Hello, I’m Kevin Appleby, The Business Accountant’s Mentor

Are you a trusted advisor in your business? Are you the person that the business team turn to for advice when they need to unpick a tricky business problem?

My mission is to help you become a 21st century business accountant. The trusted advisor. I’m a Chartered Accountant who has worked as a management consultant. I’ve been at the heart of business change projects for over 20 years, often supplying the numbers to the business team that their own finance people were unable to provide.

These days I still consult, but I spend most of my time passing these skills on to other accountants like you to help you become vital and remain relevant at a time when many of your traditional skills are no longer needed .

The challenge for the 21st century accountant is to be vital and not functional. If you are functional you risk extinction.

Remember the weaver?

No, didn’t think you would.

That’s because he became extinct early in the industrial revolution. Highly skilled and vital to the textile industry as he was, he was replaced by a machine.

The accountant could easily by the next weaver. Automation and AI are revolutionising the back office. You could be automated out of a job. In a future of driverless cars we won’t need accountants to crunch the numbers. Let’s face it, everything interfaces to everything else these days. Making tax digital? Automated filing of accounts? It’s happening already. All the functional jobs in the back office are disappearing.

So, are you a vital member of your business team? If not then you need to be. You need the skills that get you out of the back office.

Listen to Kevin Appleby every week on The Next 100 Days Podcast

The Next 100 Days Podcast is a leading UK business show. Through this podcast, Kevin and Graham reveal strategies you can use to improve your business and take it to the next level. In addition to featuring their own advice, Kevin Appleby and Graham Arrowsmith host amazing guests from across the business world. Often the guests are successful, but lesser-known business owners and entrepreneurs, enabling the show to bring fresh content and stand out from many of the US based business shows.

Graham and Kevin believe that business change comes about when a business owner focusses on just one thing that will make a real difference to his business. That might be product development, a new product launch or a marketing campaign. Focussing for less than 100 days, or focussing on too many things generally won’t deliver the results you need, Equally, its difficult to maintain effective focus for much longer than 100 days without re-assessing priorities.

The Next 100 Days Podcast is your source to learn how to move your business forward, with practical advice and guidance that you can put into action and make a difference in your own organisation within the next 100 days.

Business Goals

Half way to your 2019 goals? – 5 things to get you back on track

July has been and gone, and the holiday season is upon us. So how are you doing with all the things you wanted to achieve in 2019? Are you going to make your 2019 goals?   Whats left to do in the run up to Christmas? Will you get to where you need to be?   Now is a...
Strengthsfinder 2.0 play to your strengths do what you do best every day

Do you know your strengths?

When you work with your business colleagues you will be most effective if you play to your strengths, and to the strengths of others in your finance team.  But people are very quick to point out your weaknesses. Your annual appraisal most likely uses these to inform...
PESTELO analysis

Scanning the horizon – PESTELO or PESTLE?

PESTELO analysis isn't common in small businesses. There are plenty of situations where it should be. PESTELO adds an extra element to PESTLE analysis. PESTELO makes you look at whats happening in organisations on which your business depends. Let me explain: What is...
Hedgehog Concept learning to say no

Learning to say no

Which part of ‘no’ don't you understand? Working toward your Business Goal requires focus. If you want to go from good to great then very quickly you have to recognise that you must make tough choices. To be brilliant at the one or two things your customers really...
Key Performance Indicators KPI

Linking KPI to your economic engine

In the last post we looked at the Hedgehog Concept, and how it could be used to develop the vision, or Big Hairy Audacious Goal for your business. One of the elements of the hedgehog concept is the economic engine. Lets consider how we can start linking KPI to your...
Hedgehog Concept

Become brilliant with a Hedgehog

For most businesses, carrying on the way you have always done things is no longer an option, you need to change and adapt to survive. In this article we take a look at the hedgehog concept and see how that can help us . The world changes very very quickly. New...
Are you too busy to realise your goals?

Are you too busy to realise your goals?

