The Wize Guys

Hot Seat: Thomas Sphabmixay ┃How to Establish An Ideal Organizational Structure and Culture for Your Accounting Practice

December 09, 2021 Wize Mentoring for Accountants and Bookkeepers Season 1 Episode 12
The Wize Guys
Hot Seat: Thomas Sphabmixay ┃How to Establish An Ideal Organizational Structure and Culture for Your Accounting Practice
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

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Hot Seat: Thomas Sphabmixay ┃How to Establish An Ideal Organizational Structure and Culture for Your Accounting Practice

In this episode of The Wize Guys, Brenton Ward had a 1:1 interview with Thomas Sphabmixay from TMS Tax Accounting & Financial Services who was first introduced to the Wize Mentoring program when they approached Ed Chan for Mentoring.

Through Wize, they were able to turn their team around and put their house in order. In just 6 months, they were able to develop an ideal organizational chart and set up an effective team structure that ultimately led to their firm’s growth!

Timestamps:

0:35 Early work challenges that Thomas had with TMS
4:15 That insight about ‘coaching’
 5:45 The fundamental need to pay taxes religiously
6:09 Thomas ‘million things to change’
7:23 How to get the momentum
8:59 Understanding the foundation of an accounting business
11:11 How to focus on the core issue
13:21 Thomas’ defining moment or ‘click moment’
19:06 Tips for communicating right
23:42 How to develop structures and processes in place
26:08 Why culture is considered to be a massive part of an organization
27:24 The importance of having a culture
29:03 How to influence culture in creating the right environment
31:50 Why you should get people involved and engage 

Quotations:

“I think the root of that problem, right, is the fact that the system typically doesn't evolve with the level of work or at the same rate as the level of work comes in. Like, you can be quite good at bringing the work in the door, but if you're not as focused on the systems being developed in conjunction with the level of work coming through the door, then there's a complete mismatch. ” - Brenton Ward

“Too much work...  But it just felt like there were a million things to change.” - Thomas Sphabmixay

“I think over the last two years, it's like I've been taught the fundamentals of how exactly a professional services business should be set up or what the business model of a professional services business is.” - Thomas Sphabmixay

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Download the full transcript here.

Thomas Sphabmixay: Before being a flat organization, it was just that people can hide in the corner or like an accountant. I mean, 80 grand a year can just do Promos mentoring. 

Brenton Ward: I'm Brenton Ward. This is the Wize Guys Podcast, a show dedicated to it, accounting and bookkeeping, practice owners, all around the world and their stories, challenges, and insights of building a business that runs without them. I hope you enjoy this episode. 

So talk to me about the first day you walked into TMS and how you approached board meetings and, and things like that and the chaos. 

Thomas Sphabmixay: What do you have in-app board meetings? I'm going into the phone. And I was thinking, I just want to enjoy, but I mean, with my personality though, was always a nagging feeling that things could be a battle. And I knew that my parents didn't exactly call and have a succession plan and then didn't talk like they were going to plan on getting passed on to anyone. They just look like you were just on your way out. It was just physically like 

Brenton Ward: For them, it was what, 27 years in. And it was just their life. It was the day-to-day, there was no need to try and do a mission vision, you know, five-year plan. It was the business. 

Thomas Sphabmixay: Yeah. And I have seen it with my own eyes. I have seen my, you know, my parents they'll go out there and I know mark, they'll have ties. They've gone to radio, they'll go and try and get clients. And then the one who comes in and then they'll struggle to do it. And then it was just that tug of war again. And I think anybody can look at a situation like that and know that it couldn't be better just for the sheer example of other accounting firms that are like starch larger and they get any buy-in like, so why can't we? So I'm like, okay, what's it going to take for us to get to somewhere better? And I did not know where to start. I mean, I mean, like thinking about it, like I'll go into a document management system and now like, all right, so take a look at the standard reporting letters or standard templates for documents.

And it's like 20 folders deep. And I'm like, do I stop? Do I stop? Like cleaning this up? How about I look at the job flow, it was started. And like, there are too many small details that can get you tripped up. And I think that's what happens to a lot of people. So it's always obvious that an accountant can do a tax return, but an accounting firm can do it. I think the owner was always doing it at scale. Like how do you do it commercially at scale, anybody can pull up to one tax return and take it from beginning to end and finish it off. But how do you juggle that with thousands of other tax returns in an office? And actually, I feel like a commercial, a factory.

