Episode #041 How To Develop Your Team and Build Company Culture With Sophie Hossack (Receipt Bank) [2017 Throwback]

Have you ever struggled with finding (or keeping) the right staff? Well, keep listening for loads of expert advice on the topic.  In this throwback episode [2017], Sophie Hossack generously gives her time to share deeply insightful and practical ideas on how bookkeepers can approach develop their team and build a great company culture.

What makes Sophie an expert? Well, in the UK, back in 2011, Sophie was the first employee to ever join Receipt Bank (a company that now employs over 250 people!). Sophie came to Australia to help found the Australian branch and spent 7 years Managing a team of over 30 employees. In 2018 Sophie returned to the UK, and is now working in the health industry.

Although she no longer works for Receipt Bank she has left her mark on the hearts of those in the Australian bookkeeping industry. Now, she’s here to share her knowledge again in this special episode of The Bookkeeper’s Voice.

Podcast Info

Episode: #041

Series: General

Host: Amy Hooke

Guest speaker: Sophie Hossack

Topic: How To Develop Your Team and Build Company Culture With Sophie Hossack

Useful links

Get first 2 months at 50% when you join the Receipt Bank partner program for bookkeepers and accountants:  https://thesavvybookkeeper.com.au/receiptbank

To listen to Part 1 where Sophie spoke about asking for referrals from accountants and clients: https://thesavvybookkeeper.com.au/039

Subscribe to podcast on your regular app, or to get email notifications visit our Podcast page: https://thesavvybookkeeper.com.au/podcast/ 

Don't forget to post a review on your podcast app to receive Amy's Health Check / Job Scope templates.

Read transcript

Amy Hooke: So okay, so tonight we have a very special guests with us. So we've got Sophie joining us. So you may know Sophie Hossack, she's if you don't choose the country manager for Australia at Receipt Bank. So Sophie is originally from the UK and now she works out of her Sydney office out of the receipt bank Sydney office, and she manages a team of around 30 people, almost 30 people. So I'll be invited her to join us for a few reasons tonight actually. So firstly I'd have to say that I've really enjoyed working with Receipt Bank and not just because I love the software. Of course. I've found a very handy to use it. It might be a business, but actually I really liked that humans. 

Sophie Hossack: Well, thank you so much for contacting, that was quite an introduction. My gosh. I wrote down for a lot of things in bed thinking, gosh, I have to tell the team that.

Amy Hooke: You have to tell them. I just thought it's a really encouraging bunch of people that I guess I've caught finally figured out. But obviously you've probably got something to do with that. So obviously you're passionate about, so.

Sophie Hossack: Yeah, absolutely I think I really liked your comment about I liked their humans because you've got to like who you work with, both in your organisation but also your suppliers that you work with. I think that's so crucial and it doesn't mean that we are just nice people often actually doesn't mean that often as you say, means something quite different.

Sophie Hossack: ‘m going to talk about building your team, and some of the things to consider when you building a team for lots of bookkeepers that we speak to. They may be sole practitioners, some may be looking at adding maybe one staff member, two staff members, some often look at outsourcing or having contractors who are external. So some of the things that I'll be discussing things that I've learnt along the way of building our team here. And so then not necessarily specific to our organisation basically to us, but I hope that they're going to be general enough for the people to find useful.

Amy Hooke: Yeah. Great. I'm sure it will be very helpful. And so I guess I wanted to kind of get the conversation started or just get everyone to hear some of the things about your background that I obviously already know. So I wanted to start off by asking you if you would share a little bit with the ladies about receipt farm.

Sophie Hossack: Yes I will. So receipt farm was an organisation that promised if you sent to a paperwork to them in a plastic bag, they would extract all of the data, an Excel spreadsheet within seven working days. And at the time based only in the UK at the time, that seemed like a pretty good gig. Two wonderful co-founders, Michael. So Michael is just by far one of the cleverest men that I've ever met, like super bright, super intelligent, but like a lot of intelligent people often struggles that really basic things. So he had his own consulting company and consistently got fined by the HMRC in the UK for being late with his bookkeeping. He was always behind, always losing paperwork, just the nightmare client. Literally your nightmare client. That was him. And so he'd googled receipt processing, because he was on a cloud general ledger in the UK actually could have a product called cashflow. So he was already using that. And so he googled receipt processing and found a company called Receipt Farm, but he gave it a trial.

