Star performer: Anthony Bell Anthony Bell probably has the highest profile of any accountant in Sydney – perhaps in all of Australia. Bell, 43, isn’t head of some large conglomerate. Rather, he runs his own boutique advisory and accounting firm, Bell Partners, which he set up in 1997. A familiar presence on Channel Seven and other television and radio stations, Bell is a charismatic spokesperson for the accountancy profession, sought by the media for his ability to demystify complex financial issues for the masses. His practice also uses a business model that just may be the path to the future for others in the profession. Bell’s entry into the media wasn’t sought-after, he insists; it was more of a happy accident. “I was playing football at Randwick and met a lot of high-level sports people and we ended up looking after their tax,” he says. “Those guys then told the cricketers and then the AFL guys about us. That’s when we started to get a name as ‘accountants to the stars’.”

go here Friendships with film and TV celebrities pushed him further into the spotlight and, at some stage, the words were swapped around and Bell found himself labelled ‘celebrity accountant’ – a term he dislikes, but which he acknowledges has put the firm’s name out to a wider audience and meant Bell Partners has never spent a cent on advertising or PR.

best binary options signals 2017 source site Merit-based rewards

trading it Bell’s business model also stood out from the crowd right from the get-go. At a time when clawing your way up the greasy pole was dictated solely by qualifications and experience, Bell knew from working in his father’s accountancy firm for eight years that he wanted to run things differently. “I had brought a substantial number of clients into the business, but the standard remuneration surveys worked around age and qualifications only,” he says. “In my own firm, I wanted young employees to be promoted based on both quality and productivity.” Instead of recruiting staff with a few years’ experience under their belt, Bell is a great believer in employing graduates straight out of university and investing in training them up.

“We believe that you can teach leadership and we pay a cost for that; it’s an investment that has proven good for us,” says Bell. “I love promoting someone in their early 20s. It’s a policy entirely based on merit. We have 24 management teams now and about 18 of those are homegrown – people who have risen through the ranks.” Cross-discipline expertise

Deliberately setting out to create a mid-size, boutique firm, Bell has gathered around him not just a team of accountants, financial advisers and business consultants, but also lawyers, media advisers and experts in IT. A cross-section of talent is there to respond to clients’ varying needs. “Why recommend someone else when you could offer the service to them in-house?” asks Bell, who considers the biggest challenge facing accountancy firms in the future is to remain vital and responsive for clients.

He thinks a lot of accountants forget that they are working in a service industry. “People are looking for smarter and faster ways of doing things,” says Bell. “For example, data feeding is improving and becoming more accessible; small businesses have less need for their accountant at the end of year. So, we must do things to create value, stay current and evolve what we can deliver to clients.”

viagra i Kanada Leadership lessons

Aiming high, valuing relationships and treating people well were all in chapter one of the life lessons handed down by the most important person in Bell’s life – his mother. “Of all the influences in my career and that of my sister Karen [a director at Deutsche Bank], my mum has been the greatest,” he says. “She doesn’t come from a privileged background and has lived in the same house for the past 60 years,  but she is a natural-born leader and has given us stuff you can’t read in books.”

His parents split up when Bell was two, and the responsibility for raising the children largely fell to his mother. Bell says that with the guidance of a strong work ethic, she taught them how to handle money and how to invest. “Save when you can and spend when you need to” was one of her mantras. By the time they were 16, she had both of them working parttime in the local supermarket.

Another piece of matriarchal advice – “reward yourself in moderation” – might seem incongruous with Bell’s purchase of a multi-million-dollar yacht that has sailed in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, winning line honours for his crew in 2011. But the boat is central to the charity arm of Bell’s organisation, the Loyal Foundation. Set up in 2009, it has raised more than $4 million, most of which has gone towards purchasing children’s medical equipment in Australian hospitals.

Now with two children of his own following his marriage to TV presenter Kelly Landry in 2010, Bell says having a family has raised his motivation. “It’s dependency,” he explains. “If anything, it has fired me up more … Before, it was just me, but now I’ve got their education and welfare to think about, to make sure they have every opportunity. At the same time, I will teach them the same work ethic thing my mum had.” Staying relevant

Another big inspiration has been Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson (“I think I was one of the first people to get his book”), so when he was invited to join a group of entrepreneurs heading for Necker Island, Branson’s private Caribbean retreat, he didn’t think twice.

The lessons that Bell took away from that weekend of brainstorming and discussion will stay with him forever, he says. “Richard talked a lot about perpetual innovation. And although he’s recently had a setback with his commercial rocket program, a willingness to take risks, to always be the first and foremost, means that your brand will be relevant into the future.”

In one respect, Bell has no wish to emulate Branson. “I’m completely opposed to getting big; I always want to be a boutique firm,” he says. “I don’t want clients to feel like a number where they get pushed down the line from senior to middle-ranking staff. It’s not about being the biggest, it’s about being the best.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *