We may not be peak silly season yet for accountants, but now is the time to really think through how to sort out your resourcing for both the Nov – Jan peak, but also ensure you have enough work for the core team to do in the quieter months such as February. In this article, we share 3 simple ideas to smooth out the peaks and troughs in your firm’s workload.
Don’t wait until the peak period is nearly upon you…
It’s tempting to think that this is a task you can put off for a bit longer. Perhaps when the schools break up for summer? Most of the ideas I share in the article need some planning and meetings to come to fruition. They are not something you can just do and expect immediate results.
Do forecast ahead
Now all of these three simple ideas rely (mostly) on you being able to forecast demand for your services. This means doing capacity planning. Capacity planning is often the difference between being hit unexpectedly by a tsunami of work vs having the right capacity in place when you need it.
Idea 1: Carefully manage your firm’s holiday calendar
Of course you want to make sure that your team can take holiday when they want and need too. But, before you grant a request do check your firm’s capability requirements. And don’t forget to factor in any study leave that your staff may be needing. The more you can let staff know in advance when the busy periods are going to be, the easier it becomes to turn down holiday requests in peak periods.
Idea 2: Book clients into pre-agreed slots for when you will do their work
Most clients are happy to bring their records in at a certain point in the year. Very often you just need to ask for them at a certain point in the year. However, it’s really important that you don’t just set a month for them to bring their records in, but you nag gently remind them, so they bring their records in at the correct time.
Idea 3: Use an outsourcing company to service the peaks in demand
And of course, you can use a trusted accounts outsourcing company such as ourselves to help you service the peaks in demand. We charge you a fixed fee so you always know exactly what you will pay. Plus, unlike other outsourcers, you can also work with us on a ‘pay as you go basis’. I.e. no having to pay for a seat for a whole year.
Reducing the peaks and troughs in your firm’s workload isn’t just good for stress levels amongst your team. It’s also a great way to increase your firm’s profit margin
About Arun Ravindranathan
Arun completed his training as a Chartered Accountant in India in 2001 and has since been based in the UK. In 2005 he completed his ACMA and achieved an MBA (London school) in 2007, specialising in Strategic Management harnessing his academic skills to head up the operational side of the business and also to market the benefits of outsourcing internationally.
Arun is the brains, brawn and inspiration for the growth of GI. He has taken GI from just a handful of employees through to a 170+ company servicing clients from all around the world. He is responsible for the strategic direction of the firm as well as managing the firm’s large accounts.
Arun is well placed to talk to accountants about their day-to-day operational issues and also to be a useful resource for planning a long-term business strategy incorporating outsourcing. He firmly believes that integrating the potential of outsourcing will bring tangible benefits to his clients.