Brenton Ward: Like a factory. 

Thomas Sphabmixay: How do you this as a scale, like a factory yet? 

Brenton Ward: And it's interesting because that, I think the root of that problem, right, is the fact that the system typically doesn't evolve with the level of work or at the same rate as the level of work comes in. Like, you can be quite good at bringing the work in the door, but if you're not as focused on the systems being developed in conjunction with the level of work coming through the door, then there's a complete mismatch. 

Thomas Sphabmixay: What model were you going to pick? Are you going to pick the bottle where you're going to hire a bunch of accounts and the workflow is that they'll handle one tax return, take it to the end and then start a new one, which is what most accountants logically set their phone up.

Brenton Ward: That's how they did it themselves. 

Thomas Sphabmixay: That's the normal thing. But yes, I think the Bob that I got from my boss because my mom is known for a thing, a decade or more he's wanted her to do the coaching.

She did just about every object he said to me as I knew deep down that he was going to actually, it's going to take like business building stuff. And like, I don't have time for that. And she was pursuing all these other things like seminar business or property staff, just like everything but accounting. But I saw accounting first. I saw it as a safe, good, reliable cash flow business. So it's not like a business where it's like mega profitable, like trans, urban, you know, the transmit button there. They do want to roads, a lot of toll roads around here. And my friend works as a management consultant and transmits it. And I asked him what's that because after working with wise for a while you start talking that language.

Brenton Ward: It's going to make me very jealous. 

Thomas Sphabmixay: It's like 50 or 60% like 50 billion revenue. I don't know something crazy billion revenue. That's a money-printing machine. So there are businesses like that. And then I saw accounting and besides the fact that my parents have already started an accounting firm, I saw that it's a reliable business. It's a new one, their client base.

They're going to come in every year to do a tax return. It's a very fundamental need in society. Taxes are always going to be around. So it's a nice, good stable business to be in with. And I went to seminars where I met other accounting firms before. Right. And I went to CPD classes and seminars with my mom to go chicken.

So she had to build up CPD boards for CPA and other accounting firms. And, and we talked to them as well. And they shared the same thing. Like, are we strong? What I worked on, there's always too much work. And I'm like, oh, we're not the only ones overwhelmed, by our practices. And, but you know, that's where we were at that time and will try to change. But it just felt like there were a million things to change. 

Brenton Ward: Where did you start? It's almost like, obviously you came in with a fresh set of eyes on and didn't have the legacy and the baggage that many practice owners respectfully, of course, the whole because that's what they've been used to doing the same. They've been doing things the same way since I started the business. So you came in with a different approach. Now, you had all the same challenges of suggesting a change in the practice, but how did you go from a million things that could be focused on to a processed approach to change?

Thomas Sphabmixay:  So we started with Wize and we started with Ed providing us mentors. And besides the fact that we know we left these board meetings with action points to work on. So that, that got me going.

Brenton Ward: The momentum.

Thomas Sphabmixay: Yeah, it got the momentum going, but I had a goal of trying to understand hot. Where is this coming from? And knew my mom agreed before we started with ed that we didn't just want someone to come in and tell us exactly what to do.

We want it to learn where it's coming from so that I feel like that's, that's going to be better for us long term. If you can get, get into the head of the child, try to get into the w where they're coming from. And then that way we do situations, we can figure out, you know, in the wise way. 

But in the beginning, we'll just, I'll just work on things like, I'll share my screen with you here. Right. This is an old board meeting from this point first for meeting 25th of January, 2019. And it went through and worked out like, you know, the revenue growth plan, which is like in a sheet now, but we did it like on the table and work.

Brenton Ward: Yeah. That whole beginning of beginning with the end in mind pace. 

