No, we're not talking Star Wars in this episode. Instead we're talking about a common trap many practitioners fall into when they're thinking about their next hire. Too often the default next hire is another technician, another accountant or another bookkeeper. In other words trying to clone yourself. If that's the case, you're likely thinking about this wrong. Instead of hiring another you, what about hiring someone to take on more of the administrative and client service functions - take those duties off your plate, and off your accounting team's plate. Allow them focus on what they do best. Your accountants shouldn't be chasing clients for information, they shouldn't be answering app questions, that's the job of your next hire.
Apparently there's a shortage of accountants, and this article suggests changing the exam requirements. We think the changes need to happen in the small and medium sized public accounting offices around the country. Think about their workspace, the technology they use and the tasks and responsibilities you assign them. We see plenty of 'young' accountants in public accounting, but the firms they work in (or maybe started themselves) are vastly different to the traditional firm.
As you grow your firm, don't try to clone yourself, and don't try to do it the same as last year. Think about the functions and hire for those functions - don't try to spread these tasks across your specialist technicians. They'll get jack of it quickly and leave your firm, and probably public accounting.
If you have questions about anything discussed in this episode, please do get in touch with us via LinkedIn.
Be sure to check out the book that gave us the inspiration for this podcast: Strategy and the Fat Smoker. Buy it on Amazon.