Rhondalynn is the founder of businest® & Make the SHIFT™, a lawyer, accountant, business coach, author, & keynote speaker specialising in cash flow and making the shift to advisory. She helps accountants and bookkeepers attract better and higher paying clients by making the shift to value priced advisory engagements. She can help you put strategies in place to grow your practice and ensure your clients would never think of going elsewhere.
Recent episodes featuring Rhondalynn Korolak
Value pricing panel becomes value pricing consultation 🎙 Live at QuickBooks Connect
SponsorsIntuit QuickBooks https://cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/quickbooks Show Notes 02:05 – Meet Lee and Mary from Breakwater Accounting and Advisory! 02:48 – Meet Rhondalynn, author of "Pricing Value"  03:50 – Rhondalynn speaks to some of the challenges when it comes to adopting a value-pricing model 05:19 – How can you do value pricing if you never talk about value?  06:21 – Breakwater's challenge in moving to value pricing - really understanding the true value of the services they provide 08:31 – Another challenge for Breakwater has been the pricing itself, and how to determine their value on a per-client basis 09:29 – People only pay for what they value  10:22 – What does it cost a client - personally, financially, or strategically - to not have a solution to their problem?  11:54 – It doesn't take a lot of time to figure out when clients are solely focused on cost, and not value 12:52 – Peace of mind is one of the most difficult values to put a price on 14:18 – A large majority of small businesses suffer cash-flow and working-capital pain. Focus on finding ways to solve for that pain, and showing them what they could be saving  15:32 – Rhondalynn gives a practical example of adding value and solving a client's pain point 17:20 – The value-pricing conversation is very different than the conversations clients typically have with accountants 18:14 – Adopting value pricing means moving clients  towards accountability and action - creating a valuable partnership   Connect with Lee, Mary, and Rhondalynn Lee Leonard Podolsky, President & Founder of Breakwater Accounting + Advisory LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lee-leonard-podolsky-b7958a90/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/lee_podolsky  Website: https://www.breakwatercorp.com/ Rhondalynn Korolak, Managing Director, Imagineering Now LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/imagineering/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/rhondalynn Website: https://imagineeringnow.com/ Mary Hambleton, Director of Operations, Breakwater Accounting + Advisory LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mary-hambleton-09a68918/ Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MEHamb  Website: https://www.breakwatercorp.com/ Get in TouchThanks for listening and for the great reviews! We appreciate you! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, please do us a favor and write a review on iTunes, or Podchaser. Interested in sponsoring the Cloud Accounting Podcast? For details, read the prospectus, and NOW, you can see our smiling faces on Instagram!  Meet Blake and David in person! Sadly, we do not have any 2020 travel plans as of yet.       Limited edition shirts, stickers, and other necessitiesTeePublic Store: http://cloudacctpod.link/merch  Subscribe Apple Podcasts: http://cloudacctpod.link/ApplePodcasts Spotify: http://cloudacctpod.link/Spotify Google Play: http://cloudacctpod.link/GooglePlay Stitcher: http://cloudacctpod.link/Stitcher Overcast: http://cloudacctpod.link/Overcast   Episode Art Photo Credit: Will Farnell https://twitter.com/willfarnell https://twitter.com/willfarnell/status/1191506218424176640/photo/1 TranscriptThis episode of The Cloud Accounting Podcast is sponsored by Intuit QuickBooks. Accounting professionals and bookkeepers have long been at the forefront of using cutting-edge technologies to take the profession to the next level and to ensure they're delivering the best possible service to their clients. Whether you want to grow your firm or sharpen your skills, Intuit QuickBooks provides you with the AI-driven products, services, and the resources that you need to help all sides of your career take shape. To learn more about how QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Online Accountant, QuickBooks Live Bookkeeping, and the ProAdvisor program can help you grow your practice and scale your impact, head over to CloudAccountingPodcast.promo/quickbooks. That is Cloud Accounting Podcast dot promo forward slash Q-U-I-C-K-B-O-O-K-S. QuickBooks - Backing you.Rhondalynn Korolak: People wanna do all kinds of crazy, silly stinkin' thinkin' to do it, and they just can't make the transition. Blake Oliver: Welcome to The Cloud Accounting Podcast. I'm Blake Oliver. David Leary: I'm David Leary. Lee Podolsky: Lee Podolsky. Mary Hambleton: I'm Mary Hambleton. Rhondalynn Korolak: Ronald Baker. [00:01:00] No, just kidding. Rhondalynn Korolak.  Blake Oliver: Hey, Rhondalynn. Thanks for joining us so much! This is the end of day one, the Accountant Day, at QuickBooks Connect.  David Leary: We've made it. Blake Oliver: We made it. Rhondalynn Korolak: Woo hoo!  David Leary: A full day of recording. It's very exciting. You have to roll with the flow at big conferences like this because everybody's schedules change. People don't show up to interviews; people have personal things. But it's great because, Blake, we have to just go with the flow. Blake Oliver: We're gonna go with the flow. Two of our interview subjects could not [00:01:30] be subjected to the podcast today, so we have some substitutes. David Leary: But it was meant to be because we were gonna have a podcast to talk about value pricing. Blake Oliver: Yeah. David Leary: Rhondalynn wrote a book recently on value pricing. I was like, "This is gonna be awesome. We're gonna have the three thought leaders on value pricing," and two couldn't show up ... Blake Oliver: Yeah.  