Setting your accounting firm on the fast track to success

May 5th 2022 | Posted by Dave Cross

Currently, there is high demand for accounting professionals in the UK. However, this does not mean practices can afford to be complacent as there is a lot of competition in the market.

The good news for ambitious practice owners and managers is that taking certain steps makes it more likely for success to be achieved.

Understanding the practice and any changes that need to be made

It’s easy to get carried away with the day to day running of an accounting practice and taking things for granted. This is dangerous as it can lead to less-than-optimal practices damaging the potential of the practice.

It’s never been more important to take stock of how the business is performing and whether procedures are working as well as they should.

Questions to ask include:

  • Can efficiencies be made?
  • Is the right software being used and is it working at its full potential?
  • Are the right services being offered and can any more be added?
  • Does the system need an overhaul?

Analysing the charging regime

The most successful accounting practices regularly review their pricing in order to ensure their rates are competitive but fair and that they are not underselling their services. Changes in the accounting landscape mean that current pricing may not be an accurate refection

For example, Making Tax Digital has increased client commitments for practices. This type of increased commitment should be reflected in the costing of services.

Most importantly, pricing must be consistent whether the firm utilises hourly charging, fixed fees, or a combined regime.

Making sure clients are the right ones

Having the opportunity to take on a new client is not necessarily an advantage. The most successful practices know to assess the value of a client against the potential pitfalls.

For example, if a client is likely to require the investment of a lot of extra working without being of significant value financially saying ‘no’ could be the best option. When making this type of decision, it’s essential to consider that working with less valuable, more time consuming, clients may make it more difficult to work with higher value clients.

In addition to deciding which clients can add value, the most successful accounting practices are also able to manage clients effectively. This is a valuable attribute as it enables the practice to develop honest relationships with clients while avoiding unacceptable expectation levels.

Client management is something that must be in place from the start of the relationship. It’s easy to get drawn into trying to meet unrealistic demands to attract new clients but this creates a dangerous precedent for future interactions. It’s always better to be honest about what can be achieved, and to what timescales.

In a competitive environment it’s not easy for an accounting firm to achieve a high level of success. Taking these steps helps make this happen by setting the practice on the fast track to a successful future.

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Date Posted: May 5th 2022

Posted By: Phil Scott