Automation and outsourcing are not enough to sustain success and remain future ready in the accounting profession. Challenges are continuous and occurring at an increasing rate for all firms and their clients. If your clients didn’t have dangers and opportunities, they wouldn’t buy your services.
Remember, leaders focus on improving what is working, while managers tend to focus on what isn’t working. Self-disruption is indicative of a clear vision and isn’t always appreciated until other disruptive forces like technology, artificial intelligence, talent and process automation enter the picture. Is your firm anticipatory or reactive?
Employees also have dangers and opportunities. Some leading firms are exploring ways to make their employees’ lives better, but more is being communicated about the client/customer experience. According to Joe Polish, founder of the Genius Network ®, trying to separate the client and employee experiences will end badly.
Questions provide permission to think.
How easy is it for clients to do business with your firm?
What differentiates your firm from competitors?
How easy is it for employees to work for your firm?
What differentiates your firm from other employment opportunities?
Employees and clients don’t choose to leave your firm based upon the brand. They leave because of relationships…a manager, partner or the experience. Technology can be a part of the solution, but generally not the most important part. According to Peter F. Drucker, “the only two things in a business that make money – innovation and marketing, everything else is cost.” While many will debate this statement, the important part is in the innovation and marketing message. It is part of your culture and now may be the time to change a few mindsets.
The good news is you already have an “innovation lab” establish with both your current employees and clients. Are you listening to what they are saying or are you projecting what you think they value?
You have probably read some of my previous articles and know that I believe checklists and a roadmap are not enough in transforming your business. To sustain success and remain relevant you need to also build scenarios to capture the opportunities. Checklists are typically focused on risk management and compliance. Here are a few areas you might want to consider. Mindset Scorecards are a great place to start.
This is all about continuous improvement; but to get started and hold yourself and others accountable you must have a baseline and goals. The important part of your score is developing a strategy/plan on how to improve personally as well as organizationally. Start today by quickly completing the scorecards. Discuss with others in your firm, develop a 90-day plan and meet regularly to hold yourself and others accountable. Do not procrastinate. You may also find it beneficial to seek outside assistance in gaining alignment and developing strategy. Think-Plan-Grow ®
Do you want to connect with other Managing Partners in the accounting profession to improve performance and grow your firm?
The Boomer Managing Partner Circle is a peer group of Managing Partners from successful and growing firms. Apply now to gain a network of trusted peers to call on as you shape your firm for the future.
L. Gary Boomer, Visionary & Strategist of Boomer Consulting, Inc., is recognized in the accounting profession as the leading authority on technology and firm management. He consults and speaks around the globe on several topics including strategic and technology planning; mindset, skillsets and toolsets for the future; change management and developing a training and learning culture. He also acts as a planning facilitator and coach to some of the accounting profession's top firms.