Sophie Hossack: Initially. The marketing had like cows and stuff. I'm pretty good at that. So yeah, he did that 14 day free trial, and he got his Excel spreadsheet back, and he was over the moon. He thought this was absolutely going to solve all of his problems all the time. No, he's an accountant. But then he realised actually it didn't at all cause he had to copy and paste all the data in the excel, and then there was the general niches. So he emailed the customer support at Receipt Farm and said, guys I love what you're doing. It's terrific. Have you thought about integrating with some general niches? Have you thought about, and I buy meat to give access to my accountants. And they came back within 10 minutes saying, thank you very much, Mr. Wood. We really appreciate and value your feedback, but we're closing down today.

Sophie Hossack: So he called a previous colleague of his Alexis. They'd previously worked in an organisation for about five, six years in the investment space in the UK. And he said to Alexis, I think there's something really interesting in this. And so they bought what was Receipt Farm, I believe for something like a pound back in the year 2010, and then were no paying clients. I think there were a handful of trialists and the software was very basic. Receipt Farms premise was to go straight to the small business owner, whereas Alexis and Michael from day one thought, we know that this is going to be revolutionary for farms. It's actually going to be beneficial for accounting and bookkeeping farms. And the reason why I say bookkeeping second is actually we didn't know that bookkeeping existed in the way that they do until we came over here.

Amy Hooke: Wow. In what ways?

Sophie Hossack: So in the UK, a lot of accountants do bookkeeping or the SME does the bookkeeping and there isn't this just incredible network that there is here in Australia and New Zealand.

Amy Hooke: That kind of thing you mean?

Sophie Hossack: Yeah, exactly. So it was just, yeah. Amazing this whole new world kind of opened up to us as soon as we came over here.

Amy Hooke: Fantastic. Well, there you go. And so, so then how did you end up in the picture?

Sophie Hossack: Yeah. I could make a tea, and I think I just spoke a lot of my interview. I had no background whatsoever. I just graduated from university and-

Amy Hooke: English literature.

Sophie Hossack: Yeah.

Amy Hooke: Totally different.

Sophie Hossack: Different generic, super generic. So yeah, English literature. And I personally knew there were two things that I wanted to do. So I thought by the age of 30 that I couldn't imagine working for somebody else. So it was a 21 year old just graduating. I thought, gosh, okay, well I've got nine years to work out how I can be my own boss by the age of 30, but I get my skates on. So the premise of working with two co-founders of the business at the infancy or at the inception was just kind of too good an opportunity. So I joined them and six months after they bought Receipt Farm and then we went commercial, we launched the product. I think about six weeks after I started. That's when we first started actually trying to sell. So receipt bank.

Amy Hooke: Right. Well, so you're officially the first staff member?

Sophie Hossack: Yes.

Amy Hooke: Apart from the owners.

Sophie Hossack: Apart from the owners. Yeah.

Amy Hooke: And you are still there. Okay. And then how did you end up in Australia?

Sophie Hossack: Yeah. So in 20, gosh, 2012 we've been nominated for an award at a conference we didn't even know existed. Oh, we're just going to make you laugh now. So it was all Oakland Xerocon 2012 and we nominated for emerging adult of the year. So we had no idea they were awards. We had no idea it was a conference it just came.

Amy Hooke: It's quite humbling.

Sophie Hossack: It's kind of ridiculous now to think about it. But so we got nominated and after that there were lots of phone calls from particularly New Zealand farms saying, who are you? What do you do? You look like you could be interesting. So Mike and I spent about six, nine months working Kiwi and Aussie hours in London. So we'd have phone calls and all or evenings or early mornings trying to understand the landscape here a little bit more. We made two trips that summer UK, so winter here, so June and August. And by the end of the year it was evident that somebody needed to move out. And as I was turning I think a 23, 24 year old, I was certainly the cheapest resource to send out with no ties in the economy. So they said, would you go? And I said yes, and it's being five years later and I haven't gone home yet.

Amy Hooke: And so have you already always been in Sydney since you arrived?

