This week’s blog entries: and what do you do?

Personal service

At a business networking event recently I met Christopher Higenbottam. I
asked what he did and he told me he is an architect.

After a few minutes I think I asked him whether there was anything specific
that distinguished his practice from that of other architects I might know. And
it’s an important one for professional advisers (especially accountants) to be
able to answer convincingly.

Most professionals, in my experience, fall back onto the hackneyed standbys.
They often talk about offering a ‘personal service’ (sometimes they even seem to
believe that this is special, just like all of the other accountants, lawyers,
surveyors who say the same thing).

Other common replies, that also fail to make the adviser memorable or
distinctive focus on other intangible service elements.

When I ask the question it’s because I want to know what to listen out for
when talking to
people who might need the person’s services.

If I’m not a potential consumer of the services myself I want to know why I
should remember and recommend that person rather than any of the other
accountants, lawyers, surveyors I have met.

Mark Lee, chairman, Tax Advice Network

A very green crisis

The most interesting potential repercussion of the market crisis (or
correction, depending on your point of view) is for the environmental
performance of the wider economy.

It is truly remarkable how quickly business leaders and commentators have
realised the opportunity the problems in the City and Wall Street now present
for the low carbon economy.

As Paul Dickinson of the Carbon Disclosure Project explains, the cause of the
current crisis can be found in a failure to properly assess risk and an absence
of adequate oversight and regulation.

These are the exact same causes of the climate crisis and an increased focus
on these concepts can only draw attention to the need for more concerted action
on carbon emissions.

The letter to the Prime Minister from the Corporate Leaders Group on Climate
Change, underlines the extent to which this realisation has dawned on many
business leaders, with them calling explicitly for more environmental regulation
and a massive expansion in public sector spending on green projects as part of a
coordinated effort to stimulate a flagging economy.

James Murray at

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