When planning the future of your firm you need to remember the following success formula for a thriving Accounting firm….

Success Formula

So what does that mean?

* LPP = Low partner productivity. Make sure partners are doing the right things. 1) High end chargeable work for a low percentage, 2) Nurturing Existing Clients, 3) Leadership – driving performance, new ideas, working ON, sales etc

* GP = Great people. There are no excuses for having anything but the A team on your team. There are that many great people hired in the profession – they just don’t work for you right now. Make it your mission to weed out the non-performers and handbrake team members.

* FP = Fabulous Products. Over and above compliance make sure that your products (services) are really adding value to your clients. After compliance products need  to be focussed on helping your clients in 7 critical areas: 1) Growth of revenue or wealth, 2) Profit improvement, 3) Cashflow Improvement, 4) Asset protection, 5) Tax minimisation, 6) Succession or selling, 7) Financial Retirement. Make sure your products are Easy to understand, Easy to buy and Easy to implement.

* M = Marketing. Without marketing your great products are going nowhere. Have a structured marketing plan that develops and promotes a wonderful brand and importantly a marketing plan that delivers new leads / enquiries

* S = Sales. After marketing comes sales. Make sure you follow through and you deliver on your promise. Sales is a skill that any person can lean – if you have the inclination. Sales is about asking the right questions, using effective language and listening.

* VP = Value Pricing. Your existing compliance work has typically been priced on time X rate system. Even if you are pricing upfront this is not value pricing. Value pricing is coming up with a price based on the value that you add to your client. The price needs to be a great ROI for the client and equitable compensation for you. Like sales, it is a learned skill that we can teach you.

* LC = Low costs. With cost control I am not talking about being an absolute ‘tight wad’ where the office facilities / equipment are below par. The main area that Accounting businesses blow out on is far too many people for the revenue they are doing. The old way of thinking would be about $150K per full time equivalent person – all people including partners and administration. We have many firms that are over $300k per FTE and many approaching $500k and $600k per FTE.

* CFM = Cash flow management. Great cashflow in an Accounting business is a function of high profit, low WIP balance and low debtor balance. We have many coaching clients with negative WIP and negative Debtors. It’s your business not your clients remember – you set the rules.

* FE = Fix Everything!

Make this year the year of fixing everything. If you need help go to the links below….

For marketing and sales training & events

For coaching help

Most Accounting firms do not plan to be a major success from the outset. It seems business just happens and over the years you end up with a collection of…

  1. Clients who are mis-match to who you really love working with
  2. Systems that are done differently by each person in the firm
  3. Pricing mechanisms that are all over the place
  4. Services that are at best a grudge purchase – aka compliance services
  5. No rules – on how you work with clients – they seem to control things
  6. People who are plodders and not high achievers
  7. Income streams that are not conducive with what you need to live a fulfilling lifestyle.

The good news you can change this – or if you are starting out you can change this from the outset. If you are prepared to treat your business like a how you progress on a set of monkey bars (clue LET GO) then you will have a big chance of success. As my friend Michael Sheargold says “A breakthrough often happens after a breakwith”.

Maybe you need to let go of some old habits, methods, people, clients, systems to be a big success. When you re-design your future think of these critical parts:

  1. What rules do you want your clients to play by – remembering it is your business not theirs
  2. What client types / classification do you want to serve?
  3. What geographical locations do you want to serve?
  4. What services do you want to deliver?
  5. What service delivery model do you want to follow?
  6. What pricing formula do you want to use?

It’s your business life and your risk that you are taking. You decide.

Monkey Bars Small

Accountants hold the status (without even trying) of ‘trusted advisor’. By virtue of training and a certificate on the wall we trust you. We trust you to be impartial, accurate, non judgmental, and non biased. We put our family and business affairs in the guidance of you and we are very loyal to you. We trust that you are giving us the right advice.

