How does a partner in Practice measure up to being the leader they need to be?

We all completed our training and passed exams to become reliable technicians in our profession. Next, some of us aspired to become partners and even develop and run our own practices. Of course, we never had the time to think about what additional skills we needed to be a partner and a leader, we just were busy getting on with the job in hand weren't we!

That was my story anyway....does it sound a familiar one?

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How do partners share their knowledge so they can free their time?

Many practitioners in smaller practices face the challenge of how to plan for retirement and how do they set about passing on and sharing the knowledge and experience they have gained over decades.

Even if you are not contemplating retiring it is even more important in this economic climate for partners to work on what only they should be working on, such as client service levels and business development, and not getting bogged down in basic compliance work.

Until such knowledge can be 'downloaded' and shared with other key team members then the practitioner often can find themselves trapped in working long hours, doing basic technical compliance work with no time to work on business strategy and development let alone thinking about the day when you want to leave the practice and retire.

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Events and Seminars - How to put together a successful event no matter what size firm you are

Many practitioners think that marketing and running events or seminars is something that only the bigger firms can do.There is also a myth that you need an in-house marketing specialist to organise such things and a big budget.Listed below are my own top tips which I know work from personal experience in practice.

I would recommend that even the smallest of firms has a marketing plan that includes running events and seminars and details how you will keep existing clients happy whilst detailing how you will win new clients.

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Targeted events planning for accountants

Many practitioners think that marketing and running events or seminars is something that only the bigger firms can do. There's also a myth that you need an in-house marketing specialist and a big budget to organise such things. Listed below are my own top tips which I know work from personal experience in practice. Even the smallest of firms should have a marketing plan that includes running events and seminars and details of how you plan to keep existing clients happy, as well as win new ones.

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LISTENING AND LEADERSHIP

There are so many management guru style books on the market about leadership and the problem is that many practitioners simply don't have the time to read them. Also, many of you have told me in the past that you would value a summary personalised to the needs of smaller practices with practical advice on how to improve and develop your leadership and listening skills.This ultimately would save time and improve the profitability of your practice.

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FOCUS ON CLIENT SERVICE AND WHAT IT REALLY MEANS IN PRACTICE

What does 'Client Service' actually mean ? We all talk about it and it is a modern day given that all accountants in practice deliver excellent client service.However, when I ask practitioners and their team of staff to tell me what it means in practical terms, I am often faced with blank faces.

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Finola's Latest Accounting Web posts

This month on Accounting Web, Finola talks about the importance of following your own financial advice and tackles the issues of billing and how to deal with late payments. The first article about heeding your own advice can be found here while you can click here to see Finola's ideas on billing and late payments.

 

Money Management for Accountants

Now that the annual 31st January deadlines are out of the way, many practitioners are coming up for air and taking a look at their own business in order to do a bit of what I call 'housekeeping.' Once again, I have prepared a summary list of what I think are the main challenges partners in practice face at the moment, together with suggested solutions. As always, I am basing my findings on over 20 years personal experience in public practice and, more recently, on what some of my clients in practice are telling me.

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The final 'Ask Finola' of the year!

In these difficult times how can I make sure I am making the best profit margin I can whilst providing a high standard of client service.....sometimes it is difficult to get the two to go together!

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The final 'Ask Finola' of the year!

'Whether you are a sole practitioner or a partner in a larger firm, every accountant and advisor faces challenges in how to keep clients happy and provide advice to help their clients' often struggling businesses. Clients welcome all the support they can get but of course getting paid for that advice can prove difficult if you don't go about it in the right way.

Every practitioner and partner also has to have their eye on the clock and somehow find the time to provide this level of support to clients when they already have a heavy workload to deal with themselves in practice.This is increasingly relevant as we approach the dreaded tax return deadline season and suffer a shortfall in resources at the peak flu season!

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Accountants suffering toxic debts

  • Poor cash flow and extended debtor days are affecting practices
  • Clients are taking longer to pay or sometimes not paying at all
  • How can clients take business advice from someone who doesn't manage their own business well?
  • Read on for tips on managing these issues

Bad debts are on the increase among accountancy practices, but it doesn't have to be like this, argues practice consultant Finola McManus.

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How do I plan for the future?
 

Finola's Story - Part 1

Let me set the scene going back nearly 15 years when I bought Landers, a small practice in Toddington just off the M1, from a retiring Sole Practitioner. The business had a good client base along with lots of issues to sort out. This is what we were faced with;

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