5 tips to help your practice prepare for the new financial year

Written by

Parth Shah

Managing Partner

Who says it isn’t fun being an accounting firm owner? You are on your toes 24/7, helping clients efficiently sort out their accounts, taxes, and payroll. Besides managing clients and practice staff, you have to keep up with the changes from a tax and legislative perspective.

One cannot say the past few years have not been busier; the transition to Making Tax Digital, the added burden of Coronavirus financial support measures, and of course, Brexit red tape has led accountants to nudge their clients to make considerable business adjustments.

It has been a stressful time and you have no doubt had your share of highs and lows, ups and downs; we hope the experiences have only made you a stronger accountant!

Now that the financial year 2021-22 is almost over, you should consider a myriad of things if you want 2022 to take you places.

Simply waiting for April to arrive and depart while going with the flow is unlikely to get you where you need to be, but a strategic approach definitely will! Hence, it is time to pull up your socks and start preparing for what is to come. Here is what you should do:

1. Analyse your performance in the previous financial year

Just like doing a SWOT analysis, accounting firms must resort to reviewing their entire financial year. That is because when you reflect on the year gone by, you can see what has worked well for you and what has posed challenges for your practice.

Therefore, assess your financial statements, internal processes, staff performances, staff training and other parameters like how much time did you take to turn around a specific project, and so on.

As a result, you will have a clear picture of what your accounting firm needs to improve upon and which business practices need urgent reconsideration. Put a plan of action for those opportunities and get ready to capitalise on the same.

2. Leverage your target customer’s outlook

As theoretical as this may sound, leveraging a third person’s perspective for business evaluation is not a bad idea, and what is better than your target audience! Get their viewpoint on what their accounting challenges are. Is there any specific legislation they are particularly dreading?

What do they expect from their accountant? This exercise helps you identify which financial decisions, lead generation strategies, and project management cycles should or should not have been a part of your business model in the year gone by.

Moreover, applying your newly planned business initiatives is essential to delivering fantastic customer service. It is easier to determine what is lacking in your accounting services, support services, and other vital factors from their outlook.

3. Review your existing clientele

Now that your target customer has spoken, it is also essential to review your existing clientele. Of course, client retention strategies are here to stay, and one must prioritise them to enhance your client acquisition strategies further.

Prepare diligently for 2022 by listening to the people and businesses you work with as it can bring a totally different perspective, including:

  • Should you explore new client segments?
  • Should you start focussing on upselling strategies?
  • Do you have the strategic cushion to drive greater sales?
  • Is your clientele too limited to award significant returns in 2022?

If the answer to these questions is a ‘yes,’ you have successfully unlocked a new business objective for 2022! All in all, reviewing your client-oriented practices will open doors of innovation and growth for you.

4. Elevate your decision-making process with data analytics

With technology facilitating a plethora of accounting work, the entire industry has started to give attention to data analytics.

Moreover, accountants are happily embracing new roles such as financial advisors and financial analysts — roles that go beyond the usual accounting parameters and dive deep into high-end areas like investments, estate planning, tax advisory, and so on. So, how does this work?

Accountants use data analytics to help their clients uncover valuable insights within their financials, in addition to identifying process improvements that can increase efficiency and reduce overall risk.

The data is used to understand trends that can help enhance business operations, processes, and risk management functions. So, if data analytics is not what your accounting firm focuses on going forward, now is the time to get started!

5. Benefit from the power of outsourcing

Accounting firms across the UK and globally have started to outsource their functions. The benefit of accounting outsourcing is that you can get access to a trained professional who has a deep understanding of routine and specialised tasks and more.

Through modern accounting outsourcing, you relieve your in-house practice staff of functions that they would earlier perform themselves. That frees up their time and lets them focus on other critical activities that they are better qualified to do and will likely enjoy more than those routine and repetitive tasks. 

Your accounting firm can thus be assured that your clients’ work will be completed accurately (as long as you supply all the correct information to the outsourced accountant).

Outsourced accountants are highly professional about deadlines and ensure that they return completed work to you on time — without you having to chase them.

Outsourcing helps your accounting firm better manage the workload and cut down on its costs that come in the guise of employee wages and training expenses.

Over to you

Simply jotting down your strategies, goals, and objectives will not help you move an inch; you must have a proper framework for growth in place, starting with outsourcing. Let Stellaripe take many menial and time-consuming accounting tasks from your hands so that you can focus on scaling heights in the new financial year.

At Stellaripe, we leave no stone unturned in delivering flawless accounting services, from conventional to tech-focused ones. Get in touch with us today!

 

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