David Leary: But a fan of the podcast showed up, and her firm is currently moving from the billable hour to value pricing. Blake Oliver: So, Lee and Mary, are you at the same firm? Lee Podolsky: We are.  Blake Oliver: Give us your full [00:02:00] names again and tell us about your firm so that we've got a little context here. David Leary: Yeah.  Lee Podolsky: I'm Lee Podolsky, President of Breakwater Accounting and Advisory in Wilmington, Delaware. We do outsourced bookkeeping and accounting for small to mid-sized businesses, non-profits, and, most recently, family offices. Mary Hambleton: I'm Mary Hambleton, and I'm the Director of Operations at Breakwater. We're trying to move towards value pricing; we're looking to be more profitable and offer more value to our clients. Blake Oliver: Fantastic, and how [00:02:30] many staff/partners/people at your firm?  Lee Podolsky: Currently, we have 31 on staff and two interns. Blake Oliver: And Rhondalynn, for our listeners who may not be as familiar with you and what you're up to, what brings you to the value-pricing discussion today? Rhondalynn Korolak: Oh, look, I think, earlier this year, I published a couple of books and a workbook called "Pricing Value,"  and "Implementing Pricing Value." It's being distributed out of ... It's my first New York publishing contract. Blake Oliver: Ah, congratulations!  Rhondalynn Korolak: Everything [00:03:00] I've done has been very Australia-focused. But Ron Baker has taken me under his wing, and the guys at VeraSage introduced me to my first publisher. That book is actually going into all the universities and business schools in about 26 different countries because of that deal. So, it's pretty cool that we're gonna teach accountants, right from the get-go, how to price properly. Blake Oliver: Wow. That's gonna pay dividends down the road. That's great. David Leary: To those accountants and bookkeepers-  Blake Oliver: To those accountants and bookkeepers, yeah. For those of us who are learning it now, what can we distill, in [00:03:30] 20 minutes of a podcast episode, when it comes to moving from the billable hour to a value-pricing model? What are the challenges that you are seeing in the American market? I guess maybe that's a good place to start. Then we can hear what Mary and Lee- what their experience has been, as well. Rhondalynn Korolak: Look, I think there are many challenges; the biggest of which is people's mindset. Everyone comes into this thing with a lot of baggage. [00:04:00] When we're doing "Pricing Value," you're not actually learning something from the beginning. It's not as if you didn't know how to speak Spanish yesterday, and you are now learning how to speak Spanish. We actually have to unlearn all of the bad habits that we had that were around the concepts of hourly or cost-based pricing before we can do value pricing, or pricing value properly.  That's a big thing because it takes a lot to shake bad habits. So, that would be the big one for me. People [00:04:30] wanna hang onto time sheets. People wanna do all kinds of crazy, silly, stinkin' thinkin' to do it, and they just can't make the transition. The second is you need to control your own bloody fear. The biggest thing I hear is people saying, "I don't think I'm worth it. I don't think I can do it. My clients are price-conscious." Hang on a second here ... It ain't about you. The value isn't about your value; it's about what is it worth to the customer? So, we need to reframe that conversation. We get to the value of what it's worth ... How [00:05:00] thirsty is the customer? Is the customer at their home, where they can get a glass of water, or are they basically crawling across the desert after not having drank anything for 48 hours in 40 degrees Celsius heat, dying of dehydration? The level of value is different for those two different people. We need to get to the heart of that. We need to have better value conversations. Everybody just wants a price. We were in the panel discussion and someone said, "I'm value pricing ..." I knew things were gonna go bad as soon as I heard them this ... “.. value pricing, and we [00:05:30] sent out a letter to 700 clients telling them that our prices are going up." Well, I got news for you. You're not value pricing, if you're not pricing every single client individually. You can't just send out a mass email and then try to sell the value in the back door. The value has to be set, and established, and agreed upon before you ever quote. Premature quotation is just as bad as premature ejaculation, and there ain't no blue pill for it, right?  Blake Oliver: That's gonna be the clip at the beginning of this episode. [00:06:00] David Leary: Episode title ... Blake Oliver: On that- that's a great transition point now. So ... Rhondalynn Korolak: No one wants to talk after that ...  Blake Oliver: So, Mary, Lee, where is your firm now in that whole journey? What's the status? Mary Hambleton: So, we have been working towards value pricing. We definitely don't wanna be ... We're not doing billable hourly anymore, but a lot of times [00:06:30] when we're figuring out our pricing, or how we have figured it out in the past is we're figuring out how many hours do we think this will take? Then we're coming up with our price, and then we're giving them that quote. Blake Oliver: Right. So, that's not really value pricing [crosstalk] Mary Hambleton: Right. We're saying- we know that's not the way to do it, so we're working towards getting away from that and understanding the knowledge that we have is something that they don't have and letting them do what they do well, so we can do what we do well, but we should get paid to do what we do well. Blake Oliver: What are the biggest obstacles for [00:07:00] you when it comes to actually making that vision happen of doing the value pricing? Lee Podolsky: I think just getting comfortable with the conversation to have with each client. As we get more confident each time, I think we'll get better and better at that. We already are very focused on each client relationship - getting to know them, what their pain points are, and everything - so it's just sort of moving that along towards our pricing in how we do [00:07:30] proposals and have that conversation upfront. So, it's a learning process for sure. David Leary: Did you have to let go of any clients? Mary Hambleton: Yes- David Leary: You have?  