What's Next For Accounting? - Issue #133

📅 Moving Your Firm To Fully Scheduled Work

Among the hottest trends of 2024 is tax firms transitioning to fully scheduled work, rather than doin-it-when-they-give-it-to-you, or the traditional cutoff date approach.

My first reaction having run a 1,600 client tax practice: This seems impossible. Clients will be ticked, they won’t like the dates we choose for them, they won’t follow the rules etc.

But the upsides are huge:

  • You have full control over your team’s workload year-round

  • You don’t become the victim of folks giving you info last-minute

  • The entire year is broken into manageable chunks

  • There’s a plan and you’re in control, rather being beholden to whenever folks turn up with their stuff

I ultimately became convinced after talking with smart people who had made the switch, often times with life-changing effect.

I got four of them to share their story this week. The good and the bad, how their setup works, and how they communicated it to clients:

  • Monday’s pod - Jacob Oberlander & Brenda Cannon - Video | Audio

  • Tuesday’s pod - Vince Porter & Ann Irons - Video | Audio

We spent the rest of the week exploring how you could build your own version, how to communicate the change to clients, and unpacking the most common blockers & client objections.

💎 This Week's Sponsor

Learn how Financial Cents ensures you never miss another deadline in Jason’s 5 minute demo video 👇👇

📅 This Week

  • Great seeing a bunch of folks at the PASBA spring conference this week!

  • I recently participated in the AICPA’s AI Symposium - Here’s a report summarizing the outcome of those meetings

  • I shared why accounting firms are suited to launch profitable membership communities - and today we kicked off a 4 week series in my community on how to build your own

  • Loom will now create an SOP doc from a video recording - it doesn’t go as far as Scribe, with screenshots of your clicks, but these docs could still be a great companion to any vid

🔮 Q&A

Should you let clients talk with you via text messaging, Slack, etc.? Link
If you're trying to be super white glove for your clients and they're willing to pay top dollar for this, absolutely let them talk to you however they want to talk to you. Be mindful of security. If it’s going to be just another communications channel, it can be a headache and should probably be avoided. There are both GREAT and awful examples of incorporating these into firms.

How do you determine which team members are suitable for delegating tasks to? Link
Start by assigning champions of specific technical matters and tools so everything in the firm has an owner (who isn’t you). On the client side, get every client an account manager who runs point. From there, we’re delegating what slips through the cracks. Don’t expect folks to read your mind, give folks the time they need to understand, while still setting a high bar for attention to detail & holding people accountable.

How do I track what clients I’m waiting on for info, and how long its been since I last followed up? Link
Start by seeing if your practice management systems handles this already. Auto-reminders are gold here. If it doesn’t, sometimes the best place to start is tracking things manually. It isn’t pretty, but gives you the flexibility to change things up on the fly until you know exactly what you need. Last, ensure you have a crystal clear expectation with your team of who should be following up, and when.

😍 From The Community

My private peer networking community Realize for firm leaders, now capped at 500 members.

▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▯ 484/500 members