Episode 72

Published on:

21st Feb 2024

Strategic Journey to Dext with Rachel Fisch

Damien Greathead, alongside co-host Penny Breslin, welcomes Rachel Fisch for an insightful episode that delves into the nuances of modern accounting practices, leveraging technology for growth, and the journey of niche specialization. The discussion covers Rachel's extensive background in the accounting industry, from her early days of recognizing her aptitude in accounting to her entrepreneurial venture into Fisch Books and beyond. It spans her experiences on the road, teaching QuickBooks Online, her strategic role at Deloitte Canada in adopting cloud technologies, and eventually leading to her venture into Realty Tax, a niche firm specializing in real estate accounting. Rachel's narrative is one of evolution, emphasizing the importance of digital transformation in accounting practices, the power of niche specialization, and the continuous journey of learning and adapting to new challenges.

[00:00 - 10:00] Introduction and Journey into Cloud Accounting

  • Rachel Fisch shares her initial connection to accounting and the start of her career.
  • Rachel shares how she transitioned from traditional accounting roles to embracing cloud accounting.

[10:00 - 20:00] Evolving with Technology: Niche Specialization

  • Adopting and integrating new technologies in accounting practices is vital.
  • They discuss the early days of Receipt Bank (now Dext) and its impact on accounting workflows.
  • Rachel shares her strategic role at Deloitte Canada and the focus on cloud accounting.

[20:00 - 30:00] Digital Transformation Beyond Accounting

  • Rachel shares her insights into digital transformation beyond accounting firms to include brokers.
  • There is resistance to change and the push for cloud solutions in real estate.
  • Overcoming resistance to new technologies is crucial for modernizing traditional industries.

[30:00 - 40:00] Building a Niche Practice and Refining Services and Simplification

  • What is the strategic decision behind focusing exclusively on agents and brokers at Realty Tax.
  • Deep specialization in a niche can drive significant business growth and client satisfaction.
  • Rachel talks about the realization that simplifying services could lead to better outcomes for both the firm and its clients.
  • Sometimes, less is more. Simplifying offerings can enhance focus and value delivery.

[40:00 - 47:42] The Journey to Dext and Full Circle

  • Rachel discusses her new role at Dext and how her diverse experiences led her to this point.
  • Career paths are often non-linear, and diverse experiences can culminate in roles that leverage one's full skill set.
  • Rachel offers advice to accounting firms on envisioning their ideal firm operation and client/team member experience.
  • Keeping an open mind and continuously reevaluating processes can lead to sustained success and innovation in the accounting field.

Direct Quotes:

"You may find that simplification is actually a better option than adding an additional tech or another dashboard or another KPI." - Rachel Fish

"You either understand debits and credits, or you don't." - Rachel Fish

"Stepping back and simplifying processes can sometimes be more beneficial than adding complexity." - Rachel Fish

Connect with Rachel!

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachelfisch 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Fischbooks 


Thank you for listening. Please like and share this episode with a friend!

Websites: https://moneypennyllc.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/damiengreathead/

Twitter: @Damien_GH

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/penny-breslin-0228b81/

Twitter: @pennyb57

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About the Podcast

Strategy and the Virtual Controller
Helping accounts and bookkeepers build the firm they want, their way
Your hosts Penny Breslin and Damien Greathead have more than 30 years of combined experience in the accounting industry. This podcast is to share their experiences of working in, and consulting to accounting and bookkeeping firms of all sizes, helping them grow.

Nothing discussed will be rocket science, instead they'll be discussing 'how' firms have successfully, and not so successfully, pursued growth. Penny and Damien will be sharing their insights on how firms can be successful by focusing on their people (clients included), their technology, and their processes and systems.

Ultimately how successful an accounting business will be depends largely on how the owners manage change, which alongside taxes appears to be the only constant.

We do want to acknowledge David Maister's great read Strategy and the Fat Smoker: Doing what's obvious but not easy as the inspiration for our title. Buy it on Amazon - https://amzn.to/3dhcUFC

Subscribe today for an upbeat and practical conversation about what's working and what's not in accounting businesses around the world.

About your hosts

Penny Breslin

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Penny Breslin is the founder of MoneyPenny, a consulting firm specializing in helping accounting firms and other businesses embrace the power of technology to simplify their operations and increase their profit margins.

Drawing on her years of experience and her knowledge of what it takes to run a successful business, Penny oversees the development of back office processes for her client firms. From the initial evaluation of the firm’s workflow, to technology selection, and assisting in the on-boarding of the firm’s clients, Penny works with her clients to maximize the benefits of a paperless and cloud-based firm.

Damien Greathead

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Damien has been working in the accounting industry for more than 15 years. In addition to getting his hands dirty preparing tax returns and doing bookkeeping, but the bulk of his experience comes from consulting to both accounting firms and the technology companies that serve the industry.

He set up 2020 Group USA which was a membership group for small and medium sized accounting firms and then went on to set up Receipt Bank (now Dext) in North America.

He regularly speaks to industry bodies on technology, marketing and change management.