The Trusted Advisor becomes the Human Advisor

Xero trusted advisorXero Summer Series kicked off in Melbourne today, and to say I walked out inspired was an understatement. I feel like I have royally been kicked up the bum with some home truths that I not only needed, but it was what I had been waiting for.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good accounting junket (I mean conference) and I love a good chit chat (I mean networking event), but I also weigh up the cost of missing out on work, constant deadline pressures, managing staff whilst away at these events, walking away from events a little disappointed and even more unmotivated than before.

Thankfully my Xero partner success manager (yay, that’s you Grayson) reached out to me letting me know that Xero were launching a new “event”. Summer Series – where it was no longer about the “product”, no longer about the “app partners” and no longer a “bookkeeping 101” session (aka yawn fest).

Instead, it was about us, accounting and bookkeeping professionals and how we can be “better”. How can we run better firms, how we can embrace future trends, how we can manage our day better, how we can collaborate, share ideas and how we can focus on doing what we truly love doing.

Today was about pausing, connecting, reflecting and being inspired. Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick #nailedit

The Trusted Advisor becomes the Human Advisor.

There is so much talk about artificial intelligence “taking” our jobs, and if we think that way, or if we believe that statement, you may as well pack up your calculator right now and start researching a new career.

However, if you embrace artificial intelligence, collaborate with your peers, use the data at hand to really understand the small business landscape, then you have endless opportunities in front of you.

Bernard Salt confirmed that theory today, when he told us to “look at the numbers from outer space”. Now before you ring up Richard Branson asking for a seat on the next rocket to outer space, what you need to do is stand back. Stand back and look at the big picture. Technology can give you the data, can give you the reports, can spit out the numbers, but humans can explain that data and explain the story. And guess what – we are the humans.

Again this was a theme when we delved deeper into the AI conversation. My first thought was “haven’t we done AI to death”. However today we focused on what the next ten years will look like and I realised, like most of my peers, we are not looking that far ahead. We are most likely only focusing on the next two years and just hoping that is enough. But maybe we need to look at the bigger picture.

Where is AI going, what data can we use now about the population growth, the industry trends, the census data (did you know that females are most likely to be divorced at 46 – and guess who is 46 this year #watchouthubby). We have endless data, either provided by AI or otherwise, at our disposal which can help us have really invaluable chats to our clients and also our team.  It is that combination of digital skills and human skills that becomes your advantage (if used well).

So what are we going to do? What we are going to do is make one small change in the next 90 days. We don’t have to do everything at once to become a better accountant or a better bookkeeper. But we can’t sit still. One change, 90 days. One more change in the 90 days after that. Soon these little changes become habits and you are on a rollercoaster of continual improvement #winning

The kicker for me today, was listening to Dr Amantha Imber. I might have google stalked her before today so I was already “kid in a candy store” excited for this.

Amantha confirmed we can’t multi task. The science is in, multitasking means tasks take more than 40% longer. And would you believe she did a little audience participation test and I am shamed to say we totally sucked and we actually took much longer than 40% when we were multitasking. Epic fail Melbourne, epic fail.

But how many times a day do we check our emails, start a task, check slack, respond to something, bounce back to emails, start a payroll, start a tax return, check social media, bounce back to emails, answer the phone, get back to the tax return, check emails again, check on the team – holy heck I am exhausted just thinking about it.

Multitasking is task switching. It’s time to get into our “MONOTASKER ERA”


One task at a time, complete it, and move on. Sounds easy, but my brain is already freaking out, but god damn I am going to make it happen.

Next kick in the guts, which is probably as obvious as light and day, is understand your chronotype. Are you a morning person (hell no), mid morning person or an evening person (me, I am an owl – always have been). When do you do your “best work”? You must know this. You must block this time out in your day to do your best work. You can’t use this golden time to be unproductive and bounce around and get multitask and get nowhere. The golden hour is your time to shine baby.

And my biggest takeaway from today, you need a shutdown ritual at the end of your day. And I don’t mean close the office door and run out of there like Usain Bolt. I mean how do you mentally “finish” your day. Amantha suggested we have two sentences that we complete at the end of each day. What have we made progress on and what will you get done tomorrow to make it a good day. Use our images below and start you daily shutdown ritual.

After testing these two questions on clients, it led to a 46% increase in productivity and 23% increase in wellbeing.
Holy Shit – these sentences are so easy, so simple and yet we can mentally close off the day, prepare for tomorrow and in reality, start preparing for being the best Human Advisor possible.


Today I made progress ontomorrow will be a good day

Want to learn to love your numbers? yes please...Bookkeeping, Accounting & Tax services Australia wide