Mary Hambleton: We have.  Blake Oliver: So, there were clients that just said, "I don't wanna switch"?  Lee Podolsky: They didn't value- Right, and they didn't have the value; they just weren't a good fit for us because they didn't have the value for what we were providing to them, and it just wasn't a good fit. David Leary: Did they give you the axe, or did you kinda fire them? Mary Hambleton: We fired them [crosstalk] yeah. Lee Podolsky: In a nice way. David Leary: Yeah, yeah ...  Blake Oliver: What [00:08:00] kind of services are we talking about here? Bookkeeping? Accounting? Lee Podolsky: Yep. We do bookkeeping, payroll processing, controller services; anything up to the tax returns. We don't do tax returns. Blake Oliver: So, no tax in the firm at all? Mary Hambleton: No tax.  Lee Podolsky: No. By choice.  Blake Oliver: Oh, interesting. I see ...  David Leary: What has been the hardest, hardest thing so far? Has it been selling it internally to your team? Has it been killing your time sheets? As you move on this journey, what's been the hardest thing [00:08:30] for you? Mary Hambleton: I think figuring out what's the right price, what's the right package to put together for a client, and then, do you offer multiple ones? Do you look at each client individually and figure out what they need? A lot of times when people come to us, we've been fortunate that they're coming to us. We're not having to go out looking for clients, but it's always an emergency, and sometimes, we don't have the luxury of time to figure out what they need. We need to solve an emergency right away.  Blake Oliver: Right. Yeah, Rhondalynn, hat is something [00:09:00] that I always had a challenge with when I was trying to value price - and I'm not sure I ever really, really did it - was somebody comes to me, and I need to get working right away. Under the hourly model, it was easy, right? I just tell them my rate; I get going; I start billing them. With value pricing, I have to have this big conversation, understand all of their needs, and try to ... It just seems like it takes a lot more time. Do you have any tips?  David Leary: Do you have to give some value away for free? Rhondalynn Korolak: I [00:09:30] think that helping someone clarify and quantify what it's worth to them, right? I think that, first of all, one price is always gonna be the wrong price, so that's job number one. You should never, ever, ever be giving somebody one price. It should always be a set of three prices, and there's reasons for that. Question number two is around this value thing. People pay only for what they value, and it doesn't require you'd have an hour-long conversation to get to the heart of value with a client. At the end of the day, what [00:10:00] you need to establish, in a nutshell, is one very simple thing, and it's often missed by a lot of people - what is the cost to that client of continuing to ignore the problem or not have the solution? If you can just ask questions that get to that one thing, you can value price. Blake Oliver: Because they'll be willing to pay anything less than the price of not fixing the problem is the ... That's the baseline. Rhondalynn Korolak: Correct. The biggest drama that I see- people say, "Oh, somebody didn't like my price, or somebody didn't see the value." It's because you have not assisted [00:10:30] them to quantify and acknowledge what it actually costs them - personally, financially, or strategically - to not have the answer to that problem. If you can do that, you can value price. Then you want to think about things like deal-breakers. I would wanna throw in ... What you wanna do is you wanna create so much economic value, it's a bloody no-brainer for them to do it, right?  What you're trying to do is you're trying to create a situation where your economic value is so huge, you immediately disqualify your competitors. That could include [00:11:00] a lot of things. Like if somebody came to you, and if it was for a tax return, you could be saying ... They could say, "Well, I'm really afraid - because I'm running a tech company, and I've got this R&D thing - that I'm gonna get audited." Well, then you just take audit insurance, and you make that part of the value of your package. You're looking for their deal-breakers. What causes David to walk away from this? That is part of the value. But you've gotta think ... You've gotta practice this, and think on your feet, and ask the right questions, but it shouldn't take you hours to get to value for something [00:11:30] specific. Somebody comes to you, and they're like, "If I don't have my financial statements turned around, I can't buy my dream home." "Oh, okay. So, what would it be worth to you?" You start to have that conversation. You can get to the heart of value pretty quick.  David Leary: Have you guys had a conversation like that? Do you ask your clients? Mary Hambleton: We ask them a lot more, I think, in the initial conversation about what their business is about, or what their struggle ... I mean, I guess we do- what they're struggling with ...  