Seven ways firms undermine their profits

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Rachael Power
Community Correspondent
Sift Media
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At the recent AVN Conference in Birmingham, AVN tax partner Mark Wickersham shared his insights into how firms can be more profitable.

Based on research carried out by AVN, including asking the top six most profitable firms about what they do differently, Wickersham outlined seven mistakes firms are making that stops them from earning £200,000 annually.

According to Wickersham, the average profit per partner in the UK is around £68,000, while half of firms make...

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01st Jul 2013 20:36

Half below average?
Wow - who would have thought? ;)

Thanks (7)
By birdman
02nd Jul 2013 13:31

Well behind the times

I reckon that my problem was not knowing about the Cloud in 1999; must have been too busy doing things badly to notice ;)

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04th Jul 2013 14:23

Its a shame that such an important article has been devalued by such sloppy writing.

As stated above, half of firms make less than the average?!?!?!

Also, in the opening, 'these firms are earning sustainable income of £200,000.00 a year or more

How is income relevent on an article regarding profits.  Turnover vanity, profit sanity so they say.  Are these firms generating 200k income making in excess of average profit?  If so how much?  What size are they?'

With regards to the people management section

"Accountants are not the best people managers, Wickersham continued.However, the top six firms involve their whole teams in the recruitment process and tend to fill their practices with staff much like them.But you can’t run a practice this way, he argued"

So is he arguing against the methods of the top six firms?

It is no surprise that firms that are too operationally focused are not making sufficient profit, those that treat strategy, pricing, value adding, marketing, people management,and measurement will always thrive.  All firms in all sectors are guilty of neglect in one or more of these areas - the surprise is that accountants are guilty when they are, or should be, trained in these areas, even if not suited to perform some or all of these roles personally.

Of course these are all interlinked anyway, your marketing will reflect your pricing, your value expectations from your clients will result from your marketing and pricing, your service standards will result from your strategy and your people, and your measurements will derive from your strategic planning.  All firms should have someone responsible for the above, and review at least quarterly.  For one man bands that either means the owner or buy in.

Jason Dormer

Seahorse (UK) Ltd - For Accountants & Bookkeepers









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04th Jul 2013 12:29

Having said all that

One of the more interesting reads on this subject - thanks Rachel.

Thanks (1)
By vowlesj
09th Jul 2013 23:27

You had to be there
Reading the article drives home that you had to be there to catch some of the points. And for example Jason, in the article it's says £200k sustainable profit, not income. What Mark said was £200k or more in profits per partner.

My advice: check out the stuff that Mark has written or his You Tube videos and get more info straight from the horses' mouth.

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10th Jul 2013 07:51


Hi - The original article said profit not income and was amended after my post.

excellent article though, and looking back my first post reads much harsher than intended



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