 

[17:45] – Why should we should embrace the automation. 

[19:43] – Why it’s important to develop interactive training. 

[21:30] – The best advice John recently had, “You’re too cheap” – how to become 5x. Why he went on a mission to read every annual report on his retail industry  

[28:00] – Books that John recommend to our audience to read. 

[30:10] – How best to connect with John. 

[30:55] – John’s parting thoughts on reflecting on yesterday as well as having a rolling 18 month forecast.  

Resources Mentioned: 


Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street Paperback –  John Brooks  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1497644895 

The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy Paperback – Thomas J. StanleyWilliam D. Danko https://www.amazon.com/dp/1589795474 

Connect with today’s guest: 


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