Lee Podolsky: Right. We're listening to them and their pain points. We can identify right away if [00:12:00] they're just focused on price; that's the cost and not ... It's trying to get them past that and talking to them about what really is driving them. But what I think would be really helpful for us is sort of more of the tactical- the types of questions to be drawing that information out. So, maybe we'll be reading your [crosstalk] Rhondalynn Korolak: When you read "Pricing Value," I sort of explain it. Then, in the workbook, I basically literally have created a set [00:12:30] of checklists and scripts; everything is color-coded. It's like, "Ask these questions and then take this information ..." and that goes to economic value. So, it's like a road map to implement it. Blake Oliver: So, Mary and Lee, we've got a little bit time. You basically have a free consulting session right now with Rhondalynn. Do you have any-  Mary Hambleton: I was just thinking the same thing.  Blake Oliver: Do you have any questions that you would like to ask her to help you with your value-pricing journey? Lee Podolsky: Well, so we really are working on this in our firm right now, in our strategic planning for the next five years. One [00:13:00] thing that came out when we're talking about what we're offering is something that is possibly hard to quantify - the peace of mind; like having clients tell us, "I can finally sleep at night." That peace that ... How do you put a dollar on that? I don't know, but that is something that comes up a lot. Blake Oliver: It's like a MasterCard commercial - it's priceless. Mary Hambleton: Yes, yes. It's priceless.  Rhondalynn Korolak: Not all pain is financial. There's personal, and strategic, as well. So, when you're dealing [00:13:30] with something like that, you would wanna be asking questions ... "If you were able to get a good night's sleep, what would that be worth to you?" Or, "If you were not getting woken up every night because of these things, how much extra time would you have?" You can start to back your way into questions around that to get more specificity. Blake Oliver: You mean actually asking the clients, "What is that worth to you?"  Rhondalynn Korolak: Yeah, straight out. It's on the script. It's just straight out? I just ask ... I say, "Look, when you thought about acquiring a solution to this problem that we're talking about right [00:14:00] now, what is the most difficult thing associated with finding the solution?" [crosstalk]  David Leary: If I'm an accountant or bookkeeper, that's a very scary question for me to ask my client because I'm afraid that they might say, "It's only worth $200 a month to me ..." It's a scary- to ask an open-ended question of my client like that, it's a little scary. Rhondalynn Korolak: Look, a lot of the pain that our clients are in is pretty big, right? When you take a look  ... Because I'm talking about cash flow tomorrow, so I've done a lot of stats in America and compared them to what I know about Australia. 87 [00:14:30] to 93 percent of small businesses have severe cash-flow and working-capital pain. If you start to actually figure out how much cash is trapped in their business, if you start to figure out how much interest-carrying charges they're doing ... I did a pricing session last night for a bunch of people, pre-con ... We sat down, and we practiced. One of the ladies said, "Oh, it's costing us $560 a month in credit cards because we're not able to pay our credit card." The interest alone was $560 a month. Well, now you know, right, and you ... Lost [00:15:00] opportunity costs ... If you don't collect your debts quick in your business, you actually possibly have to hire somebody and pay a wage to hire somebody in your accounting department to try to collect money, that's a lost cost that you- it's not even on your radar. You start to add up all of these things - opportunity costs, interest-carrying costs, debt factoring, the cost of somebody- receivables chasing stuff - that's a lot of money, and if you add that up ... The whole point is you get your client to acknowledge [00:15:30] the magnitude of those losses. I had a client ... I'm just gonna take this back to when I was coaching SMEs, right? I had this client that was a $24 million electrical contractor. So, it's a big company, but they were carrying $2 million of receivables a month at 92 days to collection. I kept telling them, "You need to collect your debts quicker," and they all sat there going ... One day, I went in and said, "It costs you $234,000 that you're flushing down the toilet every single year because you haven't collected your debts." Well, boom! I had their attention because [00:16:00] I said, "If you got that money, you could both pay your mortgages off." So, we need to make it ... If someone's problem is $234,000, it's not that hard to tell them, "Oh, and by the way, my cost to you to fix this here and put all the systems in place will be $40,000. Thank you very much. I take Visa, MasterCard and check." David Leary: So, you guys said you're starting to go for family offices. Is that because there's opportunity to- there's just more money in that? What made you choose the family offices? Lee Podolsky: Actually, by just by being asked [00:16:30] several times. Actually, the services that we provide to the family offices are very similar. We already have the set-up, and the technology, and everything to do this for our business clients, so it's an easy addition to be using. It's just a different client segment that has a lot more concern around security, and confidentiality. Blake Oliver: Any other questions? Lee Podolsky: I guess my only other question would be around  ... To me, it sounds like we would- we're almost talking to them about the return on their investment. They invest [00:17:00] in us, and this is what they would get in return. Is that right? Rhondalynn Korolak: Yeah, it's about a whole bunch of things. It's about their feelings, the solutions to their pain points, and the desired transformations in their business. "You're right here and you wanna get to there. How is that gonna happen?" So, it's more than just pain points; it sort of encompasses ...  