Episode 10

Published on:

24th Sep 2021

Avoiding an Attack of the Clones

No, we're not talking Star Wars in this episode. Instead we're talking about a common trap many practitioners fall into when they're thinking about their next hire. Too often the default next hire is another technician, another accountant or another bookkeeper. In other words trying to clone yourself. If that's the case, you're likely thinking about this wrong. Instead of hiring another you, what about hiring someone to take on more of the administrative and client service functions - take those duties off your plate, and off your accounting team's plate. Allow them focus on what they do best. Your accountants shouldn't be chasing clients for information, they shouldn't be answering app questions, that's the job of your next hire.

Apparently there's a shortage of accountants, and this article suggests changing the exam requirements. We think the changes need to happen in the small and medium sized public accounting offices around the country. Think about their workspace, the technology they use and the tasks and responsibilities you assign them. We see plenty of 'young' accountants in public accounting, but the firms they work in (or maybe started themselves) are vastly different to the traditional firm.

As you grow your firm, don't try to clone yourself, and don't try to do it the same as last year. Think about the functions and hire for those functions - don't try to spread these tasks across your specialist technicians. They'll get jack of it quickly and leave your firm, and probably public accounting.

If you have questions about anything discussed in this episode, please do get in touch with us via LinkedIn.

Be sure to check out the book that gave us the inspiration for this podcast: Strategy and the Fat Smoker. Buy it on Amazon.

Penny Breslin - LinkedIn | @PennyB57

Damien Greathead - LinkedIn | @Damien_GH

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About the Podcast

Strategy and the Virtual Controller
Helping accounts and bookkeepers build the firm they want, their way
Your hosts Penny Breslin and Damien Greathead have more than 30 years of combined experience in the accounting industry. This podcast is to share their experiences of working in, and consulting to accounting and bookkeeping firms of all sizes, helping them grow.

Nothing discussed will be rocket science, instead they'll be discussing 'how' firms have successfully, and not so successfully, pursued growth. Penny and Damien will be sharing their insights on how firms can be successful by focusing on their people (clients included), their technology, and their processes and systems.

Ultimately how successful an accounting business will be depends largely on how the owners manage change, which alongside taxes appears to be the only constant.

We do want to acknowledge David Maister's great read Strategy and the Fat Smoker: Doing what's obvious but not easy as the inspiration for our title. Buy it on Amazon - https://amzn.to/3dhcUFC

Subscribe today for an upbeat and practical conversation about what's working and what's not in accounting businesses around the world.

About your hosts

Penny Breslin

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Penny Breslin is the founder of MoneyPenny, a consulting firm specializing in helping accounting firms and other businesses embrace the power of technology to simplify their operations and increase their profit margins.

Drawing on her years of experience and her knowledge of what it takes to run a successful business, Penny oversees the development of back office processes for her client firms. From the initial evaluation of the firm’s workflow, to technology selection, and assisting in the on-boarding of the firm’s clients, Penny works with her clients to maximize the benefits of a paperless and cloud-based firm.

Damien Greathead

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Damien has been working in the accounting industry for more than 15 years. In addition to getting his hands dirty preparing tax returns and doing bookkeeping, but the bulk of his experience comes from consulting to both accounting firms and the technology companies that serve the industry.

He set up 2020 Group USA which was a membership group for small and medium sized accounting firms and then went on to set up Receipt Bank (now Dext) in North America.

He regularly speaks to industry bodies on technology, marketing and change management.