So if we trust you to guide us then it is my hope that you are more ‘sorted’ than we (your clients) are. Otherwise how could we trust your advice? If you are advising businesses and individuals on what they should be doing then I sure as well hope that you are doing them as well – and doing them better than us!

Some questions to ask yourself (Accountants) as you advise your clients:

  • Are all of your partners wealthy?
  • Do you have all of your financials up to date?
  • Are your wills, estate planning and insurances up to date?
  • Do you have any outstanding issues with the taxation department?
  • Do you have a budget and a cashflow plan?
  • Do you have a marketing plan that works?
  • Do you have a client nurturing program?
  • Do you have a sales program?
  • Are your stock levels (WIP) under control?
  • Are your accounts receivable levels (debtors) under control?
  • Is your team working well together?
  • Do you have great facilities and superb logistical (workflow) management?
  • Are your profit levels above the highest quartile in your industry?

You see, the trusted advisory business should be running a better business than those that they advise. Not bigger, not more profitable. But better!

You want to advise us on wide range of issues and opportunities. Who is advising you? If you are advising others then isn’t hypocritical not to be advised and coached yourself?

To be able to coach a client and give proper advice you (and your firm) needs to be coached as well. Our groundbreaking coachingclub program will help you get sorted, get your firm on the right track, provide the tools and training to your people and it will also show you how to take value added (advice based) services to your clients.

We’re here to guide you to your success. Make an enquiry today.

In Australia the Accounting profession is about to start a new financial year. You need to come ‘out of the blocks’ early and get off to a great start with your compliance work.

This means being organised with pricing upfront, administration people taking admin away from Accountants, checklists and scheduling all work in for the year ahead.

A trap for young players is bringing all of your work forward for the year. You need to use your deadlines to your advantage and spread the work out. You need to take the ‘lumpiness’ out of the revenue by being organised.

You really only have 1 major deadline in Australia – May 15. Oh, it’s actually June 6! use the deadlines. If the client work is not urgent then spread it out. You need capacity all through the year so you can handle additional ‘value added’ work as you sell it.

Have a good end of year Aussie firms. Make next year count.

If you are an Accountant and you are keen to make a difference to the financial performance of your firm and you want to make this happen for your firm NOW, then you need to visit us in Brisbane next week.

You see next week we are running a coachingclub experience day. We have a choice of dates in June for the 14th or the 16th, both in Brisbane – come up and enjoy our warmer weather! It will be led by myself, my business partner Colin Dunn and our senior coach, Owen Howells.

The agenda for the day is:

09:00am start to 16:30pm finish – so you can fly in and fly out.

  • Understanding your business objectives
  • How to sort out internal issues – workflow, WIP, etc.
  • How to get capacity
  • Insights and strategies that you can implement to achieve your goals
  • What is possible in your firm – planning your revenue and profit
  • How to grow your firm – the key things (foundations) you need to get right before growing
  • How to implement ‘upfront’ pricing from July 1 onwards
  • How to implement ‘client service coordinator’ strategy and make it work
  • How to sell value added services to clients – based on value based fees
  • The inner workings of coachingclub – why it works and how it works
  • Meet your support team and your coach
  • The resources of coachingclub – tools behind the concepts
  • Ask fellow coachingclub members a question – we will have a panel of existing firms there in the afternoon – and you can ask them any question you want

There will be a small number of firms attending that day (in our office at our purpose built coaching facility) so you can see how we run a coachingclub meeting at the same time.

There will also be a lot of content in this day and there will be a lot of information on how we help you implement. We would normally charge $3k – $5k per firm to attend however, if you are serious about being part of our community and you commit to bringing all partners, we will waive the fee. We only do these days if all partners are attending – otherwise the partners that don’t attend will not be on the same page as you and cannot contribute to your firm goals for the year.

We have limited spaces left on both days so please contact Lexi on 07 3607 6614 or lexi.mcdermid@nixonadvantage.com to secure your place. I look forward to working with you and your firm to help implement your growth strategies.