Practice Management Should not be Ignored
Practice management, in a broad sense, is the use of systems and procedures to efficiently address business issues and requirements. While the main purpose of an accounting firm is to provide accounting services, it is still a business. All businesses require customers, supplies, networking, marketing, procedures, strategies, hiring policies, and more.
The importance of practice management is to focus on the business-side of an accounting firm. Overarching business decisions are what practice management is about. In order for the accountants to do accounting, the business needs to be managed properly. An accountant isn’t typically going to go out and market the services of the firm. Accountants won’t be handling scheduling, managing social media, or tinkering with the network and computer systems. However, all of those daily functions are incredibly important for the firm to be successful. Unfortunately in a lot of firms, those other moving parts are often overlooked. Without optimization of the entire firm, daily tasks are slowed down, mistakes are made, and the firm as a whole suffers because of it.
By taking care of daily tasks, strategic planning, marketing, networking, and other business functions, practice management ensures that the accounting firm is being used to its full potential. Most medium-sized businesses have some sort of structure and plan assigned to keep things in line. Accounting is incredibly focused on rules and regulations, so that the information being presented is accurate and useful. That same attention to detail needs to be applied to the business functions of the firm.
What are some of the core aspects of practice management?
Structure – The use of rules and regulations to ensure that paperwork, information, and daily functions, are all handled the same way each and every time. There needs to be a set-in-stone process for every task. When a new client is brought in, who meets with them? When financial statements are completed, where are they filed? Who is notified of the completion? As a whole, is the firm broken up into individual teams who handle a few clients each? Or does everyone work to finish the financials for one client, before moving to the next one? Before the firm can be run efficiently, there needs to be an established structure so that adjustments can be made. Your very first step should be structuring your firm and standardizing its actions.