The Wize Guys

Episode 63: Working Less Hours in your Accounting or Bookkeeping Firm

July 14, 2023 Wize Mentoring for Accountants and Bookkeepers Season 1 Episode 63
The Wize Guys
Episode 63: Working Less Hours in your Accounting or Bookkeeping Firm
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are you struggling to break through the barrier of time constraints in your business? 

Discover the importance of self-discipline, experience, and emotional control in mastering self-leadership for personal and professional growth in our engaging conversation with Brenton Ward and Jamie Johns. We discuss how to effectively transition from working on urgent tasks to focusing on important but non-urgent ones, ultimately helping you grow your business.

Jamie shares his personal journey, revealing how listing and delegating tasks, regular meetings, and planning have significantly impacted the outcomes of his goals. Learn how daily hurdle meetings, weekly meetings, and keeping a pulse on your business's progress can cultivate a winning culture and guide you toward achieving your objectives. Don't miss this insightful episode filled with practical tips on building a business that runs without you!

PS: Whenever you’re ready… here are the fastest 3 ways we can help you transform your accounting/bookkeeping practice:

1. Join 40,000+ subscribers to our transformation Friday tips – Every Friday, our Wize Mentor and Thought Leader of the Year, Ed Chan will send one actionable insight from his experience of building a $20 million accounting firm that still runs without him – Subscribe here

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Brenton Ward: Yeah, and it's certainly something that we want to touch on and I wouldn't mind getting your feedback on Jamie, because you've obviously been through this experience. I think it's about going back to basics with some of those things guys. 

Time is still one of the biggest, if not the biggest constraint in growing our business.  It's because we just can't break through that barrier of figuring out where to divert it. We can't make more of it, so we have to free up the time that we're currently spending on certain things in order to best use it, or we buy our good people and delegate properly to those people in order to again, free up our time.

So Jamie, I always set the story of you telling us, and Ed, you obviously knew of principles, Quad A, B, C, D or 1, 2, 3 or 4, and working in is where we wanna be. But can you retell the story about how you positioned yourself to continually focus on working more in Quad 2? I'm pretty sure to remind you if sure you know the story. If you don't, I'll prompt you.

Jamie Johns: Yeah, you might have to prompt me. But essentially the best way that you can do it is to, what I found was to list all the tasks that you do in a month and a year. In the early days when I did it, you know, it probably had a list of 50 or 60 items, and then every board meeting I would review what I'd moved out of urgent and important over across to not urgent, but important. And every month I would look at that and would feel pretty bad if I didn't take anything out of, you know, Quad 1 and say, you gotta have self-awareness because when you go to work every day, it's so hard. It's so easy just to do the tax return yourself and say to yourself, 'Oh, it's quicker if I do it myself.' Or I can make, you'll say to yourself, 'I can make more money doing it myself, or it's quicker. 'And you've gotta stop yourself there because that's the very thinking that will stop you from moving forward and achieving your goals. And for me, it was all about literally how much I could delegate and how fast I could do it.

I do remember, I think I know what you're referring to. I just do recall one time when you sort of have an epitome, I guess I still remember, I pulled up at home at the front of my house and I said to Ed, 'Why can't I withdraw from this business that's driving me crazy? How do I get my time back?' I was quite sort of upset with myself and Ed said, look, you've gotta do it in a staged approach. You've gotta remove yourself from division 7 or 6. The owner has to withdraw themselves within your profit-making capacity because, you know, depending on what fee levels you got or where you're at in terms of your turnover, if you just like switch your productivity down to zero tomorrow, well you're not gonna have any money. So you've gotta do it in a stage approach withdrawal from divisions 7, 6, 5, and so on as the fees increase.

And so, you know, how do you do that? You do that with your capacity plan, you do that with the cashflow forecasting. The way that you successfully do that is with the planning. And if you plan ahead it de-risk things. You can see things coming. The worst thing is when you get a surprise or a shock or you can't see something coming in your business and it makes it more risky, and then you don't have as much confidence if you don't plan either. I think it's so underrated, the value of planning because it has a multiple effect on the outcomes of what you're trying to do. It's like every discipline that you have, including, you know, the daily huddle meetings, the weekly meetings that I know a lot of firms are starting to do, you know, like even down to the detail in the weekly meetings with their team, looking at, 'Okay, what have we build so far this month versus what's our budget? How do we gonna get there? How do we get those last few jobs out so that we can meet budget,' and then, you know, keep that finger on the pulse, develop that momentum and that winning culture and that's what you wanna do. And that's the heartbeat. It's those four sorts of critical meetings that in my experience are the glue that holds the firm together towards reaching its goals and the owners reaching the goals as well and lifting everyone in the process ~ happier clients, happier team members, and shareholders and suppliers.

How time is the biggest challenge in growing an accounting business
Tips for freeing up more time
How to build momentum
The importance of having meetings