Is your team holding back your accountancy practice?

Or are you the real problem?

If your accountancy practice isn’t growing the way you’d like, maybe it’s not because of your team. Maybe it’s you.

Apologies if that sounds a bit confrontational – you probably don’t want to hear that you’re the problem.

But the truth is that the business owner is very often the reason why accountancy practices don’t grow. And without understanding this, you’re left feeling frustrated at not achieving what you want, exhausted from trying to be everything to everyone (clients and team), and quite likely resentful that your team isn’t stepping up to help.

So what can you do about it?

Here are the top three problems that we come across when we’re talking to accounting firm owners – and what to do about them.

I’m accountable for everything that happens in the practice so it all comes down to me

Of course you feel responsible for what happens in your practice – the buck stops with you after all. But it simply isn’t possible to do everything without burning out. And if you think about it, the service you deliver probably isn’t as good as it could be. When you’re stretched too thin, service levels drop.

To overcome this, you have to accept the need to let go. This doesn’t mean that you abdicate all responsibility and let your team do anything they like. It really is possible to let go without losing control. Adopting this mindset is probably the biggest step in changing things for the better. So take a deep breath, count to three, and just do it.

I have to check every piece of work to be sure it’s good enough

You can’t trust your team to do the work to your own high standards so you end up checking everything. And that of course restricts the number of clients you can service and the speed that work gets done – while at the same creating a mountain of work for you to plough through. It’s just not sustainable, is it?

The answer is to put systems in place so that every task is done to your own high standards. Your team don’t have to decide whether something is good enough. When they follow the system they know exactly what they have to do and your high standards are built into the process.

My clients won’t deal with anyone except me

Here’s a real life example of a practice owner who thought his clients would never talk to anyone except him:

Paul was permanently in demand by his clients and his team and under so much stress he was considering selling up. But he agreed to follow our suggestion to hand over management of his client base to his team. No more meetings, no more double-checking their work. By splitting the client base between them and implementing a great strategy, he actually met very little resistance from clients. And, once he was free from having to deal with them all himself, he was able to take on the role of coaching the recently appointed client managers.

Even better, after some some training, it was a short step to them being able to start new conversations with clients. Conversations about business growth solutions and opportunities that helped to sell more services. Read more about the impact this had and how Paul went on to build a £5 million practice while working just a handful of days each month here.

So the clients had a better service, the team developed new skills and felt a lot more fulfilled at work, and the practice grew because it was no longer dependent on just one person.

More help to develop your team

We’ll be sharing many more strategies for developing your team and growing your practice at the AVN Masterclass next March. We cover everything from identifying what you really want to achieve to positioning your services so that price becomes irrelevant to getting those systems really working hard for you – and plenty more in between.

If you’re struggling to do everything as Paul was, you’ll get solutions that will help you build a brilliant team culture so your practice can thrive and grow.

Find out more about the Masterclass and book your place here –