Lee Podolsky: It's interesting because that's a very different conversation than they're used to ever having with an accountant, or attorney, or anything. [00:17:30] So, it is gonna rock them a little bit- Mary Hambleton: For sure.  Lee Podolsky: Because they're so used to ... "Well, I've got these proposals from these three firms," and they're trying to sort of match it all together; so, to just veer it to that conversation and really get them engaged in that is key.  Mary Hambleton: Yep, absolutely. Rhondalynn Korolak: Well, and don't be afraid to shy away from this stuff ... I've done a three-hour session at QB Connect in Sydney and Melbourne several times, and I did one last night for pre-con. It is not uncommon to see tears. One [00:18:00] of the participants that was in the workshop felt uncomfortable about that, and I said, "Look, we need to be asking these questions because they may have never voiced these concerns and fears that they have to a single other human being on the planet."  When you know that, and you've developed that rapport with them, you now have leverage; leverage in two ways - leverage, because you know what to price it, but also, they are extremely motivated to fix the problem. If somebody doesn't realize they have a problem, they've got all the procrastination and excuses in the world, but [00:18:30] if you can help them crank it up and realize that this is a $234,000 problem, you're gonna get action. You wanna get action because you don't wanna do the work. When you transition to value pricing, the whole thing is also about them being accountable, and stepping up, and taking action in their own business. It's not your responsibility to fix the problems. They need to step up, as well, too, and that's part of it. Lee Podolsky: Well, it makes it a true partnership? Rhondalynn Korolak: Yeah, a collaboration. David Leary: Lee, and Mary, how do people get a hold of you if they're listening to the podcast, and they wanna contact you? Lee Podolsky: You [00:19:00] can visit our website, which is BreakwaterCorp.com.  David Leary: Rhondalynn, how would people get a hold of you? Rhondalynn Korolak: At PricingValue.co [crosstalk]  David Leary: What about Twitter? Rhondalynn Korolak: My name -@Rhondalynn. There's probably only one of me, so it's the easy one. David Leary: Perfect and enjoy the rest of the QuickBooks Connect!  Mary Hambleton: Thank you so much!  Lee Podolsky: Thank you.  Rhondalynn Korolak: Thank you.  Blake Oliver: Thanks for joining us!  David Leary: Bye, everybody. 
Ep. 10: Rhondalynn Korolak - The Skills Needed to Thrive in Accounting and Business
Contact Rhondalynn:LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/imagineering/Rhondalynn's Work & Recognition: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/11/prweb13878827.htm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb2rqTL4QW8&feature=youtu.be https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3rRoQUxb5g&feature=youtu.be Finalist - Best Digital Start Up - 23rd annual AMY Awards Top 3 Finalist - Female Fintech Leader of the Year, Excellence in Data and Artificial Intelligence Top 10 Cloud Accounting Apps of 2016 Top 10 Small Business Apps of 2016 FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPTMusic: (00:00) Mitch: (00:05) Thanks for joining us for another episode of Count Me In as we bring you the latest perspectives on all things affecting the accounting and finance world. If there are other topics relating to accounting and finance that you're interested in hearing about or if you have questions from the industry that you'd like answered, please let us know by leaving a review and a comment or dropping us an email at podcast@imanet.org I am your host, Mitch Roshong and I'm joined by my cohost, Adam Larson. This week's featured guests joined us all the way from Melbourne, Australia and talked to you, Adam, about optimizing advisory services and client value. Tell us a little bit more about your conversation. Adam: (00:44) That's right. Mitch. Rhondalynn was kind enough to join us from Australia and discussed how our accounting background has helped her become a successful business professional with a unique teaching methodology. She helps individuals Excel in their careers by adapting to the evolving industry and future proofing themselves. Later parts of our discussion we'll tie in said that same idea as she discusses how these skills can be applied to positively effect small businesses and help others to also teach accountants. Rhondalynn is a well rounded accounting and finance professional with experience in tax, business development, operations and business coaching in addition to legal knowledge. It was a fascinating conversation that will span two episodes. So let's listen to part one now.   