Thomas Sphabmixay: Yes. And this was all beginning with the, in mind. And I'm working on a business plan for like, you know, equity on a ship. And when tuck-ins come in, he called the finance model and he helped us work out our divisions and the team structures and all this sort of stuff. I had homework where I had to write out the job descriptions for what a client manager is. And a CEO is like that homework, but all of this was because he was teaching me the fundamentals of accounting for a corporation in general. But they're looking at this. I was like, just concerned with trying to get a job description. Or if you can understand my head, it's like, damn right. ‘Like, oh, I want to do my whole dental was a client manager.’ Do I was thinking about the full picture? I was just focused on it. 

Brenton Ward: Breaking it down.

Thomas Sphabmixay: Yeah. Breaking it down then over time. I think because we had the intention to implement the things that we were learning. We also came into pushback from my parents, who had their type of pushback. I've had that type of pushback. And I think every time I received pushback, it made me think a lot deeper and more convincingly about what we were doing and try to be able to articulate that in a way that I think I would understand. And, that required me to understand it first.

So I think over the last two years, it's like I've been taught the fundamentals of how exactly a professional services business should be set up or what the business model of a professional services business is. 

Brenton Ward: It's the building blocks, isn't it? Because I think so much of what we hear in different providers and commentators in the news in general is, is all symptomatic stuff. And it's all short-term focused. 

So even, even recently, we've been talking about doing a webinar with one of our partners is one of the software providers and they're talking about the topic was how to sell more services to your existing clients. And it's a great topic and it's really useful. And it's something that firms are interested in. But when talking to Ed about the preparation of the webinar, he just keeps coming back to the fact that this is all well and good, this conversation, but we're missing one of the main points here is that most of these firm owners are so inundated with work. They wouldn't know where to start. If we poured another 10, 15 grand worth of work in additional services to existing clients. So we need to focus on the core issue and those fundamental.

So you've been on that journey, right? For what two years, if you were to look back into the FIC of the change and to a moment in time where it just felt so hard to change, but looking back on it, that change has been, or had one of the most dramatic effects to how you guys are placed now, which is such a good position. What do you reckon that that piece of the puzzle was? 

Thomas Sphabmixay: So there isn't like there has not been a lot. Okay. I could probably name like four or something. So, you know, just a few handfuls of situations where I'm telling people to quit. I'm telling myself I want to quit. 

Brenton Ward: Is that because of the pushback?

Thomas Sphabmixay: It was complicated because I'm in a family business, right. My mom for the last 27 years has not let anyone else control the finances and buy a, you know, buy from our board meetings. It became clear that I needed to start looking after the finances. So I had the challenge of trying to learn how to manage the money plus deal with my parents, letting control of that sort of thing. That was hard. 

There have been moments where it's just been if I could kind of characterize it, it's been moments where my parents had to let go of a major aspect of control, whether it be around hiring and managing people, or either it'd be around something to do with the systems or either how it like surrounds how we want to approach our workflow or money, or like during these moments where I felt like I was getting like just insane amount of pushback and as there'll be like, well, that didn't mean many board meetings with their teams and many moments in meetings where there were T is other people's. But then I, if I had to pick one defining moment, I know it's so hot. I feel like it's been like a gradual ramp up, but I can't, I don't know if there was a defining moment, but I can tell when there was a time where it started to feel easier. 

Brenton Ward: I think I like to call it like the ‘click moment’. So you know how Ed says things, just start to click. When, what was your click moment?

Thomas Sphabmixay: I think my click moment for sure was when, where, like, I got like up until this point, right? I was just learning all those fundamental pieces and then sort of just, I, I didn't quite understand the deeper meaning behind it. The moment it clicked for me was when I was talking to Ed about practice ignition and we'll in a board meeting and we're talking about the process in which we collect money.

And then I talked about it like I asked him, so does division seven do this now? Are they the ones that go and click it? And he, he said to me that ideally, ‘you want fewer people handling it.’ Okay. So actually you should get your team to look after the practice now because it's all contained. And I said to you, so what about division seventh? And what's it there for? And it's like, they just don't do it. Like you just have fewer people touching it. That's the more important thing. And I'm like, no, it's really weird. I said, why, why is that? And he said the division is just a tool. Like you can change it like it's up to you to change. And when he tried to make the point to me that it's not just about having these divisions and getting everyone to fix into these sort of things, and these divisions have, I can fix definition to me that there's a lot of room for interpretation about these divisions and about how teams work. And it was from that point onward that it completely changed my mindset, like about divisions, the org chart, the teams, what exactly because before then I was like saying, you know, it's very easy to say, oh, this class Pass goes to this role this time. And I was very rigid in my rotation. Like very bridge-based. But after he explained that to me, it just clicked in my head and talks about it in terms of situational leadership.

