Running a successful accounting firm requires more than just financial and business acumen. A future-focused mindset and a commitment to the ongoing development of your practice is important too. The end of the financial year (EOFY) is a perfect time to sit down, revisit your plans and do some big-picture thinking. Here are five resolutions to make this financial year one of your best.
1. Review your strategic plan
Often, we can get so busy working in our businesses that there’s little time left over to work on them. Taking some time out to review your strategic plan can set your firm up for future success. Does your growth strategy take into account any set-backs from the previous financial year? Do you have a clear development pathway in place for your staff? How are your client relationships being managed? What is your succession plan? Make sure these questions are clearly answered in your plan, so you can face the future with confidence.
2. Boost productivity
Workflow bottlenecks could be hurting your productivity and costing your firm money. Do you have any? First, map your workflows, breaking each workflow down into a series of concurrent steps. Then, identify the results you expect from each step so you meet your productivity goals. Now, compare these results against the actual performance associated with each step. Any significant gaps could be a signal that a workflow bottleneck is at play.
3. Expand your team
Gone are the days when a sign outside your office was enough to keep new business walking through the door. Hiring a digital marketing professional, lead generation specialist, or even a social media manager will help you remain competitive in the digital economy. Larger firms may also consider adding a data analyst to their team who can turn important data into actionable business insights.
4. Upskill your staff
The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has imposed new education requirements for accountants who provide financial advice. These standards will come into effect by 2024 – meaning accountants could need to complete up to three additional units of tertiary study. This requires significant investment in staff training, so start planning now to get your team upskilled in time.
5. Embrace new technology
Accountants are embracing cloud-based tools like QuickBooks Online Accountant, but you shouldn’t stop there. Chatbots powered by artificial intelligence (AI) are now being used in accounting firms to respond immediately to client questions, and AI assistants are available to assist accountants with research and repetitive tasks. The most successful accounting firms are focused on the now, while keeping an eye on the future. The new financial year is a great time to review your firm’s performance and ensure it’s headed in the right direction.
For more advice about how to grow your firm, check out these resources.