The big mistake made here is when practices hire more staff in the belief that this will increase work outputs and raise profits.
Instead of achieving financial goals and freeing up the senior partners, this leads to:
- more training time;
- more staff to manage; and
- (more) complications.
The mistake I see is say, a typical accounting firm putting more people on, getting them to do the same things as everyone else and expecting to create instant extra capacity and better profitability.
Unfortunately, what these firms are getting in reality is the exact opposite.
They end up:
- Too busy managing and training;
- Frustrated that people are not taking ownership;
- Finding partners still have to drive everything (which makes you busier and more frustrated).
- Worse, some are even seeing higher write-offs and more mistakes!
To compound the mistake, they can even lose good team members (accountant) following the new hires. These team members eventually become sick of it all, become disengaged and may tell you they want to move on to gain experience!!
The solution: get strategic – create a new role, not just a new employee.
The Strategic Structure
In this case, “getting strategic” means adopting a model that truly takes the partner out of the compliance day to day of clients thus freeing up the partner up to work strategically on;
1. The practice,
2. with key team members, and
This allows the senior people to really step up, become pseudo compliance partners and operational managers, thus freeing up partners to work on high end work only.
The structure works in all the firms I know that have more than 50% in value add service fees.
It also transitions the culture of a practice from a job mentality to a strategic, solution-providing business.
To achieve true growth a great business leader looks for strategic solutions. A strategic solution involves getting the right person performing the right functions and hiring on specific functional skills rather than general skill sets.
Tactics to implement in your strategic growth
Use this process to devise the strategic organisation chart for your practice.
- Pull out your current job descriptions, including partners.
- Get clear on which tasks are accounting work and which are processing/support work.
- Hint anything to do with preparing a set of financial statements is 95% procedural thus processing.
- Redo your organisational chart based on functions not the people you have and reassign roles that match skill.
get me in to help you make this happen.
I work with practice partners to devise a strategic structure which suits their circumstances. Strategic Structures can vary depending on partner goals, and individual plans for future growth. So my clients benefit from following my growth acceleration program, and applying one on one mentoring to their practice growth.
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