As accountants, we have been focused on helping our clients improve their business results, plan for the uncertainty of whatever comes next, and optimize their systems and processes. Year end is a great time to apply some of the same consideration to our own firms, so here’s a simple tool that can be used both internally and with clients to take stock of where you stand and where you are heading in 2021 and beyond.
Rather than just running a financial statement or looking at billing rates, utilization and realization, it’s time to take a wider view of your own business. If your financial goals are not being met, there is probably an underlying non-financial cause. Dig a bit deeper to identify any issues that were exposed during the concentrated downtime of Covid-19. Could you make any changes? What tools, systems, and processes no longer make sense? At the same time, which employee skills, behaviors, and attitudes served you and your clients best during Covid?
To simplify this process I want to share a valuable tool called the $COPE* assessment from the Mentor Plus Level 5 Advisor toolkit. Think carefully about each of the questions in the 5 main areas of the business as you go through the assessment. Notice that the Financial ($) area is on the far left and is impacted directly by actions taken in each of the other areas of the business.
The bottom right corner is critical now as it has ever been.
Have you considered your goals, your objectives and WHY you exist as a firm? (based on Simon Sinek's book)
*$COPE Assessment used by permission from @MentorPlus
Once you have completed your assessment, first take the time to celebrate what you did right! Then begin prioritizing your areas for improvement based on your ability to move closer to the ideal outcome for your firm. Keep your WHY or ultimate goal in mind as you turn your priorities into budgets and action plans.
Once your firm is on a solid footing (and is well-heeled to walk the path ahead), you are ready to help your clients go through a similar process.
Watch the webinar recording with Geni Whitehouse about how to prepare yourself and your clients for a successful 2021.