The Consulting Accountants’ RoundTable (CART) had their meeting last week in Charlotte N.C.
This assembly of accountants has been active as a mastermind group for over 15 years, working on the many aspects of providing consulting services to their clients. The group meets three times a year to discuss issues, look at new tools, and develop processes that help accountants provide consulting services to their small business clients.
In addition to the regular 2 –day session, an extra day was added to provide in depth training on the $COPE It software. Andre Gien, the “Financial Story Teller’, led the group on how to educate their clients about the financial condition of their small businesses. We call that Financial Fluency.
The combination of role playing and the analysis of real business scenarios, created a wonderful learning environment. Everyone was left with an appreciation of the power of the software tool and how important it is to talk the client’s language, instead of focusing on the numbers, focusing on the financial outcomes.
The main CART session was started by having each participant talk about, and writing down, what their major goal was for the next 12 months, as it applies to their consulting efforts. This created a robust discussion and set the tone for the next two days.
The three components included in every CART session are; presentation of Best Practices, Networking with like minded consulting accountants, and advanced learning.
There was a vigorous discussion of the book “Silos” by Patrick Lencioni. Not only did the book content address consulting issues, it was not lost on the group that maybe there might be “Silos” within their own practices.
A presentation of the Talent selection and development assessment system, called “TriMetrix HD” was next up. The group worked in small group to come up with the “Key Accountabilities” for a consulting accountant within a Public Accounting firm. This facilitation had three goals, one to generate a benchmark for hiring and developing consultant within an Accounting Firm, secondly to practice facilitating a group to come to consensus on an issue, and thirdly to give the group an overview of the TriMetrix HD system.
There were many best practices presented by members of the group. These included new software tools, internal communication methodology, and descriptions of consulting engagements.
It was a great meeting, it’s always a treat to spend time with our favorite clients and we look forward to our next get together in Napa, CA in January, 2012.