Want different results for your firm? Consider a mentor to guide you in the right direction
The beginning of each new year is a common time for people to reconsider their approach to their business. For Accountants, it’s no different. Whenever I meet an Accountant, I ask about their business model and what they are looking to achieve in the next three years. It’s rare that I am provided with a concise response that inspires me with confidence that the Accountant has a solid plan and knows how to implement it.
In our view, there are eight core areas that must be ticking along nicely for your Accounting business to thrive. They are:
Ensuring your WIP and debtors are under control. As a guide, you should be aiming for no more than 40 days in lock up (WIP and debtors combined). This is so far away from the current situation for many that they scoff at the figure in disbelief but with a focused plan, some guidance and accountability it can be done surprisingly quickly
The way Accountants bill is the number one frustration for clients. To better serve your clients AND to incentivize your team to be super efficient, you need to price every job upfront and drive the time on the job down. That way, you’ll maximize job turnaround, job profitability, client service and create capacity to better help your clients with new, more important services
You, not your clients, should control your workflow. You need a solid, step-by-step approach to managing workflow, with the right people in your firm doing the right things. Your workflow management process should systematically include steps to help you identify and recommend additional services to clients. It should include daily accountability and a whole of team focus on maximizing closed jobs and minimizing open jobs
To thrive, you need an 'A' Team. You need a championship team, not a team of champions. The owners of the business need the skills to successfully inspire and lead the team to overachieve business goals
Every Accounting firm needs a client development strategy. Few have one. Existing clients are too often neglected. This is extraordinarily dangerous in this era of cloud accounting, where clients have the ability to be much more transient. Your clients need your help and guidance more than ever, but what’s your plan for understanding what their needs are, then addressing those needs with a consummate client development plan?
Accountants typically hate selling. There are some exceptions, so I don’t want to generalise, but it’s not perceived as a strong suit. But with training and systems and processes that enable you to sell by the numbers, it’s less frightening than you think
This is the real problem area for Accounting firms wishing to grow. Too much time is spent on branding and nowhere near enough on lead generation. A modern firm needs a solid marketing plan for both existing and new clients, with leveraged, technology driven tools to support the plan
What is your suite of business advisory services that can be delivered with panache, without being reliant on the partners? A suite of services that stays close to the numbers and adds serious value to clients.
For the past two decades, we have coached Accounting firms worldwide on how to implement all eight of these areas in their firm with consistent success. Our PANALITIX membership program with our world-class Implementation and Success Managers have helped these firms achieve outstanding success. Thus, we have created a cohesive community of high-performing firms who are ready and willing to help other firms answer questions around how exactly they got the results they did.
The beauty of a mentor is working with someone who has been there, done that. A mentor can provide guidance, offer advice, answer questions in detail based on recent, relevant experience and give you an edge that only a high performer in your field can offer. It’s a unique opportunity and one I wholeheartedly recommend you embrace.
Whether or not our program is something of interest to you, let me give you the key questions to ask yourself for implementing and getting results in your firm. If you want to change something, use this approach:
About the Author
Colin DunnDirector & Co-founder at PANALITIX
Colin is a Chartered Accountant who, having spent almost 10 years with one of the fastest growing and most innovative firms in the UK, has spent the last 19 years working exclusively with the Accounting profession with a focus on helping them implement business advisory services with their clients. He is passionate about helping turn Accounting practices into Accounting businesses and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and is a qualified ACA. Colin is relentless in the pursuit of improving the performance of every firm he coaches.
Colin is the brains behind ENGAGER (previously the PANALITIX app), TRUST and Proactive Success System, PANALITIX’s three cloud applications for Accountants.
He is also a prodigious author and generator of content, primarily in the form of ‘how to’ material to enable Accountants to respond to client needs with value-based services. He is the author of the bestselling book “Accountants: The Natural Trusted Advisors.”