Sophie Hossack: I actually moved to Oakland initially. Oh, I was in the VF of 2013, and I actually spent more than 60% of my time travelling to Australia. By the end of that year I'd said, could we move to us, we move the patient to ours and I agree.

Amy Hooke: Fantastic. And so now you're in charge of the whole team in Australia basically?

Sophie Hossack: Yeah. So we've got our team here is about just under 30 people. Predominantly all sales and marketing, a bit of operations as well. So our team here is quite specific. It's focused just on our partner channels. Everybody that works in my team here works with bookkeepers and accountants directly.

Amy Hooke: Fantastic.

Sophie Hossack: All of our product and development and kind of larger marketing infrastructure is that she based out of our London funding team.

Amy Hooke: Yeah. Okay. And when you were younger, and you're studying English literature back at home, did you say you're self-managing you're like such a big team of people? Like did you see yourself in a management position at all?

Sophie Hossack: No. And I suppose the most ironic thing. I got asked that question for the very first time, about a year ago, somebody said, did you imagine managing this number of people? And I said, Oh my gosh, I never even thought I'd been managing like that. That would never came up in my language. No. I was always so dead set that I wanted to own a business.

Amy Hooke: What didn't you think you would do?

Sophie Hossack: I didn't know. I thought I wanted to own a business, but I didn't know what that business, I noticed, I realised the owning a business means you have to manage people's like that. The two didn't really have been.

Amy Hooke: Wow. Okay. Fantastic. Well, it's really good to hear a bit about your story, and hear about the history of for sake bank and everything. And so when I first started looking you off a lot, I had no idea that you were the first employee and just the whole thing putting it all together. So it's really good. Okay. So if you want to kind of take over from here and start to chat to the ladies about the team building.

Sophie Hossack: Yeah, absolutely. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to share my screen and

Amy Hooke: …so it should work.

Sophie Hossack: I have actually this comes through as well. Okay. Brilliant. And if I present, thankfully.

Amy Hooke: Yup.

Sophie Hossack: That works. So, I suppose there's a caveat here, but I haven't worked for another organisation, so everything that I'm going to be talking about in this slide deck is very much our learnings as a company, I suppose curiosity of talking to other colleagues or friends or contemporaries about their organisations and their businesses. So this doesn't come from a huge wealth of knowledge in business, but it comes from I suppose a really specific for five years focusing on building teams. And if I sound like I've got the answers here, I absolutely don't. And if it sounds like I haven't made any mistakes, I absolutely haven't. I have made heaps. If I come across like I'm perfect, miss gosh, I'm absolutely not. So I suppose I want to give that caveat, but then am six

Amy Hooke: Actually just before you launch into it, to just everybody on the thread, do you want to just comment and let me know if you have employees or not? And if building a team, something that you're interested in doing at some point just so we kind of know who's got staff and who doesn't have stuff.

Sophie Hossack: Yeah. Perfect. Okay.

Amy Hooke: Yeah, a few of those comments will come through, but you can just get started and all.

Sophie Hossack: Great. So there are kind of six things that I was thinking about, and how I've built this team over the last year for five years. And things that I might do differently or things that I've refined and hold in. So the first is hiring. So how do you actually look for talented people to join your team? The second is the training. So how do you develop, how do you promote, how do you, equip them to be the best that they can be? Incentivizing behaviour. So how do you and courage and recognise the behaviour that you want your team to embody and to act into one that I hope is going to be popular is the outsourcing one. So how do you delegate a lot of your work, how do you do that?

Sophie Hossack: And the fourth also, the fifth is a favourite of mine, which is the non-negotiables. So what are the things that you won't compromise on? So when you're working in developing your way of business, what are some of the three or four things that you don't compromise on? And then ultimately your culture as an organisation. And I think a little bit like disruption. Culture can often be a overused as a word. And so you can often be lost. So I'll share little bit about what I think designing the experience of working in your organisation could look like or indeed should that like.

Amy Hooke: Wow, sounds like a good range of topics that you've got. And I'll just jump to the thread quickly and just let you know. So we've got, hang on one, two, three, four, five, six. Let's say just over 60%. Don't have staff, but quite a few of them are saying that they interested in hiring. And then we've got a handful of people with one or two employees. It's okay. So when you want small teams there.

