Episode 42: How to Structure your Accounting Practice's Org Chart
In this episode of The Wize Guys Podcast, Ed Chan, Jamie Johns, and Brenton Ward shared the value of having an organizational chart in any accounting practice business.
Jamie himself has implemented an org chart in his practice, Sky Accountants and it helped him focus on working on the flow and managing people more effectively and efficiently.
Discover how an organization chart can provide clarity and direction to your firm and how it can give you the ability to scale your business today!
0:35 - The importance of managing people to succeed
1:54 - Top-down management is a better form of leadership
3:37 - How to invest with people
4:28 - Is an organizational chart essential to every accounting firm?
#wizementoring #people #orgchart
“There's an African proverb that says, if you wanna go fast, you go by yourself, but if you wanna go far, you've gotta bring your team with you.” - Ed Chan
“...success in your business is how you manage people, how you manage your client's expectations, and how you manage your teams.” - Ed Chan
“The only reason why I have the lifestyle I have today is because of that investment in my people…” - Ed Chan
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Download the full transcript here.
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Episode 42: How to Structure your Accounting Practice's Org Chart
Brenton Ward: Would you mind telling us a little bit about the journey of structuring an org chart for an accounting firm and what it looks like, and how it takes shape?
Ed Chan: Yeah, I can probably start, but before we go into that I think it's really important to understand that the people in this session here are the leaders in the organization. They're made up of the owners and also the client managers and all potential client managers coming through. There's an African proverb that says, if you wanna go fast, you go by yourself, but if you wanna go far, you've gotta bring your team with you.
Now, the problem is that when we went to university and we did accounting. We were taught to do the work, but we were never taught how to manage people, right? But the assessment in the business is not in doing the work. Because with all due respect, that's the minimum you are expected to do. But success in your business is how you manage people, how you manage your client's expectations, and how you manage your teams. Because a person or an accountant under manager A can do really well and very be very, very, very productive. But under manager B can do very, very poorly. It's the same accountant, the same person, but under different management, does well and does poorly and the success of the business, and therefore the success of every person in that organization depends on how it's managed right from the top down. So that's why we spend a lot of time with the owners, but also with the leaders in the organization. And that includes the client managers. So just to put some context around why we hold two sessions, one for the owners and one for the client managers is because these people are the ones that can make a significant difference and a significant change to the organization. I mean other accountants, the employees there can't make any change.
Brenton Ward: Okay. Yeah. Anything to add to that?
Jamie Johns: No, not really.
Ed Chan: Yeah. So unless the people at the top know what to do and how to do it, then it's very, very difficult to change. And it's taken me close to 30 years to get all this together after making lots and lots of mistakes and going through lots and lots of pain if you like. And so the good thing about today is, or now, is that we can pass a lot of that information across, and if your business is only as good as the people that are in it. So there's a difference between, as I always say, working in your p and l or working in your balance sheet. Working on your balance sheet is investing in your people and understanding how to manage them and understanding the buttons to press with them to get them the best productivity from them. And if you do that, if you invest in your people, then they'll pay you a dividend. The only reason why I have the lifestyle I have today is because of that investment in my people, and hence the context behind this session today.
Brenton Ward: Okay. Very good.
Jamie, touch on that for me because you've gone through this journey as a senior client manager yourself, and you've got a number of senior client managers in your business. So tell me how the org chart has really helped you guys focus on the importance of working in a flow and working in your roles within the organization and within, specifically, we're gonna talk touch on the production vision division here today.
Jamie Johns: Yeah, well, I think it's important to take a helicopter view for everyone watching, and hopefully, you can see there we can send this around, but you've got these various divisions and at the start there from the left, you've got division one and right through division seven. So this is a really high-level view.
One of the first things that Ed takes you through, but the focus for today is really in division four, which is the production division, and division three, which is really sales. So you go from this helicopter view the seven divisions, and then you focus in the heart, which is division four, which is the production team, and then also there are the sales, the sales team as well, which is the division three. So what happens is, when you start working with Ed and over the years, a lot of accounting firms get really stuck in this division four and division three with production and sales. So what happens is in an accounting firm, there's just so much traffic. There are phone calls, there are appointments, there are interviews, and if you can really get the production team sorted and, and organize the traffic flow, then it's a massive step toward overcoming the barriers to growth. So that's really the focus that we worked on and a lot of firms get stuck at, and Ed can probably expand on that, but you know it's fine to keep pouring new clients into a firm, but it's not if you don't have the capacity or don't have the team to deal with all the clients renting.
Brenton Ward: Okay.