“If you could start your accountancy practice again tomorrow, what one thing would you do differently?”
This interesting question was recently asked during a call with loads of my group coaching clients by one of the participants.
It got everyone on the call thinking and throwing around different ideas of what they’d do differently given the chance. Hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it!
Here are some of the most popular responses that were mentioned more than once and why I think each is important:
1. Charge higher fees from the beginning
All too often accountants start their practices with cheaper fees because they want to attract clients to their business. But once clients start on low rates, it can be difficult to implement fee increases without worrying that all your clients will leave and go somewhere with lower fees. That’s why it’s important to charge what you’re worth from the beginning.
2. Focus on systemising and implementing software
I believe systems are crucial to a successful accountancy practice, as they’re the foundations from which you can grow and scale. Without systems, growing a practice is more difficult and requires more effort, time and manpower.
If you don’t already have great systems in place in your practice, I highly recommend setting them up ASAP. And if you think you’re too busy to build good systems, you’ll always be too busy. Make time for it now and it’ll pay off in future.
3. Only allow clients to pay via direct debit
There’s nothing worse than chasing clients for late payments and that’s why setting up a system that means clients can only pay via direct debit can save a lot of time and energy. It ensures payments happen regularly and aren’t going to be late or overlooked. Which in turn leads to a more consistent and positive cash flow which will help towards growth and scale.
4. Make sure all work is chargeable – no favours!
You need to charge your clients for everything you do for them, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. If you don’t, you’re giving away work (and your time!) for free. Being clear in all communications that additional work will be quoted for and will be chargeable is a must.
5. Be more selective about the type of clients you work with
Some clients can be really problematic and can hinder your practice growth and development. They zap your time and your energy and they drain your profits too. That’s why it’s important not to work with potential problem clients.
6. Master the art of delegation from day one
Ever find yourself thinking there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done? Committing to delegating tasks will help you pass on some work to other members of your team, allowing you to spend more time on the most important parts of your business.
7. Build a fully digital, cloud practice
Having a digital, cloud practice is a must in a world that’s relying increasingly on technology. It streamlines processes and makes things so much easier for both you and your clients.
If you’d like to transition to having your clients on the cloud, click here to read my guide on how to do this successfully
8. Focus on better team management
Having an amazing team of people around you is so important if you want to have a successful practice but, managing a team of people can be difficult. When growing a practice, it’s so important to be in complete control of our team and be able to hold them accountable.
9. Use a default diary to manage time
A simple, yet effective way of taking control of your time and routine comes in the form of a Default Diary. They’re a proven and successful way of finding designated spots in your working routine to focus on the important tasks.
10. Outsource from the beginning
Outsourcing some tasks to people or companies outside of your practice can make a huge difference to your workload and the workload of your team. There are lots of things that can be outsourced, such as marketing, diary management, virtual assistant work and much more.
11. Use a coach or mentor sooner
A coach or mentor can be the difference between running a good accountancy practice and running a really great accountancy practice. A great coach or mentor will hold you accountable to ensure you implement certain things and ensure you achieve results.
So, there you have it, 11 of the most common responses to the question, if you could start your practice again, what one thing would you do differently…
If you could start over again, what would you do differently?
Let me know in the comments below…