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    Lee Court

July 17, 2018

Outsourcing Accounting Work Provides a Better Work/Life Balance


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Outsourcing Accounting Work Provides a Better Work/Life Balance

The American Psychological Association did an online poll back in 2011 in which only 57% of the polled workers felt satisfied that their company was allowing for a balanced work/life ratio. Outsourcing accounting work allows you to fix this balance, and this can have significant benefits for your business’ bottom line.

A balanced work/life ratio matters

The work/life ratio is a major factor in the level of happiness and loyalty of your employees. Happiness relates directly to productivity – Google “happy employees” with “productivity” and you’ll find a plethora of studies citing how happiness leads to:

  • boosted creativity
  • loyalty
  • increased analysis perception
  • better branding (someone who is happy with their job obviously works some place that has their act together)
  • lower overhead (less time lost to sickness caused by stress)
  • increased customer relations
  • increased proficiency in making deals

Happiness is of course a product of attaining a healthy ratio between the time spent at work versus the time you get to spend on your life outside of the office. Outsourcing accounting work is a profitable way to gain that healthy balance while not only not losing work hours, but in fact gaining time and savings in overhead.

How outsourcing accounting work will let you better your life/work balance

So fine, as the big boss you want to make your employees’ lives happier (and pull in the above named benefits for yourself in the process). But at the same time you’re trying to build up a small or medium-sized business; it seems like it’s crunch-time seven days a week as you struggle to keep your fledgling business afloat.

If you give your in-house people time off you might fall behind. But hiring additional in-house people costs an arm and a leg.

Outsourcing to the rescue. Outsourcing accounting work can have you saving up to 42% in overhead costs almost immediately (it takes about a week to set up). So you can quickly ease up on your money fears.

How outsourcing accounting work will let you better your life/work balance

So fine, as the big boss you want to make your employees’ lives happier (and pull in the above named benefits for yourself in the process). But at the same time you’re trying to build up a small or medium-sized business; it seems like it’s crunch-time seven days a week as you struggle to keep your fledgling business afloat.
If you give your in-house people time off you might fall behind. But hiring additional in-house people costs an arm and a leg.
Outsourcing to the rescue. Outsourcing accounting work can have you saving up to 42% in overhead costs almost immediately (it takes about a week to set up). So you can quickly ease up on your money fears.

You won’t have to hire in-house team members to do your bookkeeping or basic accounting number-crunching. That’s more money saved and more free time at your disposal. It’s also a load of work taken off the plates of your in-house people, allowing them to spend far more time on their special areas of interest (leading to happiness and feelings of being useful) and not having to do basic compliance number-crunching, substantially easing their workloads.

Both you the boss and your employees are going to have more time for each other. Outsourcing accounting work will free up time, some of which can be scheduled for regular meetings. Here your employees can bring forth new ideas, and if you implement them they’re going to feel like they’ve contributed something important to the growth of your company. This leads to increased employee loyalty.

Even though reduced stress leads to improved health, if you or an employee does happen to fall sick you don’t have to panic, the workload is going to be handled since you’re outsourcing accounting work.

When it comes down to it, you set the example for your employees. If you’re constantly working yourself to sickness, or if you’re always miserable because you don’t get to see your family or set time aside for socialising, then your employees are going to think that they have to follow suit.

So what’s the perfect ratio for work hours versus private life hours? That depends on you, and it will be different for each employee. Whatever the ratio, the first step is giving yourself the ability to choose the balance. Outsourcing accounting work gives you the chance to set the ratio to your preference.

BOSS (Back Office Shared Services Pty Ltd) is Australia’s premium outsourced accounting provider - helping you maintain quality and control while outsourcing accounting work. To discuss your needs and how we can help, Book a Consultation NOW!