When I ask small business owners about the challenges of taking their business to the next level there are usually three standard answers I need help setting goals that will get me there I need more sales, can you help me? I’m too busy keeping the business going to...
Your values must drive your business plan

Your values must drive your business plan

Over the past few days I've been giving a lot of thought to values, and how they need to form the basis of your business plan. This has mainly been due to a paper I'm writing for a client. However, It occurred to me that I'd never actually written down the values for...
Never select measures from a list of KPIs

Never select measures from a list of KPIs

If you are designing a scorecard or a performance dashboard you will, no doubt, be tempted to look at what other organisations measure. If you look around the internet there are lots of lists of KPI for all sorts of situations, for different industries, for different...

Good to Great in 5 Easy Steps?

If you want to take your business from good to great there are 5 key things you need to get right 1) Set a Vision. Clarity of where the business needs to go is vital. You need to take the business team on a journey to a destination. The business vision tells them...

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The Latest From The Blog

Do you know your strengths?

When you work with your business colleagues you will be most effective if you play to your strengths, and to the strengths of others in your finance team.  But people are very quick to point out your weaknesses. Your annual appraisal most likely uses these to inform...

read more

Scanning the horizon – PESTELO or PESTLE?

PESTELO analysis isn't common in small businesses. There are plenty of situations where it should be. PESTELO adds an extra element to PESTLE analysis. PESTELO makes you look at whats happening in organisations on which your business depends. Let me explain: What is...

read more

Learning to say no

Which part of ‘no’ don't you understand? Working toward your Business Goal requires focus. If you want to go from good to great then very quickly you have to recognise that you must make tough choices. To be brilliant at the one or two things your customers really...

read more

Linking KPI to your economic engine

In the last post we looked at the Hedgehog Concept, and how it could be used to develop the vision, or Big Hairy Audacious Goal for your business. One of the elements of the hedgehog concept is the economic engine. Lets consider how we can start linking KPI to your...

read more

Become brilliant with a Hedgehog

For most businesses, carrying on the way you have always done things is no longer an option, you need to change and adapt to survive. In this article we take a look at the hedgehog concept and see how that can help us . The world changes very very quickly. New...

read more

Are you too busy to realise your goals?

When I ask small business owners about the challenges of taking their business to the next level there are usually three standard answers I need help setting goals that will get me there I need more sales, can you help me? I’m too busy keeping the business going to...

read more

Your values must drive your business plan

Over the past few days I've been giving a lot of thought to values, and how they need to form the basis of your business plan. This has mainly been due to a paper I'm writing for a client. However, It occurred to me that I'd never actually written down the values for...

read more

Never select measures from a list of KPIs

If you are designing a scorecard or a performance dashboard you will, no doubt, be tempted to look at what other organisations measure. If you look around the internet there are lots of lists of KPI for all sorts of situations, for different industries, for different...

read more

Good to Great in 5 Easy Steps?

If you want to take your business from good to great there are 5 key things you need to get right 1) Set a Vision. Clarity of where the business needs to go is vital. You need to take the business team on a journey to a destination. The business vision tells them...

read more

The Big Hairy Audacious Goal or BHAG

“I need a BHAG? Whats a BHAG? Kevin you really have lost the plot this time, what on earth are you banging on about?” I can still hear the voice of my client, but he listened and worked with his team to set one at the start of developing their business plan. Later he...

read more

SWOT analysis: 4 easy steps to start a business plan

SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool for identifying and understanding the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats affecting your business. If you are starting up in business for the first time SWOT is a great way to start getting your mind around some...

read more

How to create a PESTLE analysis

The PESTLE analysis is a great tool to use as a starting point in developing business strategies and plans. It allows you to look at the market through a number of different perspectives and assess the changes that are likely to impact in the next 3-5 years, and...

read more

How to set business goals

Knowing your business goals is essential to Designing effective KPIs Good KPIs should measure the things that will help you achieve your goals. It follows logically that before determining what to measure we need to know where we want to go. Does your business have a...

read more

Performance Based Project Management

Here's an interesting new book, Performance Based Project Management, from Glen B. Alleman, author of one of my favourite blogs Herding Cats. Projects fail to meet goals for many reasons: poor time and budget performance, failure to deal with complexity, uncontrolled...

read more