The ideal team structure for your practice depends on fee volume you manage.
Ideal Team Structure
In the last episode Ed Chan, co-founder of WIZE Mentoring and founder and non-executive chairman of Chan & Naylor – one of Australia’s Top 100 accounting firms according to (former) BRW – spoke about separating production and communication traffic to improve efficiencies. In this episode Ed will discuss the ideal team structure to manage a $1m in fees.
Here is what we learned but please listen in as Ed Chan explains all this much better than we ever could.
To listen while you drive, walk or work, just access the episode through a free podcast app on your mobile phone.
Ideal Team Structure
The ideal team structure is to have one client manager (possibly supported by an assistant client manager) and then 5 grinders (one of which is the senior production manager) manage $1m in fees.
Of course you don’t start with that. You grow into this structure. At the start you do everything yourself. As you grow, you reduce your billable hours and bring more staff in to take over until you get to this structure.
Sort Your Clients
You start with the client manager handling all communication traffic, but sooner or later they will hit capacity as you edge towards the $1m in fees.
So then you sort your clients into four classes – A, B C and D – and hire an assistant client manager. Think of the assistant client manager like a trainee. So then the assistant takes over looking after the C and D class clients, while the client manager takes care of A and B clients.
How to sort your clients is a science in itself. Do you do it by fee size as most accountants do? Or do you use a different criteria, for example industry, future potential, client size? Every practice will do this differently.
The client manager is not just a minder but also a finder. The client manager is like a GP. They understand the general concept and know when to call in which expert. Their job is to manage the client and be their trusted contact and adviser.
If your client manager sits down to grind away, then they don’t have time to grow the business. There is an opportunity cost to doing grinding work. It requires leadership from a partner to make sure client managers don’t slip back into a grinding role.
The focus is on helping, not selling. But if you fertilise the ground through great marketing, then being helpful will generate more leads.
The more marketing you do, the more fertilized the soil is, the less salesmanship you need to convert a prospect. The less marketing you do, the more skilled selling you have to do.
Senior Production Manager
The senior production manager leads the production team. Their skill set needs to be very different to the one of a client manager. The production manager is in charge of the other grinders in production. Their role is to make sure that the Ts are crossed and Is dotted.. They liaise with the client manager and assistant manager to get to the final product. They don’t see the clients. The client manager or their assistant does.
We have 160 staff in Australia and we have 16 staff in the Philippines. For the staff in the Philippines we pay the sitting fee, their salary and the recruitment fee and a deposit.
To hear more of Ed’s business growth strategies for accounting firm owners, please visit www.wizementoring.com/taxtalks where you can download a copy of WIZE Mentoring’s free eBook – The Accountants 20 Hour Workweek.
Disclaimer: Tax Talks does not provide financial or tax advice. All information on Tax Talks is of a general nature only and might no longer be up to date or correct. You should seek professional accredited tax and financial advice when considering whether the information is suitable to your or your client’s circumstances.
Last Updated on 19 November 2019