Creating an accounting firm that is scalable and ready for growth is not an easy task. However, doing so is a proactive approach to success now and in the future.
The first step in making sure that your practice is ready for growth is to define what you do. Define the services you provide, what sort of clients you provide them for, what apps and other tools you use to provide them, and how everything fits together.
Defining your services is essential for scalability. Document procedures that detail the best practices that you have developed over the countless hours of serving your clients. Each service you provide should have a detailed procedure that outlines exactly what apps to use, what steps need to be performed, and in what order to do them. Make sure you include all the tricks and techniques you’ve developed over the years. These procedures are your secret sauce – how your firm is able to outperform expectations every time.
When your services are clearly defined, work can be performed consistently, efficiently and effectively. It’s key to having an efficient accounting workflow. Having procedures in place when you need to add new staff or onboard new clients ensures that the process will go as smoothly as possible. Defining what you do and how you do it is core to running a business. It is a firm’s knowledge capital and it’s what the firm will convert into revenue.
Once you’ve defined what you do, you need to organize when you do it. Set up a workflow system (like Aero!) that clearly informs every person in the firm exactly what they need to do and when they need to do it. Make sure all the resources needed to perform the work, whether it’s client documents or passwords or contact information, are readily available. In addition to setting up a schedule, your system should give visibility to everything that has been done (and not done) and how long it took. Once you set up a master schedule, little assistance should be needed from you on a day to day basis to keep it running.
Setting up a system where all the firm’s work is scheduled ensures that your firm will deliver services in a timely manner – and provides the framework for easily integrating new clients.
Once you have defined and organized your practice, delegating should be easy. Clearly defined procedures and scheduled tasks empower your staff to do their work without constant supervision. In addition, having a clearly visible and easily accessible accounting workflow system gives staff a framework to add their knowledge and experience to the firm’s reservoir of knowledge capital.
A firm that has its knowledge capital defined and its systems in place is poised and ready for growth.
A version of this post originally appeared on the Practice Ignition blog