January 17, 2020
There will be a period as your practice grows, that you have spare capacity.
You can be very responsive to client’s request, regardless of how urgent they are.
You will be happy to accept clients with any type of records – paper, spreadsheet, desktop software, cloud software.
Maybe even brown paper bag jobs!
No bother, you’re keen, hungry and you need the work.
But be careful.
If you don’t get the right systems and processes in place it’s very very easy to become bogged down in detail. Dealing with too many different types of client records good, bad and even ugly.
You need to establish early on your preferred way of working and the type of records you want to work with. Now we are very close to being a Xero only practice but at the start I’d accept clients with any type of records
This was a mistake.
You don’t learn how to say no…you need/want the work.
And it’s very easy to become reactive. A client tells you they need work doing URGENTLY, you do it. A client needs their accounts next week to get a mortgage, you do it. The bank needs management accounts for a loan URGENTLY.
Then another does and another…
You work flat out in December and January, seven days a week, 12+ hours a day, just to make sure tax returns are done before the submission deadline.
Why? Because you’re allowing clients to dictate when work is done and how.
You need to get systems and processes in place which mean you can plan when work is done. Not just in December and January, but from January to December every year.
You need to plan when you want to do the work
Rather than allowing deadlines and clients to dictate when the work is done, you need to plan when you want to do the work. Ok, so this won’t work perfectly and that’s not the point. The idea is to ensure you’re sufficiently busy all of the time to avoid crazy hours at certain times of the year – usually tax return season.
I started to schedule work each month, identifying what needs to be done and when. Repeating tasks such as bookkeeping, payroll and vat are straight forward.
The completion of year end accounts and tax returns requires more planning. I started to schedule out all the client year ends and then worked out how many year end jobs I could complete each month.
Allowing time for clients to complete and send the information and predicting when clients would want the work completing and then beating that deadline.
Do this and quite quickly you will start to feel back in control, you’re planning when work is completed. If you’re familiar with the Achiever Matrix – you’re working in quadrant 2.
The next stage is to educate and communicate
The next stage is to educate and communicate this to clients about how you work, when you will complete the work and the information you will require.
This will be covered in the next blog ‘Educating Clients and Avoiding Unnecessary Meetings’.
If you’re ready to start or are already running your own accountancy practice, here are 5 ways I can help you run the practice you want, the way you want:
1. Get in touch and arrange a free 30-minute discovery call.
2. Read my e-book about how I transformed my practice.
3. Attend one of our regular Mastermind Events.
4. Join one of our Mastermind Groups.
5. Work with me on a 1-2-1 basis.