This year we have sent over 20 Practice Management updates. I am pretty sure they all remain 100% up to date and relevant. Why not take some time to review these over the forthcoming days? I trust they will inform, challenge, and instruct. I have been acclaimed by some as one of the world’s leading practice management experts. Very kind of them, but there are many others in this space. But I think maybe none who have compiled such in depth, insightful and powerful content as you find in our articles and online videos. This year end summary will make it easier to review our 2021 articles and plan for your 2022.
PRACTICE MANAGEMENT UPDATES BY CATEGORY
Our eight articles in Trends look at the importance of disaster planning. Hardly a day goes by without there being news of disasters arising as a result, for example, of Climate Change. In the last 10 days one of my clients was awakened by their security company to advise that there were intruders on their business premises. The senior partner arrived with the security company to see that almost all their computers were in the back of a van. Round about the same time, a client who is the Chairperson of a 500-person firm was travelling from London for our quarterly meeting. He arrived at my consulting studio, opened his backpack only to discover that his computer had been stolen – he assumes while he was on the London tube. He contacted his IT department. Here are the action steps taken:
- IT confirmed that the computer had not been turned on
- A new computer would be his when he returned to the office, and
- That when the computer was turned on all data would be wiped.
I spoke with an IT consultant who specialises in working with accountants. I asked him how many accountants would have their systems set to wipe data just like that. He smiled and said, “Very few.” I know so many people who thought that they would not be a target of anything resembling a disaster. How about you? In what areas do you need to add in further layers of security. Don’t delay – it may cost you, and maybe even your clients.
Other articles in Trends include my most written about topic this year – Working From Home/Remote Working and the emergence of the Chief Remote Officer.
BUSINESS ADVISORY SERVICES
The state of our Compliance Franchise is strong in many countries – waning in others. Th reasons are well recognised – the advance of technology coupled with governments demanding everything online. While I advocate that this might well in the long run have considerable advantage to accountants; in the short term it remains ever challenging. In the UK and in the US, there is ever growing evidence that Private Equity is again on the advance in accountancy business acquisitions.
In reviewing accounting firm websites during 2021 it is clear that firm owners are mostly highlighting their areas of specialist expertise. A trend that will surely gain momentum in 2022.
Many firms promote their expertise in business advisory, while some enquire as to how they could and should develop this competency.
Be assured, in 2022 we will provide solutions to those interested in developing their skills in this area.
In these 7 articles we look at the Irresistible Power of the Client Agenda, the Rule of Fee Flexibility, and the Power of Face to Face. There are also a range of articles focused on the nuts and bolts and ‘how to’s’ of delivering value and getting well paid for being your clients’ MOST trusted business advisor.
Without clients there would be no reason to turn up for work. Clients are, without question, the raison d’etre of our role in business. While we devote as much of 95% of our charge hours to our compliance work. There is no question that our timeliness of service and the insightfulness of the advice we offer are mission critical to the value we deliver. Looking back over 2021 I surprise myself in finding that I have only written three articles on this subject. Surprise because over the years I have written more about client service, delivered more seminars and spoken at Firm Retreats on Client Service than any other topic. Note to self for 2022 – look in further depth at how we can better serve clients – and be well paid for our endeavours.
OK, so this is probably not going to be as interesting and captivating as some of our other topics, but cast a glance and review our 5 articles – there are still what I regard as pearls of wisdom to be uncovered here. What are your reflections on your Covid planning and workplace? Where have you succeeded? Where can you improve? How can you make an even greater difference to your clients. Covid has seen us navigate some important ‘tipping points’ not least the use of online meetings and remote technology. Could you be more interactive with clients? This is after all a safe environment for us all. Do you have a dedicated area for online meetings? Your background? I have created an online meeting studio so that my meetings look more professional