Music: (01:30) Adam: (01:33) So you have extensive experience in various areas of accounting, business operations, advisory through your time. What skills and resources have proved to be most important in becoming a successful accounting or business professional? Rhondalynn: (01:46) Oh, that's a excellent question because there's probably almost too many to name, but if I had to pick the top ones, this is probably how I would approach it. From the perspective of accounting, the thing about us as accountants, you know, we're numbers people, we love the numbers. You know, cash-flow was either right or it's wrong. So we're all about accuracy and numbers and that's fantastic when you're in an accounting profession or in an accounting job. But if you want to make the transition to helping small businesses or providing advice or coaching them or whatever you want to call that, transition. The thing is, is that we actually need skills that are diametrically opposed to the ones we're good at. So for me it's about figuring out how do we transition from being fantastic at accuracy to the other end of the spectrum which is managing uncertainty. And so I'm all about, you know, how do we make those transitions across? Because most of the things that we require, in my estimation to be really, really good in what accounting has kind of evolved to over the years really involves us relearning and unlearning a whole bunch of stuff that served us well in the past, but doesn't really apply or isn't really applicable to this kind of new job that we find ourselves in. You know, disruption has changed what I believe and what most people believe. It means to be an accountant. It's more now about accountability and it is about the accounting. So I think the biggest skill that I've learned is adaptability. You know, being able to actually unlearn things and relearn things and be flexible and change with the times. Adam: (03:41) So how do you make yourself adaptable? you know, especially for those who are, who have been accounting in accounting for their whole lives and been stuck in one role and then they're suddenly thrust into this other thing where they have to apply their skills in another area and then they're not used to that change. How what advice would you give them? Rhondalynn: (03:59) Well, you can't really learn to swim by reading a book on swimming. So the only way that you can become more adaptable is to basically get pushed into the deep end. You know, you've got to be put in situations where you need to react and you've got to see how you do react. You know, you can take courses. I know a lot of what we do. So I do quite a bit of training with accountants because people ask me this question all the time. And what I found is that sometimes we are not good in judging. We can't. Sometimes we have difficulty frankly in objectively assessing where we're really at. And so one of the things I like to do when I'm working with accountants is to ask them questions, get them to do tasks or put them in situations where they can self assess their level of competency in these types of skills. So it doesn't really do any good to tell people, hey, you're not adaptable because people get their backs up. But if they can see for themselves that, hey, maybe I'm not as adaptable as I'd like to be, it opens the door for them to be in a welcome to have the learnings and coming in with a mindset that they can do it. So I think a lot of it is just, you know, taking courses or putting yourself in situations which are outside of your normal frame of the four corners that you have yourself boxed in and realizing that, hey, it's okay to feel like a fish out of water, but it's about how do we react to that and learn moving forward. I mean, adaptability is something that you will probably always be learning. You know it's not really a destination. You don't say, well, I've mastered adaptability and that's the end of it because there's always going to be a more uncomfortable situation or a more complex or unusual or unpredictable situation that you could be put in. So I think, you know, as we grow more problems and challenges come to us that push us to learn adaptability again and again and again. Adam: (06:12) That's great. And so, you know, with technology constantly advancing and many things changing the accounting industry and just all industries in general, you know, we've already talked about adaptability, but what other skills and strategies do you recommend to help, you know, future proof your career? Rhondalynn: (06:28) Accounting and disruption, it's easy to get carried away and think that this is the first time, right? But it isn't, you know, for anybody who's listening to this, that was old enough to have been around in the 80's when the desktop computer showed up. That was another disruption, a major disruption. And that disruption fundamentally changed the way we as accountants did our jobs because it put our clients in the position of wanting to have stuff at their own desks. You know, back in the olden days, people brought all their things to their accountants in shoe boxes and all sorts of stuff. But when the desktop computer showed up, they started taking back ownership of some of the data. And that led to the situation that we now find ourselves in where we are doing a lot of compliance and cleanup because the client can often input things, but they may not be correct. And so we're, you know, in the transitional phases of cleaning up a lot of, things that perhaps, weren't as good as they thought they were doing. And so I guess what's happened now is we're in another wave of massive disruption, but this one's quite different. The good news is we have a couple of choices. Number one, we can learn from the past. We can kind of remember what happened with the last disruption in the 80s and realize that, you know, we control our own destiny and it's time for us to step up as a profession and redefine ourselves. What it actually means to be a an accountant rather than having somebody else tell us what that entails. But it's about figuring out, you know, how do we adapt to the pace and the acceleration of all of these new innovations. Because you know, just recently QuickBooks announced that they were going into the live bookkeeping space and that, you know, frightened a lot of people. That was a, you know, that might have caused a lot of people to be very, very concerned because they were thinking about, you know, what's going to be next? Am I going