Why you need an aligned team before scaling your accounting firm

The power of an aligned team sets some firms apart from others. It's more than just a company culture; it's about a unified vision and mission that employees are passionate about. 

Often, the thought of scaling your accounting firm can be overwhelming, but if your team is aligned and employees share a common goal, you’re setting yourself up for smoother and more lucrative growth.

What does team alignment mean?

At a simple level, an aligned team has two factors happening simultaneously: 

  • Employees understand the goals and direction of a company

  • Employees understand how their work contributes to those goals

When these things are happening, employees will not only perform well, but will actively seek out ways to improve your accounting firm.

Aligned workers aren’t only better individually, but are also better collaborators within the team. Effective collaboration requires a shared vision and complementary work toward a common goal. With alignment, a team can trust each other and move forward more effectively. 

Ultimately, an aligned team will move faster and deliver higher quality output, compared to a group of individuals working separately.

And this is a crucial element to get right on your journey to scaling your accounting business.

Why is alignment critical when scaling a firm?

One team, one goal

First and foremost, ensuring your entire team—at all levels—is on the same page about who your firm is, what your goals are, and who you’re serving guarantees that everyone is working in-sync to represent and fulfill each of those statements.

Everyone needs to know the what, why and how of your growth plan, so they can make sure they’re doing their part in getting the firm where it needs to be.

Productivity boost

Because an aligned team is motivated towards your goals, they’re naturally more productive. They work better together, leading to a happier work environment, increased output, and satisfied customers.

Agility and flexibility

When your team is all traveling in the same—figurative—train carriage, if and when the train tracks change unexpectedly, you’re all able to change direction together.

This unification keeps your team agile, which is crucial when scaling your firm.

On the other hand, when teams lack alignment, they lose the ability to respond quickly to disruptions because everyone has different ideas about how they think the company should respond.

Lower turnover rates

Employees who understand their company’s mission and values tend to have higher job satisfaction, and with higher satisfaction, they’re less likely to seek employment elsewhere.

How to achieve company alignment

Finding alignment begins with communication. 

Your team needs to understand your accounting firm’s goals, vision and values—and they simply can’t understand them if you don’t tell them.

Consider different ways to communicate, like asking for your team’s input on what they think your firm’s mission and values should be. Not only are you engaging with them and encouraging engagement from them, but you’ll gain a better understanding of how they perceive your firm.

An open dialogue is critical for keeping your team aligned because it:

  • Enables a safe place for employees to share any concerns

  • Creates a place where your team can share wins and successes

  • Fosters team alignment by empowering employees to brainstorm, workshop and share ways to grow and improve your business

Remember, communication is the most powerful tool for your accounting firm, so make sure you use it when aligning your team.

How will you know when your team is aligned?

Short of ‘feeling it’, you will notice a change in your company culture and team dynamic.

Plus, you will notice improvements in:

  • Communication—Externally and internally, communication will become smoother, and more effective and efficient.

  • Employee satisfaction—Overall, your team will feel rewarded and motivated as they work towards common goals.

  • Output—Because team members are motivated, their output will increase.

  • Customer satisfaction—As a result of increased output and an overall happier service provider (your firm), your clients will benefit from speedier service and happier interactions, leading them to be more likely to refer your firm to others.

  • Your ability to scale—This critical element is now in place for your journey towards scaling your accounting firm. Your team is a well-oiled, happy machine, heading in the right direction. This will now enable you to focus on other elements of your growth plan, such as building an effective inbound marketing strategy, and understanding your ideal client.

Align first, then scale

There are many moving parts to consider when scaling your accounting firm. And whilst an aligned team plays a significant role in growth, it is also an important foundational element for your firm’s overall success.

So take the time to ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals—especially in a remote team.

Your staff, clients and bottom line will thank you.

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