Sophie Hossack: Okay, brilliant. So I hope some of these things, maybe a one or two kind of jump out at you. And then along the way. So if I start with hiring this, you could look at hiring an internal member, or you could look at hiring external contractor or even somebody offshore outsource to help. So there's hiring doesn't necessarily need to mean somebody specific in your office. But when we started, the advice I kept getting was just hire really good people like higher. And I had great a people like that was the easiest thing to do in the world. And like, I was going to do anything other than hire great people. And so what I want to encourage us to look at instead is how do you create a process that looks at experience and talent of the individual?

Sophie Hossack: And how do you know what it is that you're looking for? Because so often when you look at hiring somebody, if you're not very specific about the role or the actions or the tasks, and importantly more crucially your expectation of that person in that role, they're ultimately going to fail because they're never going to just miraculously live up to the standards that you have. And those standards should be absolutely high. The sentence you have as a business owner need to be the highest. So how do you build a structure that supports them and encourages their success? Well, the first part is making sure you've got the right person in the right role.

Amy Hooke: Yeah, so true.

Sophie Hossack: And then the second part of that is we can often be really shy. I don't know whether this is necessarily a gender thing, but I know that it's definitely taken me a quite a while to gain the confidence in I'm selling our organisation, selling myself in this organisation because people are going to want to work for you and they're going to want to know why your organisation is different and what's special and why they should feel encouraged and dedicated to your purpose and your mission in it. And so you've got to know that in, you've got to sell yourself and the opportunity that you're providing. That's a really key thing.

Amy Hooke: Yeah, I never thought like that actually. That's good.

Sophie Hossack: And it's really simple. I mean, there were lots of really simple things you can do. You knew there's light boxes that you can get where you can put words, the letters on a light box and he switched on and it kind of shines up and whatever the phrase is, are. So we've got one that sits on our office manager's desk. So when you walk into our office, the first thing you see is Monica smiling away. And then the second thing you see is this light box. It'll have messages according to the guests that we have in the office that day. A couple of weeks ago, I said to her, why don't you welcome each candidate when they walk in with this light box?

Amy Hooke: Yes.

Sophie Hossack: So she says welcome Sam. Hashtag this is our B, which is our internal hashtag. And the first time she did it, the candidates said, Oh my gosh she did that for me. And it's something as simple as that. But he recognised his own name on that light box, and he was like, Oh my gosh, that's really cool. So it doesn't take an awful lot of these little touches that you can make people feel really personal and feel very what a great experience right from the very beginning.

Amy Hooke: Yup. Yeah. Wow. That's great I like that. It's sort of like a, I guess it reminded me of how you do the cakes.

Sophie Hossack: Yes.

Amy Hooke: The cakes of the new people.

Sophie Hossack: Yeah. And you'd be baking. So on the first Friday of every a new person's week, they have to bake a cake for the office. And it's funny cause most people think it's a joke until the third or fourth person that day. I said, seriously, what are you going to bake?

Amy Hooke: Yeah, I always see it on twitter

Sophie Hossack: That's pretty good. So the second thing is training and up-skilling and rebuilding the culture of coaching within your organisation. So people are consistently learning and developing because your organisation will grow at the rate that you can grow, and the rate that your employees can grow. And that's really key, and it's really key if you can build it within the DNA of your business, it means that it's self regulating.

Sophie Hossack: It means that everybody wants to develop and get better, and they start to help each other, because we've often seen people wanting to do kind of lunchtime sessions with pizza in the board room in farms and expect them to then walk away knowing everything about Receipt Bank or knowing everything about automated bookkeeping or knowing everything about client experience with automation. And of course that doesn't happen because it goes in one ear out the other with a pizza. It doesn't really intended. And so every time you're doing training or coaching with your employees or your team, or even with yourself actually kind of crucially with yourself, you should almost think of it as a campaign.

Sophie Hossack: So what are you doing pre the training or pre the workshop to prepare for that type of learning? What does the workshop or the training look like and what are you taking away from it during it, and then what are you doing afterwards to really embed it? Because you're going to have to repeat either elements of the training, or you're going to have to practise until it becomes embedded within your routine, and your day stay working habits. So that's a really key, how do you build that culture? And something we do here at Receipt Bank with our sales team is every week each of my team needs to listen to somebody else's phone call and straight off the phone call, they'll then give them peer to peer feedback, and they'll certain things like what questions did you ask? What did you find out about the partner? How did you help them? et cetera. And then somebody else was into that cool. So it develops this peer to peer DNA, both of giving and receiving feedback, but ultimately ongoing coaching, which doesn't come top down. And that's been really helpful.