I'm not sure that's the same thing. There might be concerted situations where you would have to exercise exceptions. But I think something along the similar lines is that when we're interpreting the models in wise, they're not rigid. They're not, they might be rigid, to begin with. And we might construct that way because we need people to get the momentum going on that first. But once a certain level of understanding, then you can start to interpret it in different ways. Bolded. That was when I felt like, ‘Wow!’ like I thought I was coming up to it. I was like, I got divisions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or two divisions two or something like that. But I felt like, okay, so that's the end of it.

I almost felt like that. It's like when I float carbon and practice ignition pocket, that's the end of the line divisions. I install it, that's it. And I was like, ‘whoa.’ And he explained it to me just at the right moment for me to learn something like that. And it clicked in my head like, wow, like he felt like the world was my voice. 

Brenton Ward: Yeah, it's, it's such a good point because I think when we hear the wise way of doing things over and over again, and also I think anything in any sort of general information that you hear taking it from verbatim, and also looking at it, rigidly can constrain your net. Some things you didn't need to follow the recipe and follow the formula right. Because it makes sense to do. But I think approaching stuff with a layer of adaptability and fluidity to it needs to happen because it's not an exact science, Ed and Jamie will say this all the time. Like everything that we do, it's not an exact science, the team structure, we've got the team structure there, but you can't just slot the people into the right seats straight away.

It's just this, it's this growing, moving thing. It's this constant momentum. But as long as we're heading towards the framework that that's, that's the goal. And then when you think you are there, something will change and you'll have to go back to the drawing board again and, and take the next iteration of it. So I find that interesting.

One of the things you mentioned before, and I just wanted to touch on it because I find it quite, quite an interesting point, especially for a lot of people who were in family businesses You coming in as the youngster into your, your parents' firm. And now, by the way, which I don't think you'd give yourself enough credit for what you've done yourself over the last couple of years to get to the point where you are now a stakeholder in the firm and, and running it. But we can talk about that later.

In the working environment, when there's family involved, did you find it difficult for you guys to separate family versus business and keep those boundaries fairly clear? Or how did that work? 

Thomas Sphabmixay: Oh, it was so bad at the beginning. In some ways it was, so it goes through so bad, like even like a year and a half later. So before I worked at TMS, my brother actually started a tutoring center and we just made it a point to say that if we're working at work, if we're at home and as brothers, it's easy to be, it's easy to get on the same page on each other about this sort of thing.

It's not so easy to do that. The parents, because there are many levels higher than you will sort of think. And they probably are, but that you're not in so many levels hide in your terms of the warranty. And it's little things like I'll go to the office and I have to be so careful about how I word things. If I want them to change a process. I'll be like, well, ‘You can't do it like that. You shouldn't do this.’ 

Brenton Ward: And then a lot of diplomacies involved 

Thomas Sphabmixay: So much diplomacy. I mean, I have friends that I graduated from high school with, and they work in their family businesses, different businesses, and industries, but it just sounded like their parents are so much nicer. Like I wanted to buy a new forklift because I was all going.

That's like, okay, go again. Wow. That's so nice. I think mine was a lot tougher. I think a lot more emotional as well because it felt like the business felt very like a very close family. So growing up, it always felt like our second home office, we used to go to X-Box on the boardroom TV and play games. It was like our second home to us. 

So it's a very emotional environment. And I did have to learn a lot of diplomacies and I did fail a lot in how I tried to communicate it to people, especially to my parents. And I guess the best way I sorta do it nowadays is I don't try. I know it sounds bad. I don't try and tell them myself. I won't be so straightforward with them anymore. I won't just come up there and say, go straight to their phones. It won't, it won't go down. Well, now you have to store the line, suggest that out, or say something that prompts their way of thinking. And then they figure it out themselves.