to lose the bookkeeping work now? What's going to happen with that? How do I price myself to compete with that type of an audit offering? but there's AI and there's machine learning. I mean every day we open up our desktops to a new announcement about some new innovation that's been incorporated into a cloud accounting package that automates another thing that we might have charged for in the past. So it's easy to get caught up, I think mentally, in the fact that I need to keep pace with technology, I need to learn this package and I need to practice and learn this app. But at the actual, you know, foundation or inner circle of all this are actually two things that have nothing to do with technology and they are, in my estimation, more important. One is your pricing, right? and two is high touch, not high tech. And I believe that those are actually the solutions for this dilemma that we're facing. And I'm going to explain both of those now to you and tell you what I mean by that. Pricing is the fulcrum in your practice. It's easy for everybody to say, I need to learn new apps. I need to know how to market myself on social media because I need to find new customers. No, you don't. Actually, the very first thing that you need to do is you need to get your pricing right because pricing is the fulcrum. The pricing is the point at which you exert pressure to get maximum leverage in your practice. And if you don't have your financial model correct, meaning you are not charging your clients the correct amount of money based on the value that you deliver in the engagement, then you shouldn't be spending any money on marketing and it shouldn't be, you know, wasting a whole lot of time in technology. Because what you're going to find out is you're going to be attracting clients and you're going to be implementing technology and you aren't going to be getting paid for it or you're going to be getting paid less than you deserve or less than what the value is really worth to that client. And that's a huge dilemma because everybody wants to jump in and talk about technology and everyone wants to talk about marketing, but pricing is the fulcrum. Pricing is job number one in any accounting firm. It's about how do we get to the heart of value? How do we figure out what in the world is keeping our clients up at night? What's stressing them out? What are their pain points, what desire transformations do they mean and how do we create that value for them and capture some of it for our firms. So it's high touch, not high tech. And that's really, that's a tough pill for a lot of people to swallow because we are accountants. So we've been trained our whole career to focus on the numbers. But what I'm saying though is fundamentally different because pricing ain't a number, it's a feeling and high touch, not high tech is all about the conversation, right? It's about how do we interact and engage with our clients and really provide value. I think that unfortunately in our industry we have been given a Trojan horse, right? Somebody has paraded the horse in that horses technology and it has provided a formidable distraction for many people. And while I embrace technology and think that it's important part of us, you know, delivering more value because we want to automate the stuff that we shouldn't be spending time on. We want automation to do the heavy lifting so that we can focus on what's really important. But in order to do that, we have to train ourselves, right? Because we can't just keep falling back on the numbers of the past. You know, what transpired in the business. We have to fundamentally understand, what's a value to the client and they care about the future. You know? Yes, they care about their tax, you know, how much tax they have to pay and what their financial position looks like and all that stuff. But more importantly, what about the fact that they might just lose their number one customer or something's going to happen with, their supply chain. Maybe one of their suppliers is in trouble. It's about how do we help them circumnavigate all that stuff. That's what we should be getting paid for. You know I get cross when there's all this focus on, oh you need to use this dashboard and you need to use this KPI, all of that stuff. That's not what we should be getting paid for. That's not advisory. You know, selling a dashboard to somebody or giving them some numbers ain't advisory because the client is still looking to you and you're doing all the work. If your client's not doing any work and your client's not engaged and they're not taking action, guess what? You're still doing compliance. We should be getting paid to hold the hands of our clients and help them to achieve the result. You know, people often say to me, because I own my own tech solution called Businest that does the dashboarding and the forecasting and people always say to me, Rhondalynn, why doesn't your tool go deeper and tell the clients exactly which debts they should be collecting? And my answer to that is very, very simple because that ain't the problem. The problem isn't that you and I as accountants need to help client X go out and collect money from Bob, Susie and Edward. The problem is we should be helping them put systems in place in their business to prevent debt from actually becoming uncollectable in the future. That's advisory and no app can do that. You know the most powerful app that exists in this industry sits between your right and your left ear and we need to engage it. Announcer: (14:29) This has been Count Me In, IMA's podcast, providing you with the latest perspectives of thought leaders from the accounting and finance profession. If you like what you heard and you'd like to be counted in for more relevant accounting and finance education, visit IMA's website at www.imanet.org.
