First of Two Parts
In March, The Outsourced Accountant hit the road once again for a series of roadshows where our Chairman, Nick Sinclair, met with various key industry players and firms to talk about building a profitable bookkeeping division to double their profits and supercharge efficiency.
After a series of successful series of events in Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth, we’ve rounded up the significant insights and key takeaways.
Topics discussed include:
- How to build a profitable bookkeeping division
- How to make business as efficient as possible
- How technology impacts accounting firms
- Cybersecurity updates
Key bookkeeping insights:
- It presents a real opportunity to increase firm revenue and profit margin
- It makes compliance work easier
Use Technology, Free Up People
TOA Chairman Nick Sinclair found that majority of clients are not utilising technology but are focusing on people instead.
What impact does this have on firms? And what does technology have to do with it?
Technology can automate tasks that take up most of the accountants’ time so they can focus on more client-facing activities and other high-level work, which is one of the things Nick visualises for his firm.
“We want our people to do high-level work and our firms to be a lot more efficient.”
Nick Sinclair, Chairman, The Outsourced Accountant
Technology Reduces Time, Increases Savings
There is a huge gap between firms that are not utilising technology. What firms need to realise is that accounting systems, like Receipt Bank, can take out a lot of data entry efforts. Other software, like Practice Ignition, can save your firm as much as 40 hours per year on the onboarding process.
Outsourcing And Its Impact On Capacity
If there’s one thing you need to know, it’s that outsourcing is not a silver bullet for enhancing capacity. It’s just one of the solutions.
To experience the benefits of outsourcing, you need to get three things right: technology, people, and processes.
Need help with capacity planning? Read here.
On Building A Bookkeeping Division
Why even bother creating one?
Bookkeeping, according to Nick, is messy and hard work especially during the days when there was still no technology to automate it.
But when done right, bookkeeping can become a highly valuable part of an accounting firm because it will help you fence in clients by making compliance work easier. This streamlines all your processes, freeing up people’s time.
These days, people are becoming more “client-centric” and are starting to add more services. As a result, the client won’t look elsewhere for services they need.
Who Is The Trusted Advisor?
There is a popular notion that accountants are the trusted advisor. Nick argues that it’s no longer true because, to become a trusted advisor, one has to spend enough time with clients to really know what they need and want.
Because accountants spend way too much time in compliance work, they no longer have the time to ring the client or pay them a visit.
It doesn’t help that accountants are not front of mind whenever they have a concern. They are most likely to call a friend or family instead of going to someone who can offer a professional opinion.
The reason behind this is clients do not want to be charged for it.
Clients are more likely to pick up the phone and ring their bookkeepers because they have more of a relationship with them.
So what’s the takeaway here?
Be more proactive. Strive to have a relationship with your clients. Pick up the phone once in a while and ask them how they are doing. You don’t even have to call about work. Simply ask how they are. This should build the foundations of a strong client-accountant relationship.
How do you become a real-time accountant? We have some tips for you.
Nick Sinclair shared a story where he saw more bookkeeping firms that are scaling their business. These firms have a solid team and are growing fast. They are also already looking at integrating other services (to fence in clients), allowing them to diversify their revenue mix.
Automate And Push People Up
According to Nick, more and more senior people and partners are spending way too much time in front of computers, trying to get work done. Using technology will automate processes, pushing up people to do higher-level work.
This means, instead of being in front of computers, senior people and partners can be in front of clients, adding more value and getting more work.
Research has shown that clients want help in growing their business. Automating your processes actually does your clients a lot more good because you will have more time to spend with them.
Looking to scale your business by getting the right people to do specific roles? Call our global offshoring specialists at 1300 896 522 or click here to download our blueprint on how to build a global accounting team.