Managing Clients (Accounting)

The Key to success in any Accounting business is effectively managing workflow. That means processing the (financial) data (or traffic) that passes through the business so that:

  1. Work is turned around quickly
  2. Job ‘pick-up’ and ‘put-down’ can be minimised
  3. There is advanced quality control
  4. The number of ‘open’ jobs at any time is minimised
  5. Time is allocated to finding opportunities for the next project
  6. Clients are delighted by your work
  7. The team is aware of, and accountable for, the time taken
  8. High margins are achieved for work completed

Workflow can be thought of as a manufacturing line which sometimes experiences bottlenecks. Unfortunately, many Accountants prefer not to take on more Clients because their workflow process cannot accommodate additional ‘inputs’.

The solution is to improve workflow processes so the business can scale efficiently.

Different firms require different workflow processes depending on size, their technology stack, team skills and other factors. The most effective workflow processes can be described in these four stages:

  1. Selling: Properly scoping the job and getting a Client’s consent to proceed
  2. Set up: Gathering the data and delegating the work to team members with a defined time ‘budget’
  3. Doing: Performing and reviewing the work, with an eye on opportunities to improve the Client’s situation
  4. Looking Ahead: Concluding the assignment with the client, and establishing foundations for additional work

Notably, many steps in the process should not be performed by Accountants. The Client Service Coordinator plays a critical role.