After looking at culture last week in our series of 7 steps, for the third step we’re going to focus on something really simple and easy to change, it won’t cost a cent and will give you back control in your business. This step is pitched predominantly at Accountants, but any service based business can adopt the following principle:
3. PRO-ACTIVE RATHER THAN RE-ACTIVE
Let’s start with a quote from one of the greats:
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.
You also won’t easily achieve your required ATO lodgement deadlines by waiting for your clients to contact you.
With the hundreds of accountants I’ve met over the past several years, you all have extremely similar personality traits. You’re all intelligent, astute, generally lovely humans! But the one thing that commonly stands out, is your desire to avoid awkward conversations and potential conflict at the cost of your own needs, both personally and more so in business.
It’s time to stop being scared of losing clients, and proactively have conversations with them if they aren’t giving you what you need, to make it a positive experience and outcome for you both. Because potentially firing a client who hasn’t honoured your engagement agreement, will only open the doors to new clients who will.
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.
Do you have a lodgement program in place, whereby you have listed every piece of compliance work that you know you will have to complete for the year ahead? If it has the time and expected billing listed next to it, you can also capacity plan and track monthly budgets.
Do you then begin contacting each client approximately six weeks in advance to get their work in because that is when you had scheduled to do it based on last year or a conversation you have had with the client? Do you constantly track this, to ensure your clients are getting their work in, your team has enough work and/or you have the capacity to complete the work, and that you are achieving your financial targets?
Accountant’s who use a lodgement program in this method, are achieving ATO lodgement targets of 95% and above.
By having a lodgement program in place, you are now organised and can be certain that compliance obligations are met. This will allow you the time you need to go above and beyond for your clients, providing real time advisory knowledge and generally a better level of service. It will also allow you the time to work on obtaining new clients, the ones you really want to work with!
In the next blog, we're going to ask, Why are you acting like a BANK?....want to know more? Get in touch for a chat!
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.