Every Accounting firm likes to think they are different, but the reality is you are not dissimilar to the other 15,000 - 20,000 accounting firms within Australia. Therefore, getting a grip on these 7 steps below, will help you stand out as the trusted advisor you know you are.
1. Spend time on your business, not in your business
Every week, you should spend at least half a day working on your business. It can be really difficult to put aside the time when clients and staff want your attention, however it will ensure that you are tracking towards your business goals, instead of getting stuck in a vortex of just completing client work.
You need to commit to this though, block out the same time every week in your diary and DON’T make exceptions. This is your time to spend on investigating new processes, streamlining current ones and looking at new software options.
Refocus your business goals and KPI’s, invest time in marketing and new client acquisition.
2. Create a positive team culture
How much time do you spend with your team, teaching them, listening to them, empowering them?
Improving or creating a positive culture within your firm where your team feel valued, empowered, supported and have a sense of job satisfaction, means that for the time they are with you, they are more focused on the job at hand and will be more productive, therefore making them a valuable asset to your business.
3. Start being pro-active rather than re-active
As Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
In some respects, Accountants have it easy based on this, because you will always have a steady stream of clients. However you are not guaranteed to have the type of clients you ultimately want, by sitting back and waiting to see who walks through your doors and being re-active to their needs.
The only way to either easily provide your clients with services above and beyond their expectations, or to obtain the type of clients you really want to work with, is to be proactive. And the only way you can be proactive is to be organised and to take the lead.
4. Stop acting like a bank!
For an industry that spends their time discussing cash flow and debtor management with clients and fixing your client’s financial issues, you don't seem to practice what you preach.
Accountants hesitate to demand or even offer upfront payment, yet advise their clients that this is the only way to increase or fix their cashflow problem. By grandfathering your oldest clients through tough times or because you are scared to lose a client, generally means you are technically slaves to your clients, they are determining your payment terms and conditions, instead of the other way around.
Essentially accountants are acting as a loan house to clients until they are ready to pay you. You’re basically acting as a bank to your clients, and you’re not banks, you’re accountants, so why do it?
We encourage you to pick the most efficient way to get paid from your clients. We also encourage you to dramatically decrease the number of different payment plan options for clients, streamlining your processes.
5. Chase your debtors!
Just pick up the phone and call your clients. Just do it. Stop being afraid of them getting annoyed at you. They owe you money. You provided the service, you completed the work and they now owe you money. Just pick up the phone and call your clients.
There are so many options available to help easily collect overdue invoices, such as software solutions allowing for payments enabled prior to beginning work, like Practice Ignition or turning on reminders through Xero, Debtor Daddy or Chaser just to name a few.
6. Stop acting like a mail sorting and clearing house!
The cost of sending documents out for signing instead of for electronic signature can be upwards of $2 per item if not more likely around the $4 per item mark these days.
Your simple solution is to use the ATO portal on a daily basis and download, action and then email out the relevant documents to your clients.
You have instantly turned into a pro-active accountant. Not only that, you have reduced the turnaround time for the client receiving the information by at least 10 days, you have reduced the postage and stationery costs and you have reduced the man hours required to process the mail.
You are now back to being an efficient accountant…and no longer a post office.
7. You can't be half pregnant, it's time to fully adopt!
The biggest issue we see at the moment in the accounting industry in relation to all the noise
around software development, is either not adopting these solutions fully or adopting new software but still using your old processes.
Implementing new software without fully adopting all aspects of the software and changes in processes that come with this, will lead to failure. Literally, you can’t be half pregnant!
Take control and start achieving!
So, take control and stop wasting time on frustrating, outdated systems! Clarity Street can provide you with peace of mind, clarity and flexibility around your current business and how it is being managed, improved efficiencies to allow for increased revenue targets and a streamlined and cost effective solution - positioning your practice for growth and expansion.
No matter what size your business is, we will work with you to find and implement the ideal solution with as little or as much hands on assistance required - we are there with you every step of the way.
If you're ready to start achieving your Business KPI's, get in touch with us or book a free initial meeting with us here.
Clarity Street was conceived from years of engaging with Accounting firms on a daily basis and a constant desire to make Accounting firms & SME’s more efficient and profitable.