While you may have a decent client base and you would be earning a good loyalty from clients and profitability, you may often be worried that your staff are doing enough to protect the goodwill of your practice which you have developed over years and also at the same time working efficiently. Some of the key things to ensure your staff are doing right things can be done by monitoring the following:
- Set Up Processes- Most accounting firms have complex processes where each individual does the entire set of work which includes things like data entry, preparing schedules, journalising, etc. If it’s and extremely small practice, this may be prudent but as your practice starts growing, you should start looking at dividing the team into various work streams such as data entry, preparing schedules, journals and then final review. You will think that there would be too many hand offs but you would be eliminating loads of risks while at the same time improving the productivity of your staff
- Hiring- It’s quite traditional that most people we hire come through referral or is based on likability. We generally see the overall suitability to the practice. That’s a big mistake we all make as accountants. We generally never think what processes we should have to manage the practice and what kind of people do we need to manage those processes
- Key Performance Area- It’s mostly seen that the appraisal process is seen as a process of giving salary hikes to employees every year. For many employees, when they join the company, they are just given a vague idea of what they should be doing but not in detail. It’s very important that you there are clearly articulated goals for each of your staff including that of admin staff and wherever possible, these should be linked to some numbers so that you remove biasness. Furthermore, it’s important that your senior staff have goals linked to revenue and profitability. Every month you should spend some time giving feedback to your staff on their performance rather than giving only at the year end. Your staff will know where exactly to improve and your appraisal process would be a happier process rather than year end surprises
- Daily Monitoring- You should monitor daily the status of the work done by your staff. While it may sound to be too much of micro management, you will be surprised to know that every day of yours has no new surprises and in areas where you were struggling, those have completely eradicated. Your daily monitoring sheet may include the work in hand, status on them, expected time to complete, accounts in pipeline, etc.
- Checklists- Make sure your processes have checklist. These should be simple and completed at ease. These do not need to be too complicated where most of the items are marked as not applicable. Make sure all your clients work has a completed checklist. This will bring in consistency across all your clients.
About the Author
Sachin Lohade is a Chartered Accountant and works with Accounting Firms to improve practice and reduce costs. He can be reached out at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can visit www.corientbs.com for further information.