Warning – RANT coming up!

I get so annoyed when I hear anything that resembles ‘we don’t have time to… [insert project/task here].’

It is such rubbish. It is without a doubt the lamest excuse for not doing something that you probably should be doing. It’s like saying you did not have time to go to the bathroom. I bet you do that every day. Or you don’t have time to eat. I bet you do that most days as well.

You see, getting things done (anything) is not limited to the time you have. It’s limited to the priority of the task. Let that sink in for a moment.  We all have 86,400 seconds per day. We all have 168 hours in the week. It’s the same 24/7 for all of us. No human has any more than others. I am sure we all wished we had a few more hours each day.

So it’s not the time you have it’s what you do with your time that matters.

Yes, you’re busy. I get that. We all are. Busy doing what though? Is it business or busyness?

Some Accountants are so busy doing the job that they think they do not have enough time to build a business that does the job. Tweet that one!

Think of the following scenarios. Which is better?

Partner 1. Does personal billings of $600k. Maybe 1,500 chargeable hours at an average of $400 per hour. Is also busy for the rest of the year. No sales activity from this Partner because they are so busy churning out the work. Total contribution of $600K. This Partner is contributing at $400 per hour.

Partner 2. Does personal billings of $300K. Maybe 750 chargeable hours at an average of $400 per hour. This Partner also does 100 sales meetings for the year (total 150 hours), converts 50% at an average of $5K per sale equalling $300K in new business. Total contribution of $600K. With a total of 900 hours (client facing) this Partner is contributing at $665 per hour – but working less than Partner 1.

Partner 3. Does personal billings of $100K. Maybe 250 chargeable hours at an average of $400 per hour. This Partner has a boat-load (technical term) of time to get out and do 200 sales meetings (300 hours) at an average of 50% conversion and $5K per sale equalling $500K of new business brought into the firm. Total contribution of $600K.  With a total of 550 hours (client facing) this Partner is contributing at $1,090 per hour, And working the least of the 3.

Which is the best scenario?

Give me Partner 3 every day. This Partner is bringing in business for someone else to do and growing the business by $500K each year. They are working the least yet earning the most per hour. Partner 3 could easily bring in new business of $1M per year if the volume of meetings were more, the conversion rate higher and / or the average sale value higher.

Let’s say you are a 3 Partner firm with revenue of $3M. If all 3 Partners brought in $500K per year each then you’ve got some handy growth going on there.

The role of the Partner (based on the most successful firms I coach) is as follows:

  1.  Client chargeable work that no one else can do – less than 30% (around 500 hours) of the year. Only high-end value-added work at a great margin.
  2. Sales / relationship building activity for around 60% of the year (around 1,000 hours).
  3. Leadership activities for around 10% of the year – inspiring the team to greatness.

Most everything else is administration. Not a good use of Partner time.

Let me put not too fine a point on this. I believe that if a Partner of an Accounting firm can’t or will not sell then they are overpaid Accountants. They are surplus to requirements. You could hire a senior Accountant and delegate to them – saving a lot of money in the meantime.

Back to time. If you can hire a WHO to do the HOW then I believe you should do that.

It’s time to get super focused on the highest payoff activities in your business. Doing compliance based Accounting work is probably not one of them.

Here is something to ponder.

“What you do with your billable time will give you income for today. What you do with your non-billable time will create wealth for the future”.

What are you doing with your billable time? What are you doing with your non-billable time?