For the first time ever, the winner of the AVN Most Inspiring Accountant Awards is not a UK firm. This year the top prize went to Hazel Bango-Moyo of Primorial Solutions, who is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
AVN is now working with accountants in several different countries and it’s clear that the challenges faced by UK and Irish firms are shared across the world. Hazel is no exception. Long hours, stress and the dreaded Sunday night blues when she knew had to go back to work on Monday morning – she had them all!
Emma Slack, Hazel’s Practice Growth Expert, explains: “Hazel came out of a top four firm in order to have more control over life. What she discovered, like we all do, was more stress, more hours and a lot less income.”
What impressed the award judges was the way that Hazel has taken control and transformed her practice.
“Today, she has a thriving business,” Emma continues. “She has a small team and some trusted outsourcers. She has systems in place and the quality of the team is so high that all she does now is quality assurance. So she just works on the projects that she really wants to get involved with. She has truly embraced the OnePagePlan and uses it to really drive her actions.”
We asked Hazel about her successes.
What are you most proud of in all the changes you’ve made?
I am proud that I immersed myself into everything AVN. This has had the result of us, as Primorial, getting our pricing right, pin-pointing who our ideal client is, and positioning ourselves in terms of our service offering. I work significantly less late nights and weekends (and I continue to communicate to our clients that I don’t work evenings and weekends to manage their expectations).
What was the hardest thing you had to do?
To hold true to my commitment to only renew and accept work that is aligned with our business strategy and to only do work for clients who meet the definition of our ideal client.
What’s the biggest difference between before and after?
I now do more of the work that I love to do. The work that was the reason for my starting my own practice in the first place.
Which of the AVN tools has helped you the most?
Time’s Up! but because my practice is in South Africa, I don’t use that exact tool, however it was because of it that I sought out a local equivalent. One of my biggest stresses, before being an AVN Accountant, was that I knew that we were not pricing correctly. Our ad hoc services were priced above the market, and we were hugely undercharging on compound services.
We use SurplusProfits, which has given us the confidence that we price for all the services we provide and that our pricing is market related. Further to that, it provides me with the ability to decide at what level we want to position our pricing, relative to market. That means that your pricing placement is deliberate and can be justified through the value we provide.
What’s your advice to other AVN members?
Trust the AVN processes, even when they feel counter-intuitive because they are tried and tested. The advice from our Practice Growth Experts, the tools, the workshops and the webinars. It is not possible to implement everything at the same time, but if you commit to taking on one big task at a time and seeing it through (however long it takes), I am confident that you will see the results.
Winning the AVN Most Inspiring Accountant Awards was a major achievement for Hazel but she has no plans to stop there. “I feel like there’s still so much growth and so much more we need to do,” she says.
Whatever she does next, Hazel Bango-Moyo is definitely one to watch.
AVN has been right beside Hazel throughout her journey. Find out how we work with accountants to help them build a thriving practice and a better quality of life. Book a call with us here.