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They were both artists in their own right, at the same time, and vying for an audience. But there were whispers that they were rivals rather than compadres.

In fact, it was rumoured that whilst Michael Jackson was recording Thriller he had pictures of Prince up to motivate him to be better. He knew that Prince was innovative and pioneering the way in the music industry, and Michael was pushed by his contemporary to be doing the same, and better.

I know that I am very aware of what my competitors are doing. It is important for me to understand where they are in their business, in what ways they are being innovative and where I need to step up my game.

When you embrace your competitors and start to use them to motivate you to be better, you will find that everyone benefits:

Your clients benefit
Your audience benefits
You and your firm benefit
The accounting profession benefits

If you are striving to be the best and give more value than anyone else then you will be making a bigger impact. To do this you need to benchmark yourself against something. And that something is often a someone.