Stop Crushing Your Team And Start Delighting Your Customers

7-minute read

For close to 12 years, Nick Sinclair, Chairman of The Outsourced Accountant, struggled in trying to run his accounting, bookkeeping, and financial planning firm. Hours were spent each day replying to emails, taking calls, managing calendars, and other admin tasks. They were slowly losing revenue because of the cumulative effect of them doing non-core tasks each day. With little to no time focus on revenue-generating tasks, workload piled up, and Nick and his team struggled to keep up. But Nick implemented the right tools and strategies and got his team out of the weeds. Here is our Chairman’s key insights on productivity and people strategy.

How Is Your Workflow Really Going?

accounting-firm-productivity-how-workflow-going

Take a step back and ask yourself this question: “How is your workflow really going?” If you feel like you don’t get enough work done, don’t worry. You are not walking this path alone. It is a fact that a vast majority of accounting firms the world over are buried in workflow.

Missed deadlines, outdated lodgments, incomplete paperwork, and what have you are common occurrences. One can think of many factors that you can attribute to these to but do you know the real reason why?

The wrong people are doing the wrong type of work. Many partners and managers do work that can be done by other people. Keep reading as we will elaborate which types of work we are referring to. The point here is spending a significant amount of time doing work that are not ‘dollar-productive’ means you are doing your accounting firm a disservice.

The best firms – meaning those who peak productivity to hit and even exceed profit margins – they fine tune their processes. This is to ensure that everything gets done on time and with the quality one expects from highly paid professionals.

Limiting Factors Crushing Productivity…And Your Team!

accounting-firm-productivity-limiting-factors

Did you know that accountants, accounting firm owners, partners, and managers spend 1 to 2 hours per day doing non-revenue-generating tasks? That is 400 hours billable hours per individual per year! These are admin tasks that have become limiting factors crushing productivity and, in the process, your team. They include:

  • Emails
  • Meetings
  • Calendar Management
  • Reporting
  • Client Issues

 

In poll taken during this webinar, 67% of attendees say that emails are the number one blockers that limit their productivity. While one might think that this is an isolated result, the truth of the matter is that emails have become one of the major hindrances to productivity.

Majority of the time partners and managers sit in front of the computer screen when they should be sitting in front of clients. Nick can attest to this while he was running his firm as he used to receive anywhere from 300 to 450 emails per day. Can you imagine that? If you’re a rainmaker, your work should be talking to clients, right? Then, why are you sitting in front of your computer?

Coming second and third in our poll were meetings and client issues respectively. It is a given that you should have internal meetings to align your team. But if they eat a large chunk of your day, then nothing gets done. Team meetings should be short and concise. The less time you spend in them, the better.

When it comes to client issues, accountants, owners, partners and managers shouldn’t deal with them directly. Someone in a specialized role can deal with them better so you can be more productive. Watch the webinar above to learn what this role is.

People Strategy: The Impact of (Not) Getting It Right

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Again, it comes down to the people factor of the success equation. It’s has become all too common for accounting firms to not have a people strategy. Ask yourself: When you last sat down to map out your firm’s objectives for a financial year, did you work out how may staff you need to achieve those objectives?

Most firms think they are under-resourced because they can’t find or keep the right staff. But, we typically see that most firms are over-resourced – they just have the wrong people doing the wrong work.

Having the right people strategy is critical to achieving your growth strategy. The crucial elements to an effective people strategy are:

  • Attracting, keeping, and growing the right people in the right roles
  • Having the right technology so they can fulfill their roles effectively
  • Implementing the right processes so they can do their work more efficiently

 

If just one of these three key elements is missing, you will have effectively doomed your firm to fail.

Conclusion

This is Nick Sinclair’s view specifically on productivity and people strategy. There are loads more insights you can learn when you watch the webinar. You will discover how the effect on customers and the referrals they send your way when you are too busy doing non-core tasks each day. Learn, if you haven’t already, about ‘The Urgent Versus Important Matrix’ that will help your daily time management. See our recommendations for apps that can help streamline your workflow as well as the four roles that will make a massive difference in increasing your productivity.

But one critical point to remember though. When we say, the right people, we mean A-players – those with the requisite skills, work ethic, and attitude that will help drive your firm towards sustainable growth. This is what we do best. We provide more than 300 accounting firms around the world with over 1,000 specialist accountants, bookkeepers, and financial analysts as well as marketing, sales, finance, and administration support staff that deliver the results our clients want.

Let us show you how we can help you build a championship team of A-players. You can schedule a FREE consultation with one of our global team specialists.

BOOK MY FREE CONSULTATION

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Roadshow 2017: Success Insights And Takeaways

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In this expert webinar, listen as our CEO Nick Sinclair provides insights and valuable tips on setting up your own global team. Learn more about offshoring and how it can propel your business to success. Key insights: Accountants face several challenges in this continuously evolving landscape Outsourcing offers immense benefits to firms looking to increase ... Read more

Client Spotlight: Offshoring Will Help You Find The Right People For The Job

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In this edition of our Client Spotlight, MKS Group Founder and CEO Mark Said talks about his company’s offshoring journey and how they were able to eliminate challenges and establish strong communication rhythms that helped scale the business.

