This page answers all the questions we have been asked by accountants so far. Hopefully it will answer yours too!
Who is eligible?
All UK professional accountancy practices are eligible. It is as simple as that. Currently practices outside the UK are not eligible, however we hope to be able to extend eligibility to them in the future.
Is it really all free to us? And what’s the catch?
Yes it really is all free. And there is no catch.
What type of accountancy firm is it suitable for?
Any values driven accountancy practice that genuinely wants to make a difference. Size, location and age are all irrelevant, the only thing that matters is that you want to make a difference.
Are there commercial benefits to us from being involved?
Yes, very much so, because one of the profound truths in business is that “profits are a consequence”. But please don’t get involved solely because of the commercial benefits. Get involved because you care. Get involved because you want to make a difference. Get involved because it is the right thing to do.
However, because “profits are a consequence” of doing the right things for the right people in the right way, once you are involved you will also benefit commercially in these 8 ways:
Can accountants really change the world?
Categorically yes. As Sir Richard Branson says “businesses are so much better equipped to change our world than anyone else’. And committed accountants are the ‘wind beneath the wings’ of those businesses. So as an accountant you truly can change our world, one tiny step at a time. You can. And we fervently hope you will.
(For further specific insights into how you can change the world see the other FAQs on this page)
Isn’t changing the world about doing big things, not little things?
For most of us doing big things is too much too hope for. But little improvements are within our grasp. And progressively those little improvements add up… to big improvements. For example, helping a business owner to add a few thousand pounds to their bottom line may save an employee’s job or pull the business owner back from the brink of a breakdown. Giving hope to a street child may make the streets safer for everyone by preventing them turning to crime, drugs or child prostitution. And reducing the carbon emissions of a business by just one tonne will still fractionally reduce the risk of global warming and environmental catastrophe.
Each of these tiny steps really does make a difference. And lots of these tiny steps, taken by you and by others, will make a big difference. So, by taking tiny steps, and doing little things, together we really can change the world.
Can we really honour the commitment to help make things better for business owners, their families and the economy?
Categorically yes. Firstly, you may already have your own business advisory/consulting insights and processes you can use to help business improve their sales, profits, cashflow and growth (for example, as a result of being an AVN member). But even if you don’t, the benchmarking and profit improvement review system you will receive for free once you become Accountants Changing the World will give you enough to be able to sit down and help clients develop an action plan for improving their profits. And that alone really can help to make things better for them, their families and the economy.
Can we really honour the commitment to help make things better for the environment?
Categorically yes. The UK government has funded a huge variety of publications, initiatives and self-help tools all designed to give businesses what they need to take action to make things better for the environment. The problem is that most businesses don’t use them because they don’t know about them. So the Sustainability Audit system you will receive for free gives you a simple structured way of tapping into all of those government funded resources. As such, despite the fact that it requires no previous knowledge of any kind, it really does make it quick and easy for you to be able to help any business develop an action plan for reducing their carbon footprint and environmental impact. And in that way you really will help to make things better for the environment.
Can we really honour the commitment to help make things better for those in need?
Categorically yes. The giving system you will receive as Accountants Changing the World will show you exactly how to connect your business in a profound way to the good causes you choose to support. And that in turn will give you all the insights you need to help other businesses to do the same. And in this way you really will help to make things better for those in need.
Is it OK to focus on making things better for local businesses, the local environment and local people in need?
Of course it is. The businesses you help to become more successful and reduce their environmental impact will almost certainly be based near to you anyway. And the good causes and people in need that you help can also be local if that is your preference. You will still be changing the world.
What exactly are Accountants Changing the World expected to do for businesses for free?
You will receive all the free tools and resources you need so that, as a minimum, you are able to commit to doing three things for free:
Why should we do these things for free?
For three reasons:
Who in our firm needs to sign the commitment document?
In order to get complete buy-in, ideally the commitment document should be signed by every single person in the firm. But as a minimum it must at least be signed by every single partner, director and owner.
How long does the commitment last?
Whilst we hope your involvement will be long term, there is no obligation for it to be. In fact you can opt out at any time. If you wish to continue long term, then you will need to renew your commitment annually.
How will you police whether firms are honouring their commitments?
There is no ‘Big Brother’ here. Since you are professionals for whom integrity and honesty are fundamental requirements, this is essentially a self-certified and self-policing initiative. So if you ever feel that you no longer have the desire or ability to live up to you commitments, you should simply tell us that you want to withdraw.
What happens if we want to stop?
Your licence to use the free resources will come to an end, and your firm’s details will be removed from the online directory of Accountants Changing the World.
How does this fit with what AVN firms already have and do?
AVN members already have access to most of the resources provided to Accountants Changing the World (the main exception to this being the work experience and internship system that has been created specifically for this initiative).
However, whilst the resources are not new to AVN members, the joined up thinking here hopefully means that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. When used together in this way we believe that the positive impact on your firm will be significantly bigger than if you had used the resources in isolation.
Who is behind it?
Accountants Changing the World is the personal brainchild of Chartered Accountant Steve Pipe. Steve is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading strategic advisers to the accountancy profession, and has received over 300 testimonials on LinkedIn. He is also a founder member of the Accountants’ Global Advisory Panel.