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Can more accountants make more of KPIs and make more profit?

written by Editor, 9 June 2016

Guest blog by, Paul Shrimpling, Remarkable Practice


At the Thomson Reuters 2016 conference I shared 3 important insights about valuable KPIs, client meetings and helpful questions.
After 15 years of advising accountancy firms I have uncovered 3 worthwhile obsessions for accountants in practice.
If you don’t implement the right KPI’s, develop the right client relationships and focus on the right queries to help power your practice forward you will notice;

… less client loyalty
… less cross sales
… fewer recommendations and referrals and
… lose the right to charge higher fees
All three healthy obsessions have a profound impact on the success of your clients and your accountancy firm. If you take them seriously.
On a less serious note, at the Thomson Reuters 2016 conference I did end up falling off the back of the stage half way through the presentation (it’s caught on camera if you want to see!). Thankfully it got a big laugh and applause; also on the plus side I wasn’t hurt! However at the conference I touched upon the 3 obsessions and what did we discover?

1. Count the right KPIs…

Key Performance Indicators are old school!
Key Predictive Indicators are what drive business success. Numbers that indicate the future success of your firm and your clients. I’ll share more detail on this subject in a future post but you know you’re tracking Key Predictive Indicators when the numbers matter to your customer. If numbers that matter to your customer improve the success of the business is likely to also progress.
For example: An airline that improves on-time arrival numbers, lost luggage numbers and customer complaints numbers is enroute to success.
Here’s a Key Predictive Indicator for your accountancy firm…


2. Count the right KPI for your firm…

Accountancy firms can track and measure numerous amounts of KPIs.
In the last 15 years of advising accountancy firms about profit growth there’s one KPI that gets missed. And it makes a massive difference to the firm’s success.
At the conference I argued that you should obsess about one KPI above all others – the number of client meetings your firm has.
If there’s one thing that will deliver more client loyalty, more cross sales, more referrals and justify higher prices it’s a conversation with your client!

3. Ask the right questions…

Obsession 3 is the question obsession. Ask pointless questions in your client meetings and what happens?
What happens is client loyalty declines, cross sales go down, client referrals dry up and you’ve got no chance of putting prices up without losing a client.
However by asking the right questions in client meetings (focusing on customer KPIs) you will discover that client loyalty develops, cross sales increase, client referrals take off and you’ve achieved every chance of putting your prices up.
At the conference delegates were offered 2 free easy-to-read reports about valuable KPIs and valuable questions. You can get your hands on these here. To also get a link to the video from the conference and a summary of the slides from my presentation, simply follow this link.

Guest blogger Paul Shrimpling is an advisor to accountancy firms and some would say ‘provocative speaker’ to the accountancy profession. Paul is the founder of Remarkable Practice and authors a bi-monthly business advisory newsletter Business Bitesize.


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