It’s likely you have an idea of the kind of tax or accounting firm you want to run, how far you want to go with it, and what impact you want it to have on your life. In our experience working with accountants (and being in the accounting industry ourselves) we know there are some common challenges standing in the way of the vision you have. What does the future look like for your accounting firm?

What is the biggest challenge facing you as an accountant right now?

● Not enough free time?
● Not enough good clients?
● Not enough profit?
● Unenthusiastic and inefficient team?
● Clients not paying enough for compliance?
● Too much competition?
● All of the above?

If you asked your clients what they’d most like from their business, you’d probably find the answers are the same. As a guide and advisor, you provide the kind of wisdom and action to solve these problems in business (and beyond), but are you practising what you preach when it comes to your own practice? and can you back it up in front of a client?

As you’ll know from the conversations you’d be having with them – you cannot hit a target you can’t see. You’re even more unlikely to hit a target you haven’t even set.

– Do you know your own key numbers?
– How is your business plan looking and how regularly do you sit down and review it with someone to act as a sounding board?
– Can you visualize and graphically demonstrate the impact of small movements and incremental gains?
– How are you going to make this work for your clients if you are not seen to be doing it for yourself?

It is vital to the future for accounting firm, that your team can see where they’re going. And what part they play in getting there.

If your teams don’t have clarity on the direction you want your practice to head in, and understand and buy into what is needed to drive it there, it can be akin to taking a toddler on a road trip.

They don’t know where they are going, what they are going for, or how long it will take. And they may not want to be there when they get there. They are, quite literally, passengers. If our teams cannot see where we are going; or how we get there, is it surprising that there might be the odd tantrum? That some of your team may just be along for the ride?

If your teams don’t understand your vision, your ambitions for the future of your accounting firm AND their careers, you may feel like you are dragging them along with you, like a toddler around a supermarket. It isn’t much fun for anyone.

Sadly for professional accounting firms there is no shortcut; no Ocado. You have to take your teams with you. It is vital that they know where they are now, where you want them to get to and yes, what’s in it for them. It is also vital that they are given the skills necessary to help them, and you, get there.

We work in a profession in which training is largely provided for professional exams, but little else.

The focus is largely on Gross Recurring Fees (GRF) or chargeable hours and developing teams often falls solely on leaders who already have a thousand things to do and can thus be neglected.

Because of this, we meet firms stuck in the same cycle of struggle.

1. They struggle to instill the right mindset within the firm and team
2. They lack the confidence to invest in tools and people
3. Their people then are ill-equipped to win and retain work
4. This impacts morale and confidence. The quality of work drops further and people leave
5. The partner takes on more work, fills the gaps and it starts again

Does any of this feel depressingly familiar? Don’t worry – there is a better way. One focused on the developing staff behaviours and personal skills. One which would give them the confidence and tools to better manage workloads; train those charged with managing staff how to do so effectively and all how to develop networks, identify leads and win work.

For accounting firms their future success, all comes down to providing the right training. With Covid-19 driving the shift to remote working, great management, alongside leadership, is more important than ever to maintain engagement, motivation, growth and performance.

Having a more engaged and upskilled team will in turn help motivate your clients to engage with you in high-value work and secure the future of your accounting firm

And motivate you to spend less time at the coalface!

When you upskill the individuals in your team with what they need, they can help you to:

● Win more profitable work
● Attract new high value clients
● Be a more engaged team
● Delegate and automate rather than have you doing all the work
● Have an easier life

At Armadillo we want to help future proof your business and make sure that you have access to all the support you need to find success in your accounting firm. Check out our academy page to see how we can support you and your accounting firm.