Most accountants want their practice to be more successful, productive, profitable, and efficient. But somehow nothing seems to change. So what’s stopping you moving your accountancy practice forward?
After all, there are thousands of tools, software programmes, consultants and training sessions available to help you (and I should know – I’ve created loads of them myself for AVN members).
So why aren’t all the accountancy practices in the UK incredibly successful, productive, profitable etc etc etc? After all, much of the information is accessible for free and other resources come at a low cost. Testimonials about their efficacy are two a penny so it’s pretty clear that they work.
And yet, when I speak to accountants I hear the same story over and over again – my clients won’t pay a higher fee; my clients won’t pay for advisory services; I have to check all the work my team does; there isn’t any alternative.
Despite the wealth of resources they could tap into to make really positive change, they’re doing exactly what they’ve always done. And feeling frustrated and overworked as a result.
Even firms that have made the decision to join AVN and pay the monthly subscription for our services sometimes behave in the same way.
Why is that?
After extensive research and talking to hundreds of accountancy firms, I found out that there are three main causes of inaction.
The 3 things stopping you moving your accountancy practice forward:
Too much choice
“Where do I start?” When you’re faced with a huge range of choices, it’s overwhelming. Making a decision becomes really difficult and often it’s easier to make no decision at all.
On average, the big UK supermarkets now stock a whopping 40,000 products – we can buy pretty much anything we want from there. The Tesco website sells 212 different shampoos; 111 types of milk; even 37 varieties of toilet paper. So what do we do when we’re faced with an aisle full of choices?? We certainly don’t review them all, balance them against each other and make an informed, rational decision. How long would the weekly shop take if we did that every time! No, we reach for the familiar. It may not be the best option for us, but we know the results we’re going to get and we don’t have to think about it.
Fear of rocking the boat
It’s not just that the choice is overwhelming, there’s also the risk of getting it wrong. You’ve probably spent years building your accountancy practice and it’s certainly demanded a lot of your time and energy. Even if it’s not running exactly how you want it to, it’s putting food on your table and that of your team. What if the new way of doing things doesn’t work? What if it makes things worse instead of better? It’s safer to stick with the status quo.
No clear path
It’s not just taking the first step that’s so difficult, it’s what comes after too.
Many of the firms I spoke to had actually taken some action to make changes. They decided to do one thing – perhaps to put a new pricing strategy in place – and when it was done they moved on to the next. Often, they did have some success and things improved in that area, but they didn’t have a clear path that connected all their actions. The piecemeal approach didn’t have real momentum behind it and in some cases, everything just fizzled out.
Does any of this resonate with you? Does it help you to recognise what’s stopping you from moving your accountancy practice forward? Once you identify what that is, it’s much easier to start making change happen.
A coordinated approach
What I discovered from talking to some very successful firms, was that there was a clear pattern to their approach. It wasn’t purely about taking action, it was about taking action in the most appropriate order.
I identified seven key principles that lead to a far more profitable, enjoyable, scalable and purposeful practice. These, and the methodology around them, form a structured process that I call the AVN roadmap since, effectively, it’s a journey.
This formed the basis of a new approach for helping our AVN members succeed and we’ve seen fantastic results from the firms that have gone through the process and followed the roadmap.
But you don’t have to be an AVN member to benefit from this approach. It’s also the basis for my Amazon best-selling book, Putting Excellence Into Practice. If you’re interested in finding out more about the roadmap and how it can help your firm, you can download a free copy of the book here.
One of the best places to start moving your accountancy practice forward is to bring the right people on board – find out about a fresh approach to recruiting your team – read more.