Your Practice Manager is an integral part of your business. Not just someone that takes care of billings and workflow, but someone who drives the vision of your business and keeps everything on track. A leader who steers your ship in the right direction.
So what should this person look like? Here are 5 traits the perfect Practice Manager must have:
The number one thing your Practice Manager must have is passion. They need to help shape and drive the culture of your business, as well hold you accountable for what you want to achieve. Without passion, this is an impossible task.
Furthermore, passion is contagious. You want your team to look up to your Practice Manager and be motivated by them. With enough passion they’ll have no problems inspiring others!
When hiring, if a Practice Manager candidate doesn’t know everything they possibly can about your business in their interview, don’t hire them! Passionate people will be curious. They will want to know your objectives, your goals, and the type of business they are going to help lead.
One minute your Practice Manager might be preparing your monthly report, the next they could be organising the next staff social event. Any Practice Manager always needs to wear many different hats, so outstanding organisational skills are a must. Without them, important tasks will fall through the cracks, clients will become annoyed, and your business will live in the land of chaos.
Your Practice Manager is part of your leadership team. They must have confidence in what they do — not only confidence to lead the team and ensure everything is on track, but also the confidence required to hold the Partners accountable.
It’s really easy for Partners to say, “I’m busy, I’ll get to that later”, or “this came up so I can’t do that”. The right Practice Manager will have the confidence to challenge that. To do what’s needed to keep the ship on the right course.
When the going gets tough everyone is going to be looking to the Practice Manager. If they don’t know how to maintain control, things will get out of hand quickly. And not just control from a work perspective. Control of the team; control of the culture and control of their own work is all equally as important.
A Practice Manager who shows signs of pressure is going to have a negative effect on other staff. Your team is your most valuable asset; they will make or break your business. Control of your workplace culture is therefore paramount. Without a strong and positive culture, issues will go unresolved, people will become unhappy, staff turnover will creep up and you will spend too much re-hiring and training.
If you want your business to keep up with change, a good Practice Manager will always be learning. They will want to keep up with the trends in your industry and ensure you are using the best software, processes and procedures.
It is easy for you to get trapped in a cycle of always being busy, forgetting to look for constant improvement. Without a Practice Manager who is always striving to better themselves and the business, your practice will fall behind.
Take a look at your current Practice Manager. Do they tick the above boxes? Do they know these are the qualities you hired them for? Do they know these are the top things you need them to take care of for you?
To compare the challenges your firm is facing acquiring, training and retaining staff with accounting practices from around the world, download The talent challenge: insights from Karbon’s 2017 talent survey.