Growth means different things for different accounting firms.
Some firms define growth as increasing team size, while others define it as increasing client base size. And others define growth based solely on the state of their bottom line—even if that increases in conjunction with less staff or clients, but greater efficiency.
Importantly, its definition is never static. For example, a firm that defines growth today as increasing their client base, might, in five years, define growth as a diversification of services offered.
However you define growth at this point in time, it’s important that you have the right tools and systems in place to support your growth. And depending on what ‘growth’ means to you, those tools differ.
Here are three different types of growth, and the key tool needed to make each a success.
Essential tool: Workflow management
There’s more to see when you employ more team members. There’s more work, there are more projects, more tasks, communication, etc.
And without visibility across your team’s day-to-day, you will struggle to support them, to understand what is (or isn’t) happening, and ultimately, your growth will suffer.
A practice management tool like Karbon that can also manage your workflow will provide you with the visibility you need to manage your team and optimize your growth.
For example, with Karbon, you can visualize your work activity against specific work timelines—analyzing this information will help you assess if your team is collaborating in an effective and scalable way.
Importantly, workflow management tools help you identify areas of concern, so you can catch any issues early, before your growth is impacted.
Essential tool: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool
To grow your client base, you need to track and measure your sales efforts. Without a dedicated CRM, you will struggle to understand:
How successful your sales process is
Which sales efforts are generating the most interest from prospects
Which team members are generating the most sales
And ultimately, without this information, you can’t easily have clarity around how well you’re actually growing your accounting business.
Essential tool: Purpose-built tools specific for the service you’re introducing
Diversifying your service offering is a way to grow your firm without actually adding any new clients or team members. Instead of focusing on generating new revenue, the focus shifts to generating more revenue with the clients you already have.
Once you have decided which service/s you will add to your arsenal, you can then select the right tool to help with your efforts.
These purpose-built tools take care of the hard work, so you can focus on the actual service delivery.
For example, if you decide to offer cash flow advisory as an additional service, a specific tool like Jirav is designed to provide you with the reports, dashboards, forecasting and business model intel that you need in order to best-advise your clients (and grow your practice revenue).
However you define growth at your firm at this point in time, you need to be prepared. And arming yourself with the right tools to power your growth is essential.
Ultimately, the right tools act as support systems that help buoy you, your team and your firm through whatever growth is on the horizon.