Preparing for the future the right way. Slowly.

Oct 23, 2018 | Client service

Another day, another commentator bemoaning what they perceive as accountants’ resistance to change.

I don’t see it that way at all. Busy accountants running busy firms have to prioritise. And preparing for the future is not a priority (yet).

The accountants I talk with are tightly focused on keeping their best clients happy, attracting sufficient new ones and making a profit.

Many of these accountants are curious about new techniques, new skills and new technology. They want to adapt and to be ready for the future, but there is no urgency driving the evolution of their practice.

Some firms want to be at the forefront of this evolution. That’s great. But it’s not for everyone. And that’s fine too. Those who are happy to stand back don’t appreciate being told they must change NOW!

Despite what some commentators suggest, all the clients in the world are not suddenly going to decide that they want to be advised by a future-focused firm of accountants.

On the other hand those businesses that do want an experienced advisory based practice may not wait for yours to evolve. If you have the capacity to take on more advisory work (however defined), then I agree it makes sense to look for ways to evolve sooner rather than later.

Another possibility is that you do not currently have significant experience on the advisory side of things or possibly even of the cloud bookkeeping side of things. I’d encourage you to look to close these gaps.

The longer you leave it the more chance there is that you will struggle to compete for new clients within a few years.

And the chances are that you will need new clients to replace those who go elsewhere and to boost your fees as those you charge for compliance work will be falling.

Personally I would want to start preparing now; identifying the gaps in my key business skills, taking steps to close those gaps and attracting new clients that want to pay for good business advice.

Ideally you would start by giving more business advice to a small group of your existing clients who already trust and value your advice.

I would also be building my knowledge of at least one cloud bookkeeping system as well as the related eco-system of apps, add-ons and extensions.

As I have explained on previous blog posts, you’re going to see lots of changes over the next few years. But, nothing will change overnight. If you already have an established, successful and profitable practice, you can prepare for the future and plan your evolution over the next couple of years.

If you are concerned about how to plan for the changes and to secure new business skills, maybe I can help. Let’s have a chat >>>

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