PracticeAccounting FirmsThe Practitioner: Wherever I lay my hat…

The Practitioner: Wherever I lay my hat...

The Practitioner is unconvinced the firm needs an office anymore

DOES IT REALLY MATTER where the office is located these days?

Do we actually need to have a physical location at all?

These are the questions I am raising at Monday’s partners meeting and I’m pretty convinced that my answers to both of the above will be ‘No’.

I have armed myself with calculations on spreadsheets to prove my theory that the advantages of having a physical office presence are actually outweighed by the actual cost. Rent, rates, heat, light, water, the cost goes on and on.

I have spent a great deal of time this month looking at the client list line by line to establish just how many clients would be disturbed by us not having a physical office. The results were what I suspected. The level of billing related to actual local drop-in clients just about covered the rent and rates, but failed to cover the other running costs mentioned above.

The rest of the clients fall into one or more of the following categories and would not give a stuff if we ‘went into the cloud’:

– Never, ever visit the office
– Live outside the locality of the office and have never visited
– Don’t even know where our office is

Surely this is the way to go, yes?

Clients are becoming more and more used to not going to an actual bank branch, or not calling in an actual store to do their weekly shop, so surely this is the next logical step?

If we were feeling generous we could even pass the savings onto clients or staff, and it would certainly make us get of the office/house more to visit the clients premises and get to know their businesses better.

What with Wi-Fi, emails, and virtual offices the argument to go down this route seems more and more appealing. It’s a bold step to take.

Has it been tried before? I’d be happy to get your views on this if you’d like to share them.

Come in and see us for a coffee, oh hang on, you’d better email me instead, or find the nearest Starbucks…

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

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