You need a blueprint before you can hire

Ed Chan

Growing your accounting firm requires the right mix of staff resourcing. One of the first considerations for most owners is, how can I fill the positions I need to tighten my processes and drive my business forward.

But it’s a bit more complicated than just putting someone on. There is another step, which must come before any thoughts of hiring, that many owners skip—developing a blueprint of the right team structure.

Only if you take the time to develop a blueprint first, will you then be equipped to hire the right people for the roles you need within your team structure.

I see most firms get this wrong. They hire staff first, before they the structure that will enable them to be efficient and handle growth.

It’s a bit like building a house without an architect’s plan.

Because they rush, these firms end up with the wrong staff in the wrong seats. And from this position, it’s a difficult fix. This can halt growth, and usually requires the owner to work long hours to hold everything together. All because they have the wrong foundations.

I now have 12 offices with 150 staff, and I only attend a single board meeting once a month. This could not be achieved without the blueprint for the right foundation, that outlines the right team structure.

Individuals all have different strengths and personalities. Some accountants have good communication skills and others are really good grinders.

Your team structure should be based on the strengths of your staff, to enable:

  1. Staff retention and job satisfaction

  2. Scalability of your business

  3. Efficiently and productivity

  4. Client retention and capacity for growth without any pain

  5. Owner having more money, more freedom, more choices and not being a prisoner in their business

Your aim should be to first work on what your blueprint is that leads to the ideal team structure, which is the foundation of your growth, profits and lifestyle.

Then you will know who your next hire should be. Because it probably won’t be who you’re thinking of right now.

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Ed Chan

Founder & Non-Executive Chairman, Chan & Naylor

Ed started Chan & Naylor from a small home office in Sydney and has grown it into a National Financial Services Organisation with offices in most capital cities around Australia, servicing more than 6,000 clients.

In 2018 he co-founded WIZE Mentoring, a network for accountants who want to know how to successfully grow their firm and have it run without them.


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