Amy Hooke: Oh yeah, it's actually really inspiring, and it's bringing me back to my conversations with Abhinav, and I currently am assigned to him on a call that I said to him, I see the business card or something because he's really natural at coaching. And I said like if you ever liked labour stay back, you should be a business coach because he's just really like, yeah, good entrepreneur like it, it's actually in your culture. So that's actually economising to the other side, but kind of playing itself out and probably good feedback for you as well to hear that one of your customers that's experienced that from one of your stuff as well. Well I always love, Oh yeah.

Sophie Hossack: Yeah. That's awesome. That's really important because the next, the mix part of it is incentivizing replicates, and the behaviour that you want. And actually one of the big things that we try and work on consistently internally is empathy and compassion. So how to all sales too much. She had developed a really strong and acute sense of AQ, which isn't something that typical sales teams really develop or have at their forefront. But empathy for the person who burned at the phone is really critical. So I'm really pleased that you actually had that experience with app enough that you felt that he was listening to you and that he was coaching and,

Amy Hooke: Yeah, so I'm actually quite a sensitive person. I'm the kind of person where I pick up a phone, and I can tell if it's a sales person on the phone within two seconds, like just from the tone of how they say hello, my aunt's a sales person. Like I'm really sensitive to that. But when I've had a lot of bad experiences with sales people where I just think, man, it just seems like they're on a different wavelength, or they're just not listening, or they're not getting like what I'm saying about my business. They try to fit me in a little box, and I've never felt that with your team.

Sophie Hossack: Yeah, that's awesome. That's really-

Amy Hooke: I couldn't lease this. I noticed this, I don't know, I think it was Abhinav was the first person that I noticed with. If you like started to talk, he would just stop talking straight away and he'd always let you go first. Oh, that was like, it was just, there's a couple of things like that really stood out to me that I have not experienced before.

Sophie Hossack: Yeah. Oh, good. I think encouraging good habits and it could be some sort of I don't know, the two co-founders of Receipt Bank are remarkably different than Alexis and Michael could not be more different in pretty much every single way yeah.

Amy Hooke: To each other.

Sophie Hossack: Yeah, to each other. They are just absolutely opposites with that. There's one major similarity between the two and that's their manners. Actually, both men are probably two of the most polite men that I've ever met. And I think that behaviour has, it's certainly affected me and certainly influenced me in the way that I behave and conduct business. And I think that's an infiltrated all the way through. So as you say, actually letting the person go first. I hope I have really good people that's showing gratitude and sharing thanks for people, there are lots of things that we kind of obvious one on ones that can get easily lost if you don't really embed them and really put them at the forefront. So that's the kind of behaviour that we certainly want to replicate and encourage. The next one is outsourcing and I hope this one is going to be particularly useful for the listeners today who don't have somebody at the moment either as an employee and that they can delegate quickly to delegating can be a really odd thing to do.

Sophie Hossack: And it can actually start to feel really uncomfortable when you're initially doing it. It's not something that I found naturally came easily to, I have to really concentrate on it, which sounds odd. But Alexis, the CEO has always been terrific at the concept of you've got to move what you're doing off your plate, so you can free up your time because you've got the power to do more. You've got the abilities to more, and not more of the same but more different. So you've got the ability to grow your business in a different way. If you stop doing X number of payrolls that day. So can you park the payroll somebody else for an example? And the delegating doesn't necessarily have to be, I'm an internal person. I mean we've had a virtual assistant working us for the last four and a half, five years and she's based in Melbourne and Jen still does old jobs for us all the time.