Brenton Ward: Lead them in the direction you're trying to take them, 

Thomas Sphabmixay: Yeah. Lead them in the direction that you're going to take them, or they're doing something that seems inefficient and it's going to run into a mistake and you've already offered a solution to them and they didn't take it up the first time, but that's okay. So you just let them do that thing and they'll find it and then they'll want to come to your solution.

It's I have to find all these other ways to get people to come around. But I think that was good because that taught me how to do a pushback because that's what pushed back, pushed back is the perfect scenario is that you can go up to your manager on staff or a team and just list out, okay. 

So these are the new implementations that we're gonna use them. And then the dream would be that they would soak that all in and then start doing that. And then they're gonna be active about implementing it into the rest of the firm and living.

Brenton Ward: As you are. 

Thomas Sphabmixay: That's not the case in reality, at least for like. I think in most cases for medium businesses, because maybe in a larger firm, you can have like a, like a charismatic, convincing CEO, like Brenton. And people will follow along, but in smaller people, like ‘Who are you?’ And it was really hard because I came into the firm and I've worked in an outer TMS here and there. 

So the staff that I'm trying to come in and convince them to change for the long-term, they're thinking Thomas, ‘You're just going to quit in a year's and two, I can usually do it. You know, you're just here for a bit of pocket money, then you're out.’ So I have to get over that I had to get over. 

Brenton Ward: That's a matter of shifting gear and leadership of having to change people's perception of you as a leader, as opposed to someone that's just hanging around the office as, the son of the owners. 

Thomas Sphabmixay: Yeah. I totally, I don't know if it is like it's, I'm writing a lot, but I learned from others like watching TV shows or these situations where like, we'll come in and they'll try and suggest this and that. I get where these are staff thinking. I totally can respect whatever's going through their head Rondo when they see this. I think in that situation I had to believe in my school like no one was going to come and encourage me about it. 

Brenton Ward: You're referring to like the office. So you were the David Brent to the Michael Scott of the office.

Thomas Sphabmixay: Yeah. Just a classy coming in now and wants to do a couple of things. And you're not, there are more horror stories than good stories. I completely understand. People's skepticism.

BrentonWard: What would you say you're at now with your team in terms of cohesion, leadership, mutual respect, and things like that? Has there been a dramatic shift there, or is it still very much work in progress? 

Thomas Sphabmixay: Massive alpha has ever had the culture that it has today? Just, just the massive, massive culture change there's culture surrounding being focused on the same goals, being motivated as a team to achieve budgets, planning together, the way we do with conflict, the way we can involve the right people to come in with.

So for example, a senior production manager would notice an inefficiency in the workflow. And then instead of just trying to do it themselves, and like, I'll just like stop myself, trying to follow how the company is set up and involve division of the city. So involve me to try and understand what changes they're trying to make, because they respect that they can't just go into the system and touch whatever they have to inform the people that are developing this sort of thing.

So they can set it up in a way where it's going to work for the rest of the office. So what we feel like we have to train each other is higher. People are learning more about what it means to be enrolled than they're in now before being a flat organization. It just meant that people can hide in the corner or like an accountant owning 80 grand a year can just do admin work all day long.

No one would know people can sit on a job for a very long time. People can start new jobs before it gets started. So we weren't working on the same thing. It was just lots of people doing whatever they want to pass the day. I think it was the time people just watched YouTube. People didn't know back then.

I mean, the work eventually when extensions at all did get done, you know, because, you know, as we wanted to lose the clients, but it wasn't that wasn't great.

Brenton Ward: You managed a process. I find that interesting because culture is a massive part of any organization, but in terms of developing culture and what that looks like, and the activity involved to do that, it's such a broad topic, right? So you could be from the school of, well, it's just how we do it around here. Or you could be in the corner of investing in a mission, vision, and values and have it painted all over the walls and all of that sort of stuff. Like there are those extremes on the scale. But even in recent years, I've always been very interested in cultural development and things of that nature. But even over the last couple of years, having worked with Ed, what I've seen is you don't have to hire a consultant to come in and tell you, tell, get your team around a table, do post-it notes of core values and come up with big vision statements and stuff. It's great. It's good activities. But just by getting the right people in the right seats, doing the right work in their flow can have a dramatic effect on the culture and the environment in an office without any of the other stuff that you overlay on that. I think that's one of the biggest pieces of that puzzle is to get people in their fire.

