Most firms are staffed with a team of generalists. This is a carryover of what worked well in the past, firms have traditionally grown (created capacity) by putting on more accountants and developing them into generalists. However the market is evolving with clients starting to desire more and market pressure on compliance with the introduction of automation and the need to create better profitability by lowering labour costs, high performing firms are realising that generalists don’t have the attributes or skills to deliver higher value add services.
As the market evolves our business clients are desiring more specialised deliverables. In order to deliver, firms must re-skill teams or begin hiring specialised skills.
The solution is to structure your teams around distinct revenue streams or service offerings. This is not new to the industry, for example audit and insolvency are now distinct division with specialised skill sets adding to this in more recent times is the SMSF divisionalisation.
I believe if VAS is going to be successful and position your firm as an expert then a VAS division needs to be created.
Why this works
This solution works for the high performing firms I work with because it follows three principles.
Building teams around service offerings enables team ownership. There is a saying, “let people do what they love and watch productivity soar”. People who work within their strengths tend to love what they do and will take ownership of it. Also, because they do it every day they get more effective, increasing productivity. What I have seen in firms that have gone down this road is that the team is more motivated and more productive, while the partners have less stress as they know the team is taking care of it. (Darren Smith testimonial)
To provide specialised services, a firm must have clarity on what it offers as a service and what outcomes the service provides the client. Therefore, with a clearly definable service outcome (packages & products model) and a dedicated team, the process of delivery can be more easily defined and systems activated to create a repeatable service. This also makes it much easier to offer to the rest of a firm’s client base.
3.Delivers valuable client outcomes
Specialised teams are more focused on achieving specific outcomes for your clients. These outcomes are the objectives of delivery, and written into the processes used to achieve them. This increases the benefit to your clients. For example my family board became much more effective once it was delivered in a structured way with definable outcomes that clients could relate to.
- Remember that generalists lower profitability. Aim for experts instead. It is a mistake to have a team of generalists and expect productivity and profitability.
- Once you get that right, ask yourself: is the rest of the business structured around revenue streams?
- Employ skill sets that match these revenue streams.
Sometimes it takes more than just planning for it to make it happen. At these times it can be useful to bring in a third party to create an implementation plan and ensure that roll out stays on track.
I help multiple clients, including multi-partner firms to restructure their teams for profit. You can view more about how I work here.
Or you can schedule a time to speak to me here.