What does it take to build the accounting firm of your dreams?
What needs to happen for you to achieve your business goals? To find financial freedom? Time freedom? To build an autonomous and motivated team? To consistently serve your clients in meaningful and comprehensive ways? To grow the perfect accounting firm?
The answer isn’t simple. There’s no silver bullet. No one-size-fits all solution. But that doesn’t mean it’s not achievable.
This idea of a perfect firm—the one that is made up of a well-oiled machine that delivers exceptional client outcomes and is run by a firm owner that isn’t trapped in the day-to-day—can be achieved through Practice Excellence.
Practice Excellence focuses on four areas of business that are pivotal to running a successful accounting firm:
Each of these are broken down into accounting firm business competencies:
A firm excelling in these areas and competencies has high Practice Excellence.
Practice Excellence is calculated based on a quantitative, cross sectional study. A 20-minute online survey asking wide-ranging questions evaluates a firm’s proficiency in each of these areas. The data is then aggregated to determine a firm’s strengths and areas for improvement.
Every two years, the Practice Excellence data is collated and produced into a comprehensive report that showcases trends within accounting firms across time, size, business tenure and geographical location.
This analysis highlights one key area leading firms—those with high Practice Excellence scores—are focusing on: Management.
The Management competency in relation to Practice Excellence grades a firm’s proficiency in:
According to the 2022 Practice Excellence Report, an increased focus on Management has the greatest effect on propelling firms as they accelerate into each phase of Practice Excellence:
Traditional (bottom 25%)
Leader (Top 25%)
This underscores the importance of strong leadership and management in a firm’s ability to successfully navigate change at key milestones in its lifecycle.
“Leading accounting firms score 133% better in Management techniques than firms with below-average Practice Excellence scores.”
From the 10 activities that have the strongest impact on Practice Excellence, 50% are related to Management. But usage behavior indicates that even though these activities are crucial for a firm’s success, they’re not widely used. For example, only 19% of accounting firms reported using the OKR goal setting framework.
This indicates a huge opportunity for accounting firms to boost their Practice Excellence scores—and their business proficiency—by leveraging Management techniques, tools and strategies.
Below are a collection of resources designed to provide value in each of the Management competencies:
Even though a focus on Management in your journey Practice Excellence is key, so too is your ability to avoid falling behind in Strategy, Growth and Efficiency.