Thomas Sphabmixay: Every leader worth their salt understands the importance of culture, but it's like, how does it, how do we go about it? And it's weird. It's not straightforward. Like you can't just don't tell someone to change. They won't just suddenly flip a switch and then start acting differently. But I thought I seen, if you can influence people's habits and if you can influence what motivates people and their goals like for that person.

Then you can do that on a phone-wide scale unconscious. So restructuring staff into a team structure is going to affect your culture and it can be so sometimes as they've gone through that morale can just drop, but then once they start getting results from it and they start to see that it doesn't make sense, the morale would increase and then they would buy into it a whole lot more.

So its culture is almost a sort of output, all these changes that are going into place. For example, ways that culture can be effective. Like when we started using slack, I would just go and put emojis we'll call minutes. And then now president staff do that. And then it's like a culture of emojis that deep down, it's a culture of acknowledging other presidents. 

Brenton Ward: Coley’s like critical. Non-essentials Patty Lund, who's a dentist in Australia, authored a couple of books on this topic of, you know, making the business your own and putting your DNA into the business. And he talked about critical. Non-essentials are the little 1% of things that you can do to influence your culture and create the environment that you want. So even in our slack channel and wisely, as you know, like when, when our team clock on, if you're like for the day on slack, cause we're all virtual, everyone puts a different quote in to start the day. So whenever you're coming into slack for the day, you've got like a nice little float of quotes to see kind of where that person's headspace is for the day. But also it just adds a little bit of flavor to that culture. And it's the simplest thing, but I've noticed it. It has a definite impact on how we work together as a team. And then, your little acknowledgment as well. 

Thomas Sphabmixay: I think adding the flavor is the key part. Then like a lot of firms don't get caught up on the systems, the robot work, offshoring, organizational chart, but they don't have to be implemented in cold-boiled stakes.

Brenton Ward:  Yeah, I like that. That's the perfect picture of a bad system. 

Thomas Sphabmixay: It's going to give you nutrients. It's healthy. It's got like, X amount of protein, X amount of fat it's going to, it's going to feed your back, her as a button and that's how it stops you. 

Brenton Ward: Yeah. 

Thomas Sphabmixay: Then it's like, you want them to use a new workflow. You don't try at least to make it digestible. And I mean, making something palatable even a little bit, like making things a little bit palatable, it's really easy. You only need salt. Like that makes it like instantly more palatable. But if you want to go extra and add more complex flavors and stuff, okay, it's going to take a lot more effort, but even just bending something mildly palatable, takes much effort. 

Brenton Ward: No. And it certainly helps with that change management process as well, because it makes, it makes it not a whole lot easier, but certainly a lot more appealing. 

Thomas Sphabmixay: Yeah. When I started with us at that firm in Sydney, the $3 million firm, they asked me to help them with their cloud systems. How do we start with a meeting, like just to like talk about, like to scope it out, explain a little bit about what I can offer potentially?

The best way I could have shown them was I just opened up my, my comment and my slides. And I showed them I have people chatting, people are getting gifts, people are getting emerges. And I said, you have a working environment, but there's this opportunity where you can almost make it like it's. So like people want to get involved.

It's almost like a social media, like go from it's like its own community, social media sort of environment. People get the same dopamine hit when they get emojis as if they get a like on Facebook or something. It's about the engagement, you know, you really can like working online. I found it interesting because you have a lot more tools to use and engage people in where you wanted to be engaged. 

So sometimes you want them to be focused on maybe specifically incoming work. You could set up some sort of notification to slender, send them to your chat. Every time at work gets accepted or like a new one comes in. And our human nature is that we like to read every single notification that we get and they're going to react to it. It's weird. It's like, you get to control the headspace. You get to influence their experience, day-to-day and it's like, okay, ‘We're going to build a system to get you to do work’ and we have a clear output in mind that we want to achieve here, but you can do it in a way where people want to do, like, they want to engage and they want to get involved. It's not just the KPIs that they have to meet. And they're going to get like grilled on by the manager at the end of the week on a button. And then they'll have to explain why their productivity is the law. Then they've prominence for why they, there has it been cleared out yet.

