The Great Resignation has caused serious disruption to the accounting industry. Firms are taking a good hard look at the way they operate and realizing that they need to make some BIG changes before it’s too late.
The trend in the industry is to offer more of a consultative approach to the services they offer. The market is demanding more value added services beyond tax filing and compliance related work.
Firms also need to deal with fixing problems related to recruiting and retention. For far too long accounting firms have simply expected to be able to grow just by hiring more accountants, but now those same accountants are looking for more than just busy work and if they don’t get it they’ll burnout and turnover for a better opportunity at another firm.
OK, I know our firm needs to make changes but what do we need to focus on NOW?
Accounting firms are being reinvented everywhere. As such, you need to narrow your focus on your specialities that allow you to focus on high dollar and high margin services. This will also help you differentiate your firm and stand out from the crowd in a positive way.
You also need to increase the leverage of your team’s capabilities. Your CPAs want to focus on challenging and engaging work which will mean you’ll need to find a way to eliminate the time consuming, boring and routine admin work they’ve completed in the past.
How should our firm identify areas in which we should specialize?
Draw a 2×2 quadrant and map out the list of services you offer today by price and margin. Focus on those services in the high price and high margin quadrant. Soft circle these as the best opportunity to develop your firm’s specialties. For those that fall outside this circle, either figure out a way to get them into the circle or drop them.
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How do we increase the leverage for our team and boost retention?
Automation and technology. You need to identify the bottlenecks in your process today and eliminate them. These bottlenecks are what’s causing your team so much pain. They make the work boring, monotonous, time-consuming and even error prone. They zap your margins to pieces. If you don’t eliminate them your team will burnout and turnover for a firm that already has.
If you need help figuring this process out, my automation and technology roadmap service might be just what you need.
Start re-shaping your firm for the future now. The longer you wait, the harder it will be.
PS. Read more about the impact to accounting from the great resignation.