Mark’s experience in offshoring with The Outsourced Accountant is proof that a streamlined process and the right training can successfully scale a business. Having been with TOA for three years now, MKS Group currently enjoys a highly skilled offshore team that’s fully engaged and highly motivated to provide the kind of service their clients deserve.

Based in Melbourne, MKS Group is an accounting business that currently has 13 onshore and 11 offshore team members. They’ve come a long way from having only two members three years ago.

Smooth onboarding process

Thanks to a smooth onboarding process, MKS Group was able to locate talents most suitable for their needs. In the past, the company were provided with three to four prospective employees which they interviewed either via web conferencing tools, like Skype, or face to face. Mark has always been satisfied with the high quality of candidates they were given.

He also made it a point to get the local team involved by allowing them to come up with questions for the candidates. The onshore team is also currently doing training courses.

As expected in most cases, companies looking to outsource will have hesitations and concerns. Mark admitted to having a few concerns initially. These were mostly about the pace of the team and the quality of service of the new employees. But all worries were eliminated as soon as the new team members started producing excellent work. Mark was pleased with the offshore team’s performance.

 

“The quality of their work was just fantastic and you get out of them what you put into them. If you offer training to the team and you help develop their skills they’ll use those skills.”

Training to address challenges and enhance skills

Proper training has enabled the entire team to meet and surpass what’s expected of them. Mark recognises the fact that he is working with a group of people that is hungry to learn and willing to work towards enhancing their skills.

“They wanted to grow, they wanted to perform and do what we had to teach them.”

It has been, in the words of Mark, “absolutely magnificent.”

Proper training has also helped the company address communication challenges. Communicating with the entire team is no longer an issue.

On working with TOA

Mark only has strong positive words to describe the offshoring experience with TOA. With our help his company was able to find the right people to do the right work. They were able to grow from 2 to 11 people.


If you have capacity restraints, are looking to scale your firm, or just want to know what is possible with outsourcing, contact our local industry experts specialists for a consultation today at 1300 896 522..


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Client Spotlight: How Outsourcing Enables Ashfords To Grow Consistently With High-Performance

To offer additional services to clients and to find and hire people with different skill sets. These are the two main reasons why Ashfords started outsourcing and they found that the Philippines is an ideal solution.   

Let’s take a look at Ashfords’ outsourcing journey.

Meet Richard Vaughan

Richard Vaughan is a Financial Adviser and Partner at Ashfords in Melbourne, Australia. As a full-service firm, the business provides accounting and business services, audit and financial planning, wealth management, superannuation, and bookkeeping.

From seven team members, Ashfords now has 13 offshore staff in Clark as of May 2017. Two of whom have been part of their business for almost two years now. “We treat them as part of our business. They are just another staff member, working in an office that’s a bit further away,” said Richard.

On Their Offshoring Journey

Before coming to the Philippines, Ashfords had previously offshored in India. Here they had mixed results and issues around culture, time zones, and quality of work. With that experience, they actually stopped doing any offshoring for a couple of years. As they investigated, they had a better understanding of how the Philippines and the Filipino staff fitted better within their business.

 

“Our Philippines team are outstanding. Their language skills are a lot better. The time zone is a lot more friendly to work within our business and their quality of work has been exceptional. They’re very well qualified and they love what they do.”

Richard Vaughan

 

Communication is an important aspect in outsourcing and this has always been an important aspect for Ashfords, “When we interview for a new team member at TOA, we actually concentrate on the language skills and communication. It’s important that they have an understanding of what we’re trying to put across and if I’ve got any concerns they can come back to us anytime,” said Richard.

He has great confidence that the Filipino staff is very much qualified for the positions they were looking for as they possess university degrees and high standard of work experience. In addition to this, he made sure that they fit in with the Australian culture and that they can communicate well with the team onshore through intensive training and development.

The Benefits Of Offshoring

Richard has been very impressed and grateful to how The Outsourced Accountant (TOA) has helped Ashfords establish and grow the business. Through outsourcing, it allows them to offer new services to clients, ones that they haven’t offered before.

But, the best way that TOA helped them resolve their issue is by recruiting the best team members who work diligently and have very high quality of work that gives clients the best results.

 

Benefits of Outsourcing with TOA

 

 

At TOA, we pride ourselves in maintaining strong working relationships with our clients. Coming from various business challenges and visions, we have compiled here testimonials of their success stories on offshoring with us.  

 


If you have capacity restraints, are looking to grow your firm, or just want to know what is possible with offshoring, please contact our local outsourcing experts/specialists for a free consultation or call us today at 1300 896 522.


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