Standardizing your processes is more than becoming more efficient. It’s about the follow-on effect of that boosted efficiency. And when done well, that follow-on effect lands in your pocket.
The very essence of standardizing and documenting your accounting firm’s processes is finding better and smarter ways to operate.
You might completely reimagine certain tasks that have instant impacts to your firm’s overall standing. For other tasks, you may only need to tweak a certain step. But when that step is carried out 10 times per week, that incremental improvement will add up over time.
And if your firm has fixed-fee pricing based on value versus charging by the hour, then you’ll be rewarded significantly.
If you charge by the hour, efficiency gains act as penalties: if your processes are more efficient, you’re spending less time performing them and, as a result, charging less for them.
But that shouldn’t deter you from boosting your firm’s productivity.
The answer to this is value-pricing. When you set your pricing upfront based on the value you are providing your client, you’re being rewarded not by the time it takes to serve them, but by the actual value you bring them.
And if you can bring them that value quicker after making a small change to your process, then you will be rewarded rather than penalized for it.
When you’re cooking with a recipe with clear instructions, you’re setting yourself up for success as best as possible—even those who aren’t the greatest cooks.
You know what ingredients you need and when, what equipment you’ll use, and how long it will take to prepare and cook your meal. But without this information, the task becomes harder than it needs to be.
The same logic applies to standardizing and documenting your firm’s processes: when everything is laid out for you, you’re already on the front foot.
Time isn’t wasted trying to find out what systems you need access to, or searching for client information, or what critical actions are actually involved in a particular process.
“Ideally, documentation leads to less confusion, a place to re-muster if things go sideways and a solid foundation to build the business on.”
When you don’t have to search for the information or try to remember what comes next, you save time. When you save time, you increase your productivity. When you’re more productive, you can complete more work. And when you can complete more work, you can boost your top line.
Plus, with more efficient processes, your firm’s growth won’t necessarily mean you need a larger team. Instead, your current team has increased capacity to produce more work and/ or diversify your offering. You may want to delve into financial planning or HR advisory services, for example.
Recommended reading: Do you need to hire? Or are your accounting firm's processes inefficient?
There’s no doubting the complexity of optimizing, standardizing and documenting your accounting firm’s processes. But there’s also no doubting its overall impact on your ability to grow your business and increase profits.
For a step-by-step guide to boosting your firm’s profits via standardized processes, download The Process Playbook.
You’ll gain access to templates and worksheets to help you along the way, plus stories from other firms that have gone through the same process.