Cloud Security for Accounting Firms: Why It’s Not An IT Issue

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4-minute read    Cloud security for accounting firms is one critical factor that is holding back firm owners and partners from building dedicated offshore teams. With growing market awareness around cyber security from the Mandatory Breach Reporting legislation coming into effect in February 2018 and the increased media attention from recent high-profile breaches, cautiousness is at an ... Read more

Strategies for Accountants to Accelerate Business Growth: Key Insights from The Ignite 2018 Roadshow

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6-minute read

 

With our Ignite 2018 Roadshow in the history books, Nick Sinclair, Chairman of The Outsourced Accountant, held a webinar which discussed the key strategies taken up during the events that can help accountants, bookkeepers, accounting firm owners and partners build thriving businesses. The webinar revolved around how you can futureproof your workforce to ensure that you achieve sustainable growth. Here are snippets of what was discussed: 

Attracting A-players

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One of the biggest challenges accounting firms face is getting, growing, and keeping the best people that the industry has to offer – the A-players. But before you can attract the cream of the crop, you need to have the answers to two key questions: 

1 – How does your business look from the outside? 

Right from the get-go, your initial value proposition is how appealing your business looks. If your website looks dated or your office looks dreary with paint chipping away, the best people will not be inclined to work with you. So, if you want to attract A-players, spruce up your website and do a bit of office renovations. A little goes a long way. 

2 – What do you stand for? 

Quality team members want to work for business owners that know their ‘why’, have their values set, and are passionate about what they do. When A-players are engaged in something they believe in, they will go that extra mile. So, determine the reason your business exists and then set your business values, culture, and standards to get the best staff knocking at your door. 

What is your people strategy?

 

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When you have managed to attract the best people, you need to have a plan to grow your team. Many accounting firms create a growth strategy but fail to align their people strategy with it. There is no use having A-players when you don’t have a plan on how to provide them with the right tools, processes, and training to help them succeed. What we found throughout the roadshow was that most firms either have:  

1 – The right people doing the wrong work. On average, accountants and support staff spend 400 hours per year doing administration-related tasks. 

2 -The right people but not the right technology. Many firms invest on technology that they are not maximising the full potential of or worse, not using at all.

3 – The right people and the right technology but do not have the training and processes to use them properly. 

What most firms do not understand is that, to grow their business, you need to grow your people too. In line with this, individual development and learning plans must be in place to enhance their core competencies and develop new skills. 

Evolution of An Employee

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Global industries are changing. With it, the way people work is changing as well. All aspects from the how, when, where, and even to why people work as has evolved and will continue to do so. As you can see in the infographic above, industries at large are shifting from traditional methods to new-age practices. This is predominantly due to the rapid change brought about by disruptions in technology and work methods. What was once relatively effective ways of doing work and business has now given rise to innovative concepts because of the real need for accounting firms to adapt or be left behind. 

The key thing that can be derived from this is that accounting firms should have greater focus on ensuring that people are given highest priority. Your team is a critical factor that can make or break your firm. But it is important to remember that having all the latest and best technology and the most effective accounting business strategies are worthless without the right people to implement them properly. Keep in mind though that people with high-level skillsets come at a premium. So, here’s where you find that balance in getting the right people with the right skillsets for the right roles and at the right cost. 

Keeping The Best Team Members

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When you’ve managed to get the right team for you, now you must focus on making sure they stay. Here the key questions you need ask yourself: 

1 – What are you doing to keep the best team members? 

Taking measures to ensure your best team members stay is of the utmost importance. Try implementing a development and training program so your team can enhance their core competencies and develop new skills. This is a veritable win-win situation. By growing your team’s capabilities, you not only give them a reason to stay but you dramatically improve your workflow and service delivery. 

2 – Do you know if your team is happy? What is your communication strategy? 

Knowing what motivates your team will allow you to determine how to maximise their productivity. Create communication rhythms to align your team with not only the day-to-day operations but also with your overall vision for your accounting business. Make sure to sit and talk with them to fully understand how you can make their time with your firm a truly inspiring and fulfilling one. 

Conclusion

With the accounting industry in a state of constant change, there has never been a more crucial time to have the right team in your stead. These are just some of the key points discussed in the webinar. What you always have to remember is behind every successful business is a team of inspired and highly skilled people. Do what you must to choose your team wisely, understand what makes them tick, and create ideal situations for them to flourish. Do this and you will see your business vision realised in less time than you would imagine. 

Let us help you build a high-performing team that not only delivers the results you and your clients want but help you fulfill your vision. 

Schedule a FREE online consultation with one of our global team specialists.

Five Telltale Signs Accountants Need An Executive Assistant

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7-minute read   Did you know that, on average, accountants, accounting firm owners and partners spend 1 to 2 hours per day doing non-revenue-generating tasks?  That is 400 hours of possible billable hours per year! Let that sink in for a moment.   Your firm is actually losing revenue because of the cumulative effect of you doing … Read more

Preparing For The Inevitable: Is My Accounting Firm Safe?

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5-minute read   Anxiety is in the minds of accountants, accounting firm owners and partners. With the accounting industry in flux from widespread disruption of new-age technology and best practices, it is to be expected. Ed Chan of Chan & Naylor and WIZE Mentoring asks:      “Where is the Accounting industry heading and is your job safe, and is our ... Read more

Strike The Balance Between Time And Technology

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5-minute read   Time is a luxury that most accountants do not have. Yes, technology has made it so that work is more efficient and thus can be delivered faster. But, to the detriment of accounting firms, clients know this fact. Now what happens is they expect to pay cheaper fees because they know work ... Read more

Customer Spotlight: Get Rapid Growth By Hiring The Right People

Bernie Gore Customer Spotlight

Care Accounting has come a long way in its offshoring journey with The Outsourced Accountant. Thanks to an incredibly hard-working staff, Bernie Gore has seen her firm experience pretty rapid expansion in the last three years.

From working out of her bedroom, Bernie now has teams both in Australia and the Philippines, is about to introduce a bookkeeping arm, and a growing staff both here and Australia.

 

“They’re fantastic. They’re really good, accommodating, and delightful. They’re welcoming and really look after me.”

 

What were the motivations to try offshoring?

  • There’s not really any additional area there for expansion
  • It was difficult to find accountants willing to work in the suburbs
  • There was a need to stay relevant as an accounting firm

 

What were you looking for in an offshore provider?

  • One that’s predominantly just for accountants
  • Partner that has a strong ethical approach to the treatment of employees
  • Good facilities and competitive pay

 

What do you love about TOA?

  • Process is efficient and really good
  • There’s been a lot of touch points
  • Recruitment is a swift process and the team is always super accommodating
  • Provided access to a really good pool of candidates

 

What are the best things about your offshore team?

  • They enjoy coming to work
  • They enjoy working with the people around them as well as their clients
  • Very accommodating

 

“They’re an integral part of our practice and that’s what we really wanted to do.”

 

Working with an offshore team has helped Care Accounting experience rapid growth in clients. They’ve improved capacity so much that they’re now introducing a bookkeeping arm.

If your firm is experiencing capacity problems and you want to have a reliable offshore team to help you add high-value services, then book a free 1-on-1 consult with us. Our global team specialists will discuss with you the many benefits of building an offshore team.

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