How accountants and their clients can have world class management meetings

There are two ways for accountants to use Goal Driver.

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There are two ways for accountants to use Goal Driver – internally (to improve practice results) and/or externally (to help clients improve their business results). This post is about internal use and uses the example of a firm embracing Cloud accounting with Xero to drive efficiency and improve customer service.

The reality is that it doesn’t matter how beautiful your Website is or what back office software you use, your practice results are directly linked to your people’s performance – that is driven by how effective you are at leading and managing your team.

Goal Driver helps practice owners be better leaders and managers.

Better business planning
Goal Driver is a system that enables you to take a step back from day-to-day work – use this as an opportunity to think, develop and document a strategy for your practice.

If you haven’t already done so, identify your firm’s brand purpose – this is the non-financial reason why your businesses exists. Simon Sinek calls this your “why” – he has created the Why Discovery Course.

An example of a firm of accountants who have articulated their why is  Kirkpatrick and Hopes – their purpose is to help clients “do more of what you love and less of what you don’t”. This type of purpose inspires people to do their best work.

By the way, if someone isn’t inspired and motivated by your firm’s purpose then perhaps your firm isn’t the right place for them!

When you know your purpose it makes sales meetings more focussed and proposals easier to write because you know what your objective is. It’s also easier to produce testimonials and case studies because you are looking for example of your purpose being delivered. You can set up a goal in Goal Driver and get your entire team obsessive about delivering on the purpose.

Alongside your purpose are your firm’s values –  these drive your team’s day-to-day behaviour which is why you need to carefully consider how to describe them. Again, you can set a goal for people to demonstrate values being lived and encourage your team to recognise each other.

Use Goal Driver’s one page pitch to summarise and communicate your firm’s strategy so everyone understands where the business is going and how it’s going to get there. Review progress every quarter and adjust to the feedback you get from the market.

Research by Cranfield School of Business and Warwick University found this approach to business planning increases growth potential by 30%. Invite your team to get involved in the planning process and create a detailed plan with milestones and actions – people who develop plans are more likely to take the action to implement them and action.

A stronger culture
Whatever direction you decide to go and whatever action are identified you need your people to execute.

Set up goals and drives which take you towards your milestones. These can be quantitative or qualitative and fall into three categories:

  • Business
  • Project
  • Individual.

The goals and drivers will depend on the strategy and business model you decide to pursue.  Examples include:

Business goals

  • Purpose being fulfilled
  • Values being lived
  • Employee engagement
  • Client feedback scores
  • Total fees
  • Number of clients
  • Average fee
  • Number of referral
  • Lost clients.

Project goals

  • Percentage of clients using Xero
  • Quality of use of Xero
  • Development of the new Website.

Individual goals for an accounts senior:

  • Percentage of accounts completed within budget
  • Turnaround time on accounts
  • Percentage of accounts prepared correctly.

Individual goals for a bookkeeper

  • Transactions processed per hour
  • Accuracy of processing.

Individual goals for a partner

  • Annual fees under management
  • New clients
  • Sales skills
  • Business advisory knowledge.

Remember, goals are not results. Results are the outcome of the goals being achieved – focus on the drivers of success and results will take care of themselves.

Every accounting firm has meetings, internally with employees and yeas as well as external with clients and strategic partners. If you improve the effectiveness of meetings you will improve the performance.

Use Goal driver’s Meeting Manager to improve meetings in your practice by:

  • Every meeting will have a stated purpose
  • Using templates for consistency
  • Having agendas to make sure you cover everything
  • Circulating agendas before meetings so everyone is prepared
  • Circulating notes after a meeting so everyone knows what was said and agreed.

You can frame every meeting by reminding attendees of your firms’ brand purpose – this will keep everyone focussed on what’s important.

For example, in meetings with clients Kirkpatrick and Hopes could ask “What can we do to help you do more of what you love and less of what you don’t?” In internal meetings they could ask individuals and teams for ideas on what the firm could do to help clients do more of what they love and less of what they don’t.

1-2-1 meetings are an opportunity to review people’s personal development – discuss their individual Goal Driver scores as part of their personal development plan.

Teams meetings are an opportunity to share progress with a group of people who work closely together. It’s an opportunity to identify ways to improve business and team scores and to recognise top performers.

All hands meetings allow you to update everyone of the progress made and to thank key people for their efforts.

This level of accountability and recognition is what gets people focussed and drives the practice forward.

Goal Driver is the ultimate system for accountants develop a strategy and implement a strategy.

Sign up for our trial and see for yourself how Goal Driver can help you achieve your goals.

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