What's Next For Accounting? - Issue #137

🤖 Are The Algorithms We Use Dying?

This week saw the largest ever leak of how Google’s search ranking work. It opens the door to SEO being gamed more than ever before.

It comes at a time when Google search is as bad as its ever been. Most searches yield mixed results, many being articles of SEO word soup.

Google also massively dropped the ball on AI enabled search, something ChatGPT has been doing well for a while. We knew SEO could be on the way out, but this week’s events may accelerate that timeline.

So as an accountant, how do you find people online when algorithms stink, and SEO is falling apart?

The answer may be a return to direct channels.

Patreon CEO Jack Conte recently gave a talk about the death of the follower. How algorithms now predict what you want, rather than giving you the choice.

What was once a curated feed is now general nonsense with the occasional video you can’t unsee.

This is bad, because information diets should be curated intentionally. We are programmed by what we consume. And when we don’t have control over what we consume, well, that’s dangerous.

The last decade we struggled with what’s true. Now AI is now leading us to grapple with what’s real.

And the only solution I can imagine is trust. People will follow and consume what they trust, possibly in more direct ways than ever before.

Jonathan Stark includes this really smart snippet at the bottom of his LinkedIn posts:

I believe the future of media is what we’d today call micro-influencers. The people who have maintained trust, in a world that’s too confusing to know what to trust.

And like it or not if you run a service business you’re already an influencer. We can either run from this reality, or start leaning into building trust at scale!

💎 This Week's Sponsor

Watch Jason’s 5 minute demo 👇

📅 This Week

  • Hanging in Nashville today with Moore North America talking AI!

  • I’ll very briefly be at Engage next week, and would love to see you there. I’ll be hanging in the expo hall Mon-Tues

  • I shared some tips for a firm that nearly tripled in size in the last three years

  • Congrats to Relay who raised a $32M series B

  • In a world where everyone is shouting at you about what you should be doing, a solid bet is doubling down on your best clients - here’s a guide for how to do so Video Audio

  • I soft launched a hiring platform last week and we’re closing in on 100 submissions, the idea:

    • My content attracts progressive firms

    • 95% of accountants who find my content work for a legacy firm

    • Before they leave the profession or waste a decade in a dead end job, we match them with progressive firms

    • Early feedback has been awesome, and we’re excited to build on this further to slow legacy firm driven leakage

  • How i used trial days to avoid bad hires

  • Teal raised $8M to build the “Stripe of Accounting” - it adds to a list of recent co’s who have raised money around the idea of embedded accounting built into banking, SAAS apps etc

  • Canva just raised the bar for music-based promotion

  • Which is as good a time as any to remind you I have a full album on Spotify & Apple Music of lofi-remixes of the IRS hold music - it’s entirely royalty free, so you can use it as your firm’s hold music, at live events etc, and is ever-so-gradually taking the world by storm

🔮 Q&A

Is it worth naming your firm to attract a specific group? Link
Assuming your local regulatory authorities allow for it, YES. There’s a reason you don’t see on the soda aisle “Smith & Associates Cola”. Look for a name that helps prospective clients immediately understand what you do. Specificity is key. You wouldn’t stop to read a book titled “Wellbeing for Entrepreneurs”, but if you saw one titled “Wellbeing for Small Firm Owners Who Read Jason’s Newsletter” you’d stop dead in your tracks. Name it for a specific person. There’s more of them than you think.

How much experience do career changers need to start a firm? Link
Look for the quickest way to get some experience to validate this is a thing you actually want to do. Non-accountants buy firms all the time. To me the thing you really want to iron out is whether you’ll actually enjoy doing so. Lean hard into networking through local groups, conferences and online communities.

Pros and cons of starting your own firm versus buying a practice? Link
When buying a practice you'll spend significant time and energy integrating the people, processes & systems of a firm, which you may enjoy, or may kill you. Building from scratch takes longer but allows you to implement the technology you want from the start and attract clients aligned with your approach. If it’s me, I’m going to optimize for lifestyle over an arbitrary revenue goal. In my case that meant acquiring a firm.

😍 From The Community

My private peer networking community Realize for firm leaders, and it’s now reached its cap of 500 members 🎉

▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮ 500/500 members