Time for change | AccountingWEB

Time for change

Imagine a suited individual standing on a level crossing talking earnestly on his mobile. Despite frantic shouts from passers by the intrepid practitioner, dealing with a call from HMRC, ignores the warnings. This is a conversation he must complete even though the approaching express train will render him speechless in less than 30 seconds. Will he listen to the warning cries or will he battle on to the bitter end?

Obviously this is a rather extreme and fictional take on a dilemma that all practitioners face at present; whether to work in their businesses, dealing with the daily round of phone calls, emails and appointments, or, take time out to work on their businesses and look the approaching express train squarely in the face. What does the train represent?

  • Firms with less overheads, qualifications or scruples who are “low-balling” fees and luring our clients away
  • Clients who want to take up 80% of our time and only seem to be prepared to pay for 20% of our chargeable hours

I’m sure if you applied yourself you could fill two sides of A4 with further bullet points?

It’s time for change. If you are going to build a thriving practice in today’s “shaky” economic conditions it is no longer possible to rely on client referrals to get you through it – in my opinion. And yet, in despite of the general malaise I am describing, I do come across valiant exceptions: firms that do invest time and resources in developing their practices and they are thriving... And they are in the minority!

If you don’t have a strategy in place to deal with the following, minimal development issues, I suggest you take a look at the article below.

  • Can you find a way to lift your clients perception of the value of your basic compliance services?
  • Do you have a systematic process in place to increase cross-sales of specialist services to clients?
  • Does your website have interactive features that encourage visitors to provide their contact details in exchange for useful information?
  • Are you launching new marketing initiatives on a weekly or monthly basis?
  • Do you have a growing prospect list?

Practice development should be your primary concern. If you are to maintain high levels of customer service you will need the adrenalin that winning new clients and satisfying existing clients’ needs affords. If you are keen to take a look at new ideas follow this link and see how Landmark can help.

Take a few paces forwards, there’s an express train coming!


Analogy with a Horrendous Death

chatman | | Permalink

I really don't think that first paragraph helps.

4Sight's picture

Time to focus on the business

4Sight | | Permalink

You opening paragraph got my attention and I read the piece.

Accountants, like any other business owners, who want to grow their buiness need to allocate time to consider strategy, competitor activity and marketing plans.   Also, they need to gather around them the resources/skills to help them deliver the plans.  Those contacts can also be sub-contracted to clients to enhance the services the accountant can provide.

A good piece. Thanks


Welcome to AWeb 4Sight.

chatman | | Permalink

Welcome to AWeb 4Sight. Looks like you are the site's newest member. That opening paragraph implying that bad practice management is like getting mown down and killed by a train must have been great if it got you to register with AWeb simply to leave that comment. With a user name like 4Sight, it looks like you and the author think in a strikingly similar way already.

4Sight's picture


4Sight | | Permalink

I  came across this website when searching for an answer to a VAT querie.  Thought it was interest and looked at the discussion and as our focus is profit improvement and business managenment efficiency it struck a cord.  So I registered.

I think unnecessary analogies are slightly patronising

chatman | | Permalink

I think one reason I do not like the opening paragraph is that it uses an analogy to explain something that is in fact much more easily explained by just saying what it is. It patronises the reader by implying that he/she needs an analogy to understand the simple idea that focussing on the non-urgent day-to-day issues, whilst ignoring the more urgent and important ones can cause a business to do less well than it would otherwise. Bringing a violent death into it only compounds the problem by excessive exaggeration.

Maybe it was felt that simply stating the problem would not have sufficient impact (no pun intended), but I think most readers are capable of understanding the significance of such a simple issue as this.

Still, advertising is advertising I suppose.

4Sight's picture


4Sight | | Permalink

You've got point but don't take too seriously please.

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