Beat the challenges of 2023

3 key strategies for accountants

By Susan Clegg, AVN

So January is out of the way and it’s time to forge ahead with your plans for the rest of year. How can accountants beat the challenges of 2023?

In a rocky business landscape, how can you make sure your business continues to thrive?  And your clients’ businesses too?

Here are three strategies for accountants that will help you tackle 2023 head on.


Get to know your clients

It’s always important to develop genuine relationships with your clients and even more so in these uncertain times. The more you know about their business, the more you can spot opportunities and tailor your offer to meet their needs.

Time spent getting to know clients isn’t wasted. Approach them with an attitude of curiosity, not just ‘what can I sell?’.

Ask open ended questions – who, what, why, when, how – so you really get to know the person, not just the business. What’s important to them? Find out what hopes and dreams they have for themselves and for their business.

Show you care. Be proactive in giving them something valuable, i.e. something that’s relevant to them and their situation. It could be, for example, a benchmark report so they get a big picture view of how their business is doing compared to others in their sector. It could be a book or an article on a topic they’re interested in. Or it could even be an offer to go for a coffee and a chat so they get a breathing space in a stressful day.


Take a fresh approach to the talent shortage

The talent shortage isn’t going away anytime soon. And traditional recruitment methods are no longer as effective as they used to be for bringing in the right people for your accountancy business. It’s time to rethink – and there are 3 routes to getting the people you need.

Hire for attitude, train for skill. Of course, some roles do require certain qualifications but brilliant exam results won’t help if someone can’t connect with your clients. And, crucially, if they don’t share the values of your business, they simply won’t be a good fit. Identify the personal qualities the role requires, now and for the future.

Make your business attractive to prospective recruits. The ball is very much in the candidate’s court at the moment. What will make them choose you over another firm? It’s about more than just money. Increasingly, your company values, your commitment to ESG and options for flexible working play a big part in attracting new recruits. How can you demonstrate this is a great place to work?

Review existing roles and existing team. Maybe you don’t actually need to hire someone new. Could technology take over some aspects of a role? Does one of your team have the potential to take on a new role? Developing your people is a brilliant way to retain talent as well as fostering a culture of motivation and engagement.


Commit to learning in 2023

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Socrates.

It’s an understatement to say that the last few years have been eventful. And the bad news is that there’s no going back. Things have changed and they’ll keep on changing. So learning to adapt is essential if you want your business to thrive.

Adopt a lifelong learner mindset – and you don’t have to restrict yourself solely to work related topics. It’s good to stay on top of the latest developments in business, of course. But the process of learning anything new fires up our brains and makes new connections. It keeps our minds agile and open to different ways of seeing the world.

The amount of information available to us today is virtually limitless! So find something that sparks your interest and a way of learning that suits you – it could be hands on classes, podcasts or books and articles. It doesn’t matter, as long as you keep on learning.

And speaking of learning, do you know about The Accountants KnowHow Club? It will help you beat the challenges of 2023 and beyond.

It’s an online video and resource platform specifically for accountants. It’s packed with CPD training that helps you to improve the service you deliver to clients and to make your own business stronger and more profitable. Every single month we add hours of additional high quality accounting business improvement training for you (and your team). This is delivered by leading industry experts as well as multi-award winning accountants from around the world, openly sharing best practice techniques.

What’s more, you can try it out for just £1 – find out more.


If you’re an AVN member, the following tools and resources will help you get all these elements right (both on System Builder):

The Difficult Financial Times Guide shows you how you can best support your clients at the moment.

AR recruiting for the future is fantastic resource to help you identify the right people for your team.

And of course you have completely free access to everything on the Accountants KnowHow Club as part of your membership.




Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash