Episode 13: Accounting Best Practices to Adopt in 2022 ┃ Wize Mentoring Business Tips
In this episode of The Wize Guys, Ed, Tim, and Thomas share their 2021 reflections and insights. Find out the best practices for your accounting business that you can start to apply within your firm.
Also, these guys will share tips on how can practice owners spend less time at work. So, don’t forget to grab a pen and paper for another action-packed episode!
0:36 Understanding the design pillar of a business
1:20 The current trends in the industry
3:11 Why people are considered to be the greatest asset of practice owners
3:35 The importance of having a structure in place
4:32 How to find the right people
5:21 How to deal with HR or structural issues
6:59 The benefits of having monthly board meetings
7:38 The idea of documenting internal processes
8:27 Why you should include The Wize Fab 5 Key Performance Indicators in your project lists this 2022
“..people are our greatest challenge, but they're also our greatest asset.” - Ed Chan
“You've got to build structures for staff to work within, and then you got to place them in the right role so that they're working in their flow. If they're working in their flow, then they're really happy and productive.” - Ed Chan
“Everyone wants different things out of it, so it's really important to step back. This is probably a good time of the year to do it to step back on another year down, down the drain, and just think about if this getting me closer to my goal. Or what is my goal?” -Tim Causbook
“..what I found this year with firms where it's like what Ed said, it's about the people, a lot of recruiting, a lot of team designing, restructuring, evaluating people, whether they belong in the right role or not so that they can start honing themselves around targets.” -Thomas S. Phabmixay
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Brenton Ward: Let’s go back to the Design Pillar topic. As one of the fundamental accelerators in terms of building a business that runs without you is mapping the withdrawal journey, which is s typically where we start with most of the firms we work with. It's where we start in our wise fault journey as part of the 18 steps that everyone has access to.
So I was hoping you might start us off with just a little bit of reflection and insight for the benefit of everyone listening in today. You work hands-on well, you've worked hands-on with a lot of practice owners in the last 12 months scattered across the world, and just wanted to get a glimpse into what's been happening inside four walls of those meetings. What are the current trends? What are the things you can see and anything you'd like to share with the group for the benefit of their own journey?
Ed Chan: Thanks, Brenton! Personally, for me, the thing that's most rewarding is obviously seeing the firms improve and get better.
There's a lot of pain out there with the people who are working very long hours and putting in. There’s a lot of hard work, and they're not getting a return on the hard work they're putting in. This results in taking them away from their family and other things, or have been hurt them by the hours they're putting in.
So, the greatest thing for me is just seeing how they're improving and changing lives and the systems they're putting in. As Jamie and I went from the first work premium working 60, 70, 80 hours a week, couldn't take holidays off and couldn't even spend time with the family when he was supposedly on holiday. He was answering emails and emailing. Today's business is three times bigger than what it was, and he'd done a lot more work in it. It’s definitely great! It brings me a lot of satisfaction when I see owners who follow Wize Mentoring, and they're getting the same results and outcomes. It's life-changing. That's the greatest reward that I get out of it.
What I see in firms, when we work, it's always the same and it's around people. I've often said that people are our greatest challenge, but they're also our greatest asset. Most of us grew up grinding roles and as an owner, we have to know how to manage, but we have never been taught to manage. And part of the reason why it's so difficult is because of structure. You need to have structure.
I used this analogy of when was the last time you’ve seen little five-year-old kids play soccer? As they're all chasing the ball and 22 of them on the field. They're all chasing the board. There's no structure in place. But as they get older, they have teams like you've got a goalie, you've got a fallback, you've got the wingers, you've got the forwards, and then they start playing their positions.
And then you, the next stage for you is to find people who are suitable for those positions, so you don't put a winger in a goalie position or a goalie in the wing of position. You've got to build the structure for staff to work within, and then you got to place them in the right role so that they're working in their flow. If they're working in their flow, then they're really happy and productive.
The county firms run-flat teams where they're just focusing on productivity and they just want to throw more bodies at the workload. And it doesn't work. It's a lot more sophisticated than that. Yes, working with the firms, it's around people, but people are around structure because when people work for you, they can do the work, but they need you to lead them. You've got to put these structures in place so that they know what to do, and then you've got to fit them in their flow. So they're working within their flow, not working against their flow. With that, a grinder often can be a minder and if you promote a grinder to a minder it's going to have problems.
Sometimes even with training, you just can't change the leopard spots. At the end of the day, you need to understand it all, the HR issues. You gotta understand all the structural issues and as the coach, you can't jump on the field, play the game, then take out, do the job of the player and jump in there because they're not doing it properly. You've got to either train them how to do, how to play their position properly, or you find a new player and you don't jump in there and take the position. I see people do that all the time. It’s quite like I just do it myself as well. So they might do it themselves too. It's mainly around people, systems, and processes.
So, you've got to develop those systems and that's what Wize does. It's already all developed. It's tested and it works. It has been tested for many, many years and it works. All you just got to implement it. That’s the challenge for most practices.
Brenton Ward: Tim, if you wouldn't mind getting some slots from you. I'm sharing both as a mentor, working with firms as well over the last 12 months. But internally with your own office, any particular highlights or insights that stand out from your mentoring meetings throughout the year?
Tim Causbook: Just the importance of what you want to get out of the business. We begin with the end mind. Everyone wants different things out of it, so it's really important to step back. This is probably a good time of the year to do it to step back on another year down, down the drain, and just think about if this getting me closer to my goal? Or what is my goal? And then we’re stuck. It's very crazy and hectic in this industry. It's really good every now and then, and we do that in the monthly board meetings I did as well as a really good example of why they're really good because it forces you to take some time out each month to think about those quad bay and those bigger picture things.
That would also just document everything you do. It's impossible to delegate and withdraw unless you document how to do things in the first place. Dark wait until you get the process. Perfect but it's never perfect often. I don't realize where the problems are in the process until we start documenting the process. That's another one that sounds really simple.
Jamie bangs on about that one a lot, but we've seen huge benefits from doing that this year. I'm going to do a lot more of it than it needed to come.
Brenton Ward: Great! Thomas, anything from your siblings at TMS, or again from the mentoring you've been doing with firms through you.
Thomas Sphabmixay: Yeah! It's been a great year of mentoring and actually have my own board meeting with Ed this afternoon. I have to report in the same way other people report to us.
The greatest thing was being able to hone order structures in place so that reporting it through The Wize Fab 5 Key Performance Indicators’ KPI allows you to tell you more about these KPIs. Because when the structure's in place, it's easier to captain the ship through The Wize Fab 5 Key Performance Indicators. Then if it was like this chaotic marketplace that's going on, because people are just honed in around that. That's what I found this year with firms where it's like what Ed said, it's about the people, a lot of recruiting, a lot of team designing, restructuring, evaluating people, whether they belong in the right role or not so that they can start honing themselves around targets. That's been a highlight of that year,
Brenton Ward: Yeah, it's a really good point you touched on there because if we look at The Wize Fab 5 Key Performance Indicators in Wize, everyone has access to it. And if you don't have your own Wize Hub set up, I encourage you to get in touch with Selena and we'll set you up with it.
It's been the system that we've developed internally in sky accountants in Jamie's practice over the last 10 years with the help of Ed and Jamie's fine-tuning. But The Wize Fab 5 Key Performance Indicators dashboard drives KPIs and the practice. It does take time to implement. It's another one of these things. It's a code 2 activity that does take investment, not only from the practice on it. By getting the right people in place in order to fill in the data points and the like. But once it’s in place, it's just such a fantastic tool to be able to have an oversight and manage from a bottom and up.
As Ed says, keep your finger on the pulse of the health of the practice. So I encourage everyone if you don't have your Wize yet, have The Wize Fab 5 Key Performance Indicators set up and put that on your 2022 project list because it's just a brilliant tool