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Lessons Learned from Running a Global Accounting Network
Episode 237th November 2018 • Accounting Influencers Podcast • Rob Brown (Accounting Influencers Roundtable - AIR)
00:00:00 00:27:04

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Stephen Hamlet is CEO of Russell Bedford International. With twenty years’ experience in professional services, Stephen moved rapidly into business development roles with increasing responsibility, building a track record in re-energising, enhancing and expanding global membership organisations.

Having held leadership positions at international accounting associations over the past 10 years, Stephen has gained expertise in building international relationships and facilitating cross-border cooperation. He is a member of ICAEW, having qualified with a Top 20 accounting firm in London, after graduating from Exeter University with a Law degree.

As Chief Executive, Stephen assumes responsibility for developing Russell Bedford International on a global scale, including maximising membership benefits, strengthening the network, and maintaining its high reputation of quality.

Travelling around the world to various events, and to specifically meet and interact with colleagues of accounting firms at their local offices, is vital to the role. Conveniently, Stephen is passionate about travel, meeting people from various cultures, as well as keeping fit! Shownotes:

  • It’s only once other accountants get to know you and your accounting firm, it’s only then you’ll have the trust which produces introductions and referrals
  • How digitalisation and automation are changing the way accountants work
  • The best recruits for progressive accounting firms are accountants with people skills, sales skills and business development skills
  • What is the skillset of an accountant of the future?
  • Entrepreneurial flair – not a phrase normally associated with an accountant, but things are changing
  • Many accountancy firms still don’t appreciate the value of marketing and what it adds – these are the ones that will struggle as rivals overtake them
  • Accounting firms in every single country without fail has the challenge of recruiting or attracting the right accounting talent
  • Two tips for accounting firms differentiation – become specialists and becoming part of an international accounting network
  • Why networking skills and connections are so important for the very best accountants and accounting firms today
  • How technology is changing the game for accountants but actually represents huge opportunities to serve clients better
  • Digital is good – the machines are making the accounting world better, but they’ll never take over the people interaction
  • Best advice on driving change in turbulent times is to look after your young people
  • The way client expectations are changing for accountants, particularly if they want to be trusted advisors and a business friend
  • The importance of being the listener in a meeting – the person who concludes and summarises
  • How the game of chess can help your negotiating
  • Being nice to people – a very underestimated quality that makes things happen (although it’s hard to please everyone)
  • The frustration of people who don’t want to change and firms don’t want to advance – accountants cannot stand still!

When not globetrotting or helping firms generate new business opportunities, Stephen tries to relax at home with his love of music and guitars; but invariably fails due to interruptions from his 3 young boys all demanding unlimited amounts of attention. Find out more at or to contact Stephen directly:

 LinkedIn or @StephenHamlet1 or phone 020 7410 0339 or  Liked your Accounting Influencers Interview with Rob Brown" target="_blank">email him directly>>



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