The Practitioner: Accounting cartographer

HAVING TAKEN FLIGHT TO FRANCE last week, and after taking a taxi to the airport and staying overnight in a quality hotel, it made me think; am I flying a high-class plane, or am I driving a cheap dirty taxi? Am I running a luxury hotel or a cheap B&B?

I am of course thinking in terms of the quality of my practice. Do I want it to be a high quality, highly efficient practice, or just another run-of-the-mill small firm?

Sat on the plane, I knew the answer to the question as soon as I asked myself it.
I want the practice to be the Boeing of accountancy practices, not the taxicab.

It may sound obvious, but before this I hadn’t really thought about the bones of the practice and how they are made up. I had focused heavily on the end product and churning out the bills.

I know realise that to get anywhere, you need to have two things; firstly a map, secondly a reliable vehicle to travel in. Back in the office this week after a relaxing but thoughtful couple of days off I am setting about building the map.

The map when finished will look like the London underground, but while being built it will help us to define every single process within an accountancy practice. It will document all aspects, from receiving a new client enquiry, to receiving a client in the office for a meeting and how those events need to happen to make sure that quality is achieved.

We are setting aside time every Friday to sit down as a team and work on part of the map. In all the firms I have worked in we have never spent time to sit down and look at process. Things were always done the way they had always been done, for a number of years in many cases.

The aim of this, not only once ‘The Map’ is completed but also while it is being prepared is to make the firm a more efficient operation, improve the quality service provided to clients, and thirdly to help us to recruit the best pilots in the business.

Taxi drivers need not apply.

The Practitioner’s uncensored thoughts come from within their own practice – having left a regional firm in the heart of England

Related reading