Sophie Hossack: At the moment she's being an actress for our interview phone screening. So she's pretending to be a potential bookkeeper or potential accountant when our interviewees all kinds of States phone up. So she does all sorts of very topics and kind of telescopes for us. And it's thinking if you don't have the time to do it yourself and if you can't do it, definitely moving it onto somebody else and asking them to do it is really important. But even the things that you're doing routinely, and you're thinking, gosh, I wish I didn't have to do this. Gosh, it's taking my time. It doesn't have to be software that automates it. It can be somebody that you can just park it with for short term and short term thing. So getting into the habit of delegating quickly and often it's really key to freeing up your time. And it's a hard thing to do though. I can't pretend that's an easy one. Out of all of this, I actually think that's possibly the hardest.

Amy Hooke: Yeah. And I know as a bookkeeper, like I can be a real perfectionist, and I know like I love the way that I can just get it done, whereas to sit down and explain it to somebody and hand the job over on that kind of thing as well. And also it can be a habit. You just get out of, sometimes I'll find myself, I slipped back into the habit, and I'm like, Oh, why am I doing this? My sister came to me. Yeah. It's a skill in itself.

Sophie Hossack: Definitely. The non-negotiables. So this is my favourite, and I didn't realise this is what I was doing when I did it. I think that's why it's my favourite. This came kind of going back to the manners thing and being, trying to be polite as possible. When I started building the team here, there were three or four things that no one could move on and the running joke used to be actually set Norman quite low. And there are lots of things that you and I are going to be able to debate, but this isn't one of them. We can debate about lots of things, but this is not going to be one of them. And one of my non-negotiables used to being on time.

Amy Hooke: Yeah.

Sophie Hossack: Sounds really simple. Sounds incredibly easy. But the number of phone calls I have or meetings that I have where people are late externally really surprise me. And it's because somebody hasn't just put a like put a line in the sand saying you can't be late at all for anything. So I was never late. If I was doing a one on one with my team or if I was doing a whole team session, they were never late with me. They were never late with each other.

Amy Hooke: Yeah.

Sophie Hossack: And it sounds really basic, but then that meant that they were always on time for their phone calls with their partners. And something as simple as that. The way that I treat them, the way they treat me, and the way they treat each other starts to manifest itself. And again, it becomes self regulating.

Amy Hooke: Now realising how patient Norman was with me when I missed his calls, it's like I never saw the alert in my phone, and I'd missed the call and just be like I'd ring you back five minutes later I'd say, and I'll be thinking, Oh my goodness.. Oh my gosh, he's from on time culture. That's good.

Sophie Hossack: No, I think it was beginning of this year. I was speaking to… I went on a sales management course and in the UK and the professor who was conducting it or saying it was saying that often when you go up in your career, you value other people's time less, so you think it's okay for you to be late because you think you're more important.

Sophie Hossack: And that's something that I fundamentally disagree with and because I built this culture of being on time, I've always shown that, and they always can show that to themselves. I think that's just so crucial. So working at what you are non negotiables are and that can be different to the organisation, that can be different to the business owner. It may be things like you're not going to respond to emails after a certain time, or you're not going to pick up the phone on a certain day. You can work out what your non-negotiables are, but as long as they're consistent for the way you expect to be treated and the way you treat others, then it'll start to, to be embedded.

Amy Hooke: And I think for that, a lot of the ladies listening, this will be very applicable for our relationships with our clients as well because I know we've had Debbie Roberts come and talk to us about the importance of having good engagement letters, and having those boundaries in place where I think before I had my first engagement letter through Debbie helping me to implement one, I never thought to let a client know that I would return their call within 24 hours and that I expected them to return mine within 48. Like, just little things like that, like telling a client I do expect a reply to my emails. Just simple things like that they can, I guess you put those things in place and it can stop you. I don't know, I guess becoming resentful towards your client or vice versa with them.

Sophie Hossack: Absolutely. I think setting the expectations is so crucial. So there were two pieces of advice that I've been given up to this point, which I think have been terrible, and I'll bore you with one. One of them was so for, you're always going to be disappointed in your career because your standards are just too high now. I think that is just fundamentally terrible advice to give anybody at any age at any point in their career. Right. I just think that's awful, but I think it goes back to if you can set your expectations appropriately and you can ensure that they're fair and equal, the expectations should be high and they should getting higher. If we can only be getting better if we keep pushing ourselves on with the team around us. So I think yeah, being, and that's the same for your clients. I totally agree with that.