Rhondalynn Korolak – businest®: Get The Answers You Need To Run Your Business Better, Grow Profitably And Boost Cash Flow
Why you have to check out today’s podcast: Discover how Rondalynn is helping accountants understand how to add value and why she thinks branding, social media, and marketing are a waste of money  Know how Rondalynn helps accountants find their clients’ “thirst” and “hunger” and make their pains more painful  Get to know how neuroscience affects pricing that will let your clients say yes to your solutions  Rhondalynn Korolak is the Managing Director of businest, a simple and effective tool for greater time focus and profitable growth.  Rhondalynn is a lawyer, chartered accountant, best-selling author and business coach.  She has a wealth of 20 years of senior management and business coaching experience, which enabled her to uncover the secrets of business success.  She was able to produce a simple, step-by-step process to boost sales, bottom line and cash flow. Her consulting work focuses now in the accounting industry.   Rhondalynn shares a whole new concept of neuroscience affecting pricing.  Imagine making it easier for people to say yes to the value you will give without the tricks or any force to do it.  Further, she will provide in-depth discussions on the six C’s of pricing to effectively create value to your clients.  Listen as she connects the two concepts that she is passionate about - teaching accountants to ask questions and find value, and using emotions in making decisions.  Tune in as Rhondalynn will give exciting peeks of her best-selling books in today’s exciting episode.    "I don't spend all heaps of time on convincing.  Because if you can lay the proverbial breadcrumbs like a Hansel and Gretel, all the way along in the process, you shouldn't have a hard time to close people. They should be dying to say yes. If they're thirsty for what you have and you've got a glass of water, they'll pay any price for it. That's my philosophy.”  – Rhondalynn Korolak   Topics Covered: 01:40 – Sharing why she is passionate about helping fellow accountants to improve soft skills  02:57 – How she is helping the accountants to understand how to add value and why she thinks branding, social media, and marketing are a waste of money  03:59 – Mark discusses the three Cs of pricing   04:31 – Rhondalynn explains her six C's of pricing  05:38 – Why she thinks finding clients is a value desert, as described in Chapter One of her two books - Pricing Value and From Value Pricing to Pricing Value   06:48 – How she helps accountants find the “thirst” or “hunger” of their clients  08:30 – The compelling reason why Rhondalynn advises accountants to ask questions and listen to their clients first  10:28 – An interesting relationship between neuroscience and pricing  11:27 – What Price Club is all about and the rules of pricing  12:11 – Why she is passionate about neuroscience  13:04 – How she ties the two concepts of teaching accountants to ask questions and find value, and using emotions in making decisions  17:26 – Understanding cashflow so simple that a 6-year old kid can get it, as written in her book Financial Foreplay   18:22 – What a deal-breaker is and a few examples  20:07 – A price of pricing advice that would impact the business of the listeners      Key Takeaways:    “People make pricing decisions that are largely driven by survival and emotional cues.” – Rhondalynn Korolak  “That's why I'm really passionate about focusing on neuroscience because it's how we make it easier for people to say yes.  We're not trying to trick them into it. We're not trying to coerce them into it. We're just packaging up our message so much more in a simple fashion that it's just easy for the brain to go yet. I'm thirsty. I need that solution right now. I say, yes, that's it.” – Rhondalynn Korolak  “I’ve always believed that people tend to make that first decision emotionally and then they have to find a way to justify it.” – Mark Stiving  “If you go into the relationship thinking to value price something, you're going to make a mistake probably.  And that mistake is you're going to be thinking about, what do I need to get? I want you to go into that relationship thinking, how do I add more value? Adding more value first earns you the right to be able to put your prices up.  So please enter the relationship thinking about how are you going to create more value first and then the pricing is only 5% of it. That's the easy part.” – Rhondalynn Korolak  “Whether you need tier pricing and should your prices end on a nine. All that stuff is job number two. Job Number one is, please remember that your job is actually to add more value first.” - Rhondalynn Korolak    Check out and read Rhondalynn Korolak’s books:  Pricing Value: The Art of Pricing What Your Accounting Clients Value Most  From Value Pricing to Pricing Value: Using Science, Psychology, and Systems to Attract Higher Paying Clients to Your Accounting Firm  Financial Foreplay: Whip Your Business Into Shape - Take Home More Cash    Connect with Rhondalynn Korolak:  mailto:rhondalynn@businest.com  businest.com  LinkedIn  Twitter  Facebook    Connect with Mark Stiving  Email: mark@impactpricing.com  LinkedIn  Twitter   
2019 #16 Quickbooks Live and Pricing (special guests Rich Preece & Rhondalynn Korolak)
Join Hector & Andrew as they talk with Rich Preece of Intuit about the launch of Quickbooks Live.  Also, listen to a conversation about pricing with Australian guest Rhondalynn Korolak, author of "Pricing Value: The Art of Pricing what Your Accounting Clients Value Most". https://www.facebook.com/hectorgarciacpa/videos/10219694459779989/?lst=1472338004%3A1472338004%3A1566703163
#120: Getting Businesses To Take Action By Being Better Advisors with Rhondalynn Korolak
Are you one of the 9 out of 10 accountants that people avoid at dinner parties? Well this is the damming survey result on how poorly finance professionals are at communication and today's guest mentor Rhondalynn Korolak and I deconstruct a number of steps on how we can improve our communication styles to build better leverage and better create value for our clients and organisations. We also discuss • Why financial illiteracy in SMEs is a big problem for us accountants and how we’re not making it simple enough for people to understand the numbers, the huge dilemma we face and opportunity for us if we do it better; and • The importance of Pricing Value as opposed to the more detrimental approach of Value or Value-based Pricing. If you enjoyed this episode, check out our time-stamped show notes, key quotes, resources and ways to connect with our guest mentor and more at sitnshow.com/podcast/120. #FinancialMentor #SITN #ValueCreation #Finance #AccountingAndAccountants
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Jul 7th, 1967
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Episode Count
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4 hours, 6 minutes