6th February 2014
Even in today’s ever-changing landscape, with all the pressure on rates, Dutch MGI member B&P Accountants, Auditors, Tax Lawyers & Consultants find room to grow and to keep innovating. CEO David Bos is regarded as a ‘white raven’ of accounting. How did he do it? Bos shared his experience, knowledge and vision.
No more masking
Bos started working in his father’s company at an early age, earning some pocket money by masking financial details on yearly statements. At the age of 16, he started his own web developing business, which he then sold five years later. He returned to accountancy after completing his studies, convinced that the future was digital. The company thrived, but he had bigger dreams.
Eventually, they started specialising. Right at that moment, a McDonald’s franchisee came to them with a request for specific data. This was the start of their new approach, Bos says, “I thought to myself: here is a way to add value, if I really strive to understand the franchisee business.”
More customers approached them, with similar requests. However, things didn’t end there. The franchisee wanted more: weather conditions, cash register data... all the details, every day. Because there wasn’t a product available that could supply all of this, Bos decided to develop it himself. In 2008, he started Zippy in order to meet that demand. Nowadays, the company supplies Zippy to other companies - service and all.
It’s already there
It is that specialisation that allows them to offer tailored consulting. Bos talks numbers, “It’s interesting to see that consultancy leads to a 17% growth.” Data, as well as the right software, are vital to consultancy. Bos points out, “Companies often underestimate the wealth of knowledge that’s already there.”
Bos observes, “The information might be already available, but it’s often not used in the right way. Using that information allows you to help entrepreneurs, for example through benchmarking or setting up a pricing model. However, data alone isn’t enough. You also need experienced consultants able to read that data, as well as turn the customer’s demands into hands-on advice.”
B&P ’s eight firms all work according to a certain vision, of which consultancy and striving to add value are the most important aspects. However, specialising takes more than a single visionary, says Bos: “Everyone should understand where you’re going as a company, and realise that it’s a team effort.” It’s about bringing the whole company aboard.
The human element
But how do you manage your people during such a transformation? “Stimulate them, allow them to further develop themselves, don’t force them to do something they don’t feel comfortable with. If someone doesn’t want to be a consultant at heart, they’ll never be a very good one. That doesn’t mean you’ll have to fire them on the spot, of course. You need to communicate with your people, see how they can add value to the team.”
In the end, it’s the people that make the company. Bos concludes, “I don’t consider myself a white raven. I think the entire organisation is - the teams and all the people involved.”