The Practitioner: Firms' future is off the high street

by The Practitioner

More from this author

24 Jul 2012

  • Comments

I HAVE BEEN TALKING to lots of people recently – clients, family, friends etc. – about their thoughts on the accountancy practice of the future.

We are currently bogged down by high fixed costs, property costs and software costs. We have been talking in the last few partner meetings about the best way to address this.

It is interesting to hear different people's opinions on the issue, and they offer a wide range of varied opinions. My fellow partners' views are less radical – with suggestions only of looking at ways to increase sales and basically burying their heads in the sand when it comes to cutting costs.

Clients to whom I am close are not afraid to offer their opinion. Some clients are even happy to suggest names of individual staff members who they think should be chopped, but that's another story altogether.

Family and friends that are in business have also been a good source of ideas, most of which share my radical way of thinking.

If I had my way, I would wake up tomorrow morning, walk into the office, and shut it.

We would terminate the lease, move into a smaller out-of-town office with lots of parking, get rid of some clients, sack a couple of staff members and grow from a solid base while focusing on profitability rather than turnover. The well-coined phrase ‘turnover is vanity, profit is sanity' is certainly true. Especially, it seems, of the more senior partners.

My vision for the accountancy practice of the future is off the high street. High property costs will be a thing of the past, to be replaced by a smaller ‘drop-in' style office. The majority of staff will be home workers and receive a profit share, and one dedicated staff member will no longer have to carry out administration.

Clients care about service, attention to detail, honesty and dedication. They are less concerned about visiting big swanky offices, seeing plasma screens on the wall and the smell of filter coffee drifting through reception.

Here's me thinking this is radical, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are firms out there already operating in the dream state described above.

I would love to hear from you.

The Practitioner's uncensored thoughts come from the coalface of a regional firm in the heart of England

Visitor comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Add your comment

We won't publish your address

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms & Conditions

Your comment will be moderated before publication

  • Send


Financial Planner

The Ministry of Defence Surgeon General’s (SG) Finance Department, Lichfield, Staffordshire, Permanent, Full Time, £ £30,008




Get the latest financial news sent directly to your inbox

  • Best Practice
  • Business
  • Daily Newsletter
  • Essentials


Search for jobs
Click to search our database of all the latest accountancy roles

Create a profile
Click to set up your profile and let the best recruiters find you

Jobs by email
Sign up to receive regular updates with the latest roles suitable for you



Why budgeting fails: One management system is not enough

If budgeting is to have any value at all, it needs a radical overhaul. In today's dynamic marketplace, budgeting can no longer serve as a company's only management system; it must integrate with and support dedicated strategy management systems, process improvement systems, and the like. In this paper, Professor Peter Horvath and Dr Ralf Sauter present what's wrong with the current approach to budgeting and how to fix it.


iXBRL: Taking stock. Looking forward

In this white paper CCH provide checklists to help accountants and finance professionals both in practice and in business examine these issues and make plans. Also includes a case study of a large commercial organisation working through the first year of mandatory iXBRL filing.