A Breakthrough Guide On Capacity Planning For Your Firm
Nick Sinclair, Chairman, The Outsourced Accountant
Jamie Johns, CEO, Sky Accountants
Accountants are really working too many hours. Likewise, for that matter, owners of practices are also working a ridiculous amount of hours. Proportionally, they are also expecting a significant number of hours to be worked by their managers and their staff. Teams are getting absolutely pounded. Thus, there is no semblance of work-life balance. The term nine-to-five becomes nonexistent because of the massive amount of work that needs to get done.
The Undeniable Truth
We are seeing a lot of accounting firms paralyzed and their staff are just not engaged and happy because of these huge amounts of work they’re having to get through and most are struggling with capacity. So when we ask accountants if they’re up to date with their client work and if they can comfortably say that when a work deadline comes that they will always meet it and they don’t need to ask for extensions, very few firms could actually do this. A lot of the reason is just that they haven’t mapped out their workflow and they have the wrong people doing the work. In our recent poll, we found that 50% of respondents state that their capacity planning is below standard.
The Obvious Solution
On average, an accountant within an accounting firm spends roughly 200 hours a year on administration. When you look at that, you go ‘Why?’ when you could put your resources into a global team at a cost of a quarter to even as low as 20% of what that accountant is, take the administrative work off the accountant, and let them do what they’re trained and skilled to do which is accounting. What accounting firm owners don’t realize is that offshoring is definitely a viable solution to what has become a crippling problem for accounting firms at large – the lack of capacity.
The Ideal Team
Before building an offshore team though, accounting firm owners should understand that there are three key types of team members needed. These are three clear-cut roles that when fully understood, combined in a team, and utilized to their fullest potentials can become game changers.
The three key types of team members are the GRINDERS, the MINDERS, and the FINDERS.
Who Are The Grinders?
Execution is the main function of the grinders. Think of them as the soldiers on the frontline. They are the ones that do all the hard work that’s needed to achieve the business goals of an accounting firm. Grinders are in charge of the nitty-gritty of day-to-day work so to speak.
Here are some examples of Grinders:
- Digital Marketers
- Social Media Managers
- Graphic Designers
Who Are The Minders?
Operations is what The Minders are really good at. They are in charge of making sure all the systems and processes within an accounting firm are running smoothly. Minders are also the perennial firefighters as they usually get the perilous job of putting out small fires like dealing with problems with clients, repair and maintenance of office facilities, workflow process improvements, and the like.
Here are some examples of Minders:
- Client Managers or Client Service Coordinators
- Office or Facilities Managers
- Administrative Team Members
Who Are The Finders?
Business development and account management are the bread and butter of The Finders. Their highest priority is to look more new clients and more new work from existing clients. Most times they are the owners or partners in an accounting firm. They have high stakes in the growth of an accounting business so they are more often than not at the forefront of creating and ensuring constant revenue streams and increase in profit margins.
Here are some examples of Finders:
- CEO’s, COO’s, CMO’s, CFO’s etc.
- Managing Directors
- Senior Partners
All accounting firms should have a healthy mix of each type of team member. Each one is a crucial cog in the machine that is an accounting business that if at least one of them doesn’t work, the entire mechanism breaks down. With a complete understanding of this aspect of team building, an accounting firm can now start building an offshore team.
Here’s an example of the percentages of the accountability each key type of team member holds. As you can see, Grinders hold 70% of the responsibility of getting things done, Minders like client managers hold 50% of the responsibility to get things right, and the receptionist holds 40% of the responsibility to make sure that everyone, from the grinders, client managers, and clients get along. Of course, different accounting firms have different systems, processes, and people so percentages may vary. What’s important to note is knowing who’s in charge of what in streamlining the workflow process and thus increasing capacity.
Grow your firm by building your own offshore team now. Call our global offshoring specialists at 1300 896 522. Want to learn more? Click here to discover the blueprint on how to build a global accounting team.