The other morning, I was speaking with one of my clients, Vicky.
Vicky is a partner in a 4-partner practice and one of her goals that she’s working with me on right now is refining the structure of her practice by completing an organisational chart.
You see, what an organisational chart gives you is clarity.
Clarity around WHO is responsible and WHAT they are responsible for.
Because as your practice grows, you end up with lots of different people doing lots of different things, often overlapping with each other and a lot of treading on each other’s toes.
And one of the points Vicky made is that in her practice there were also people ‘sticking their noses into other people’s business’.
Now at a subtle level, this comes down to “I don’t trust you to get on with this so I’m going to stick my nose in to make sure you do it properly”.
But the ultimate result of all of the above points is inefficiency.
So how does an organisational chart give you clarity?
Having an organisational chart for your accountancy practice gives you clarity in 3 main areas:
And what this means is that people in your team can take ownership and responsibility for their tasks and their tasks only, because they will be held accountable for it and ultimately it will fall back on to their shoulders if things go wrong.
How do you create an organisational chart for your accountancy practice?
The process for creating one is quite simple…
Step 1 – Identify key roles
Start with a blank spreadsheet and create a number of different boxes for each of the different roles in your practice.
E.g. a box for the Managing Partner/CEO, a box for an Accounts Manager, a box for a Practice Manager. These are just examples and may not be true for your practice.
At this stage you don’t want names of people in the boxes, you just want to identify what the different roles are in your practice.
Step 2 – Define each role
Then for each of the roles that you have identified, create a tab in the spreadsheet with:
- A brief description of what the role is about
- A list of what the key responsibilities are
Step 3 – Assign people to roles
Once you’ve done this, you can start adding names into each of the boxes.
This is based on what people are currently doing – not what you want them to be doing…
Now what you’ll probably find at this point (especially in smaller practices) is that there is lots of overlap with peoples’ names appearing in multiple boxes, and that’s fine – it’s a starting point.
Step 4 – Moving people around
Now comes the tricky part…
You want to start moving names around slightly so that you end up with 1 name in each role.
It might not be possible based on who you currently have in your practice to end up with a perfect chart of 1 person in each role. But you can use this as a plan going forwards to recruit the right people and put them into the correct role so that you limit the overlap.
I often find when helping practice owners complete this that we can go through roughly 3-8 drafts before we get to a final version that we’re happy with.
The basics work…
When looking at how to improve your practice it’s very easy to overlook the basics.
I’ve seen and proven with my clients time and time again that the implementation of the basics i.e. a simple organisational chart, can bring massive results to their practices.
Completing an organisational chart is a simple, relatively quick exercise that you can do that will not only give you greater clarity, but also result in improved efficiency for your entire team.
If you have any questions, or want some more ideas on how to increase the efficiency of your practice, leave a comment below.