Amy Hooke: Yeah. I think where people say expectations are too high, it's often where it's just one sided as well. Where as he said, perhaps a boss might have very high expectations of their staff, but then they're not accountable on their side. Whereas with you having your high expectations, you're actually honouring does the expectations that you've put in place for others. You actually honour that, which gives you, I guess, credibility, which might feel staff wanting to do the right thing about you. So,

Sophie Hossack: Yeah, I definitely, the last of the six things was culture, and I always get asked about all culture receipt by can I always get Austin to views what's your culture like in joining a software company? Must be really fun. Then I must be a ping pong table and there must be a bring your dog to work day and there must be always clear. Cool. Well the truth of it is it's actually a lot of hard work. So if you're wanting fun doesn't really work. I don't know many businesses that are run entirely on fun alone humour one thing. But honestly, it's like different. And so the culture of your business if you're going to bring in other people to it is you've got to be really conscious and designing what you want the experience to be.

Sophie Hossack: It doesn't just happen organically and things don't just miraculously turn into positive environment, and they can quickly turn into a negative one, or the momentum that you're building and take a very long time to build can quickly decline. If you don't really intentionally think about what it is you want the experience of working at your organisation to look like. And again, the elements of it that we spoke about of recognising the behaviour that you want and defining what your non-negotiables are is it becomes self regulating. It doesn't become, as you said earlier, top-down where it's one person saying, this is how I want it to be. It becomes the team is the way they act and interact with each other. And that's really for me what the culture is, because culture has got to define you both in good days and bad days when things are really good and going well and things are really tough and you're in the trenches and you're battling through people calling just up to me.

Amy Hooke: That's, I guess that's when what you've implemented gets tested during the tough times.

Sophie Hossack: Yeah, absolutely.

Amy Hooke: Oh, very good. Fantastic. So what I'll do, we don't have a lot of time in this segment for questions, but if, if anyone has a question, whoever gets the question first, we can do one question. And while I'm waiting, I have a question which is basically how do you create a culture within a team that's actually in multiple locations? So I think for us as bookkeepers, often our staff, our team are actually remote, so we're not working necessarily in the same office with people. And I think I have heard you speak before about how you've managed to get the culture across Receipt Bank to be similar, like when you go to the different offices.

Sophie Hossack: Yeah. Routine and process. So really unglamorous on cool things, but routine and process. So the way if you were to walk into the Receipt Bank London office or the Receipt Bank, Washington DC office, things would be noticeably similar furniture or the layout, but actually the day to day workings. So that call listening, that happens in every location. So that constant feedback happens in every location. So for a bookkeeper who may be having remote working or colleagues who may be nationally or internationally and sharing that you've got some regularity with what you do. So you could do some form of media baking where somebody has to bake a cake, or you have a coffee one morning and you'll have to send a photograph of that. Or you have a zoom meeting where you're all enjoying the coffee together, 15 minutes. And if it happens every Friday or once a month that's cool. It can't just happen sporadically because if it happens sporadically, it doesn't get embedded. So if you're building a remote culture has got to be a process towards that and consistency.

Amy Hooke: Yeah. Fantastic. That's great. Okay. Well so this is no more questions. So we have run out of the time. So yeah, just thank you so much for attending tonight. Everything you shared, it's been so helpful. It's been very insightful to get a bit of a glimpse into the Receipt Bank office, and everybody if you can post your things on the thread. Just say thank you to Sophie. If you have any further questions, you can just ask her in the text there. She may or may not be able to answer it tonight. Maybe tomorrow if she's got to go. It looks like she's still in the office.

Sophie Hossack: That was great. Thank you so much. I have had a lot of fun. I really felt very good.

Amy Hooke: Great. Well thanks for your time and so you can jump off if you want to, but I'll just let everybody know that next month's webinar is actually the topic is going to be investing in your greatest asset. And so that's going to be me presenting next month. So to register our, you actually no longer need to register. So as you probably remember, once you're registered for one webinar, you're registered for all of them. So I'll send you a reminder and email, and some posts in the Facebook group. And also if you want to check out past and a future webinar topics, you can always go to my website, amyhooke.com/webinars, and check that out there. So anyway, thank you all for joining me, and I will see you next month. Okay, goodbye. Good night, everybody.