January is a month for resolutions, both personal and professional, and no goal for accounting firm owners is more common this time of year than a resolve to scale your practice.
Whether you’re a sole practitioner or a partner in a large firm, there have never been more opportunities to expand your services or grow your client base. The trouble is, most firm owners begin their growth plan with sales and marketing, while in reality, sales and marketing should be their final step.
Exponential growth requires a different kind of machinery than incremental growth and without this foundation, any attempt to accelerate client acquisition will be in vain. So before executing against your firm’s 2018 growth plans, let’s make sure you can tick the following boxes first.
Fully Adopt the Cloud
“Cloud adoption” has become almost a cliche among progressive accounting firms, but because it is so fundamental to any plan for growth, it must be mentioned. In order to truly scale, your firm must have fully adopted cloud technologies - both for internal firm operations as well as your clients’ accounting systems. Achieving scale is about removing bottlenecks.
If a process cannot be completed without accessing a local file, meeting a client in person, or waiting on a staff to email a report to a manager, you have a bottleneck. The only way to minimize or eliminate process bottlenecks is with a fully integrated, cloud-based system through which your team and your clients can collaborate.
If you don’t have one, start here. My firm happens to use Xero as the G/L and the practice management and add-on tools that surround it. There are other cloud ecosystems to choose from, too - the trick is picking one you’re comfortable with and fully embracing it.
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