But if you can make it like this sort of like palatable experience, people enjoy it. So for example, I'm trying to drive more kind manager meetings. I'm, I'm trying to drive heck a lot of them because you know, we're ahead on our work and we need these meetings to happen, to make some magic proposals coming out. So I'm like bookkeeping. All of them are all the clients. You get meetings talking about how good we are, whatever it is. I have a quota for our senior admin to get 20 bookings per client manager a week. I just make it so that every time there's a candidate B appointment may it will send it to a specific slack channel or calendar appointments. 

Every time I see a new one, I'll just count. It would be like, oh, so you're at 1,120 now. Now it's 1200 2013 out of 20 million, nearly dead. It's a Wednesday, you know, you can get the, you just need another set of bookings and you're done. 

Brenton Ward: It's really interesting actually that you say that. Cause I've been thinking about that recently for us as well in how we share the experience internally with Wize so that everyone can share in the wins of the company. And even something as simple. It took me 10 minutes yesterday but using the Zapier platform to connect the different apps. Now, when we get a new wise pulse member to join it now puts a little sort of celebration, slack notification in a wins channel that everyone sees. So rather than just coming to myself or Sammy and their team to say, we've got a new pulse member. Now everyone gets to share in that we are in, and it's like that little shot of dopamine again. And you get everyone engaged. 

Thomas Sphabmixay: It's so good because it's coming from automation. It's not like people are expecting the boss man to compliment them, right? It's coming from the system and it's not at any one person so that the whole phone gets to enjoy that celebration continuously reminds the resident team and communicates to them that I'm getting notifications. 

Brenton Ward: It's everyone. It's, it's what we're doing this for. It reminds everyone why we, why we exist. It's a, and it's a different thing for each person.

It's like, well, oh, I know them because I'd sent them an email or, you know, I'd connected with them on Facebook or whatever it may be. So everyone gets to share in the experience. But I think that the core lesson or thought in that is that, it was so easy to facilitate. Like it's so easy not to do, but at the end of the day, it took 10 minutes to set that up. And now it's on complete autopilot, but it will have a big effect across the team. 

Thomas Sphabmixay: Yeah. It's so easy to set it up. Right. And then you've instantly got this nice automated feedback, responsive, experienced system. Like we also do it for proposals accepted.

Sometimes the car manager be like, can you please send us a proposal, the account to disclose again, they just need one more follow-up and they'll send it out, then we'll send it out. And we would know the outcome, like in some situations within a couple of minutes, like, we'll see so-and-so has accepted this proposal for a value of like, you know, 10 grand and everyone's celebrating. We're not just waiting on an email to come back to tell us that they've got like they've accepted the proposal gets a notification. And yeah, that was so easy to set it up in.

Brenton Ward: It's an experience and an event, as opposed to just another cog in the machine of the proposal being accepted and a new client being engaged at it. It brings it to life. Maybe we focused on a mixed bag in this chat has been some really good stuff in there.

I mean, anyone listening to, these episodes will be able to sympathize and relate and I think learn a lot from them. So I think they're, they're well, we're sharing. And for anyone listening in and you enjoyed this, do feel free to subscribe and like the episode or leave a comment, Thomas, thanks for the chat as always. We'll talk to you again on the next chat. Thanks for listening in. We hope you enjoyed the episode. If you'd like to hear more from this show, please do subscribe before leaving. And we'd love for you to give us a five-star review if you enjoyed it so we can help others listen in to the show as well.

If you'd like to also see more from wise mentoring and how we can help you build a practice that runs without you jump over to wise mentoring.com for slash podcast to download a free copy of our book, The Accountants 20-WorkWeek that's at wizementoring.com/podcast. Thanks again. And we'll see you in the next episode.

Early work challenges that Thomas had with TMS
That insight about ‘coaching’
The fundamental need of paying taxes religiously
Thomas ‘million things to change’
How to get the momentum
Understanding the foundation of an accounting business
How to focus on the core issue
Thomas’ defining moment or ‘click moment’
Tips in communicating right
How to develop structures and processes in place
Why culture is considered to be a massive part of an organization
The importance of having a culture
How to influence culture in creating the right environment
Why you should get people to involve and engage