Achieving sustainable growth in an industry amidst rapid disruptive change is not easy.
Do you want to know the secret of the the world’s most profitable and high-performing firms?
They use a three-pronged approach: Technology, People, And Process:
Optimum use of the right tools and technologies, the right people in the right roles, and the right accounting business strategies and how-to methodologies are keys to your firm’s success.
Time For A Reality Check
During our most recent poll, we asked accounting firms “how helpful is technology in growing your firm?”:
- 33% say they use some software but need to learn more
- 28% say they have an IT stack but have not maximised all of it
- 17% say they have just started building their IT stack
- 11% say that they are learning just now
But the most important number is:
- Only 11% say that their IT stack is very helpful and they are using it efficiently.
What this figure says is that there is a very low percentage of accounting firms who are using technology to its fullest potential. If your accounting firm wants to achieve its goals, you need to maximise the use of the technology available to you.
The Fact of The Matter
According to Ron Lesh, Founder and Managing Director of award-winning BGL Corporate Solutions, there are five types of accounting firms depending on when they started integrating technology.
- Innovators – The initiators and creators of better and faster ways to do things
- Early Adopters – The first to use the latest technology
- Early Majority – The firms that saw Early Adopter results and began using the technology as well
- Late Majority – The firms that started using technology relatively recently
- Laggards – The firms who haven’t, are just thinking of, or don’t want to use technology
Ron says that most accounting firms are heading into the Late Majority. But you would most definitely not want to be a Laggard because, in today’s digital age, accountants like you need to realize two things:
- You are no longer purveyors of information. Clients can ask Google.
- Clients know what you know. They have access to all their info and they know your competitors.
This is why it is very important to be ahead of the curve by not only using technology but to make sure they are all integrated. Most times, accounting firms use different software that don’t actually connect to each other.
Integration is the first step to automation. With automated systems, you can streamline workflow to increase efficiency and consequently enhance capacity.
The Benefits of Automation
Let’s say each year all your work takes 10,000 hours to finish. When you automate your systems effectively, you will see a:
- 30% decrease in total number of hours after 2.5 years to only 7,000 hours
- 60% decrease in total number of hours after 5 years to only 4,000 hours
Imagine what you can do with thousands of extra hours. You can use it to do extensive business planning. You can take on more new clients. You can train your teams. There is so much time you can save to focus on really growing your firm.
Time To Grow Your Firm
The pace by which leading-edge technology and best practices are changing is staggering. Rob Nixon, success mentor, coach, and facilitator to hundreds of accounting firms worldwide, knows this all too well. To grow your accounting business, he says that you need to do three things:
- FIX what is going on today. Technology wise, do an audit of what you use. If you are not maximising their full potential, ensure that you do or use something that you can. Then, start fixing your workflow, pricing, receivables, client mix, and all day-to-days.
- MINIMISE time and get more efficient. Look at every single technology you use. If it is not helping minimise time or increase capacity, use something that will. Mishandling of data occurs the more people it passes through. Automation cuts this. Gaining time and capacity will allow you to increase profits and achieve sustainable revenue growth.
- SCALE to your desired business size. When you have sorted out the first two, it is time to set targets and grow your business. Go into new niche markets. Expand your services portfolio and include value-added services.
Rob says, “Let technology write the history and accountant make history.” Automate your processes so you, the accountant, can focus on serving clients. Pair this with effective implementation of the right accounting business strategies and you will have the formula for success.
“Your accounting firm can be whatever you want it to be. Your dreams, imagination, your desire to implement new ideas will make all the difference.”
How To Face Critical Challenges
Before your firm achieves sustainable growth, there will be hurdles you have to jump over. Our survey says that:
- 55% of accounting firms consider technological advancements as their major challenge.
- 39% say it is the high cost of labour
- 35% say that it is meeting customer expectations
- 31% say that it is the lack of team members with necessary skills
- 14% say that is globalisation and integration of cloud technology
Build a highly skilled global accounting team and you can address a majority of these challenges. While you will gain the capacity you need, remember that this is a long-term play. You need to match this with the right accounting business strategies and how-to methodologies.
Low Risk And High Rewards
Offshoring is not a risky proposition as you might think. We at The Outsourced Accountant have worked with hundreds of accounting and they will tell you that the rewards outweigh the risks many times over.
By having a high-performing global team, you free up your local team to be more productive and increase workflow efficiency. So matching the right skills with the right people allows your local team to grow in the process.
Building Your Team
There are 10 clear-cut advantages of building your local team and a team in the Philippines:
- Full-time Employees – You will have a dedicated offshore team.
- Aligned with Your Time Zone – Your offshore team will work while you work.
- Highly Secure Data and Systems – You do not worry about breaches.
- Free Consult To Plot Your Growth – You have us to help you build your team and business.
- Full-time Offshore and Local Support – You have increased time and capacity.
- A-team for Long-term Investment – You gain a high-performing team to help achieve growth sustainability.
- Highly Skilled Talent Pool – You choose from the best-of-the-best industry specialists.
- Great English Proficiency – Your team will have one of the highest English proficiency rates in Asia.
- Low Employee Turnover – You can trust your team to stay and be loyal to you.
- Client Education and Peer Community – You have access to other firms on the same journey.
So if you want your firm to achieve true sustainable growth, a potent combination of the effective implementation of the right technology, the right people in the right roles, and the right accounting business strategies is key.