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BOSS, BACK OFFICE SHARED SERVICES PTY LTD.
Suite 2, 345 Pacific Highway,
LINDFIELD, NSW 2070
1800 889 232
www.boz.com.au
@2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Liability Limited By a Scheme Approved

July 8, 2018

How to Properly Take Your Firm’s Temperature


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How to Properly Take Your Firm’s Temperature

It’s a fairly obvious thing to do – in order to figure out if your firm is blossoming or withering you set up a measuring stick and make a notch each financial quarter. What is perhaps not quite so obvious is what those notches should represent.

The wrong measurement

Chances are you’re measuring your firm’s successes and weaknesses against time. How much time is spent on a file, how much work your employees get down in an hour, how much you’re able to charge per hour, things like that.

The problem with this approach is that you’re measuring tools instead of your firm’s health. It’s like a mechanic measuring their tools to gauge the final results instead of measuring whether the car is running better.

Turnaround time is a tool. Ditto worker efficiency. That even goes for how much you charge per hour if you’re still charging on an hourly basis. They are all tweaked for more efficiency, but they aren’t an actual measurement of the firm’s health as a whole.

How do we know this? Put yourself in your client’s shoes. Does your client come to you in the hopes of purchasing ten hours of your time, or do they come to you hoping to purchase a quality service?

Clients may have a due date so they may be concerned with turnaround times. However turnaround times represent when the client gets their numbers back, but he or she doesn’t care if you spent one hour or one hundred hours on the file.

Their primary focus is of course getting quality work; the amount of time your firm spends on their file isn’t a factor to them. Again, they want to pay you for a service, not for a selection of hours.

The right measurements

An auto-shop can have the most efficient tools in the world, but the garage itself isn’t going to prosper if there aren’t happy clients wanting them to be used.

So, in terms of your firm’s health, what should you be measuring instead?

Employee happiness

Your employees’ happiness is a big one. This isn’t ephemeral; it has a real and definitive impact on your firm’s income. There are all sorts of studies on the subject like this one that shows happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees. If your employees are engaged in wooing clients, that number increases to up to 37% – what client is going to want to sign on with a firm where the employees seem miserable?

How do you measure happiness? The biggest clue is turnover – if your firm is constantly losing good employees then happiness is a problem.

Another method is to simply ask them. Schedule face-to-face meetings with your employees and ask if they feel like their work is having an impact, do they feel like they’re helping build the firm, and do they feel recognised for their efforts? You could also measure this with a questionnaire and a rating system of 1 to 5, 1 being a “no” and 5 being an “absolutely”.

Turnaround times

Another measurement of your firm’s health was mentioned above – turnaround times. Again, this is different from the other time measurements because this is a frame of time that directly impacts the client. The amount of time spent on their file does not impact them (unless you’re still charging per hour instead of a fixed rate per service).

A good turnaround time indicates that you have solid workflows up and running. More importantly, it’s something sexy to woo your potential clients with – get your account back in 30 days or you get half off the service price.

They don’t need to know that it actually only takes you a matter of minutes to send their info off to your virtual accountants plus a few more minutes for a quality check once it comes back from overseas. A firm that can offer such a guarantee is one that’s running on all cylinders.

Client satisfaction

Simply put – if clients aren’t happy your firm isn’t healthy. The happier your clients, the healthier your firm. In meetings with clients slip them a survey as part of your agenda asking them to give you ratings and asking for suggestions for improvement.

Your clients are always going to be your greatest form of marketing; so the happier they are, the more they’re going to recommend you to friends and colleagues as their firm of choice. That means there’s a direct link between the quality of your customer service and your acquisition of new clients.

The point is this – your firm’s health shouldn’t be measured by the behind-the-scenes stuff. Instead you should be measuring the things that clients can see and experience directly. Your clients are certainly doing exactly that.

BOSS (Back Office Shared Services Pty Ltd) is Australia’s premium accounting outsourcing provider supplying well-trained high-quality accountants and bookkeepers. To discuss your needs and how we can help, Book a Consultation NOW!

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BOSS, BACK OFFICE SHARED SERVICES PTY LTD.
Suite 2, 345 Pacific Highway,
LINDFIELD, NSW 2070
1800 889 232
www.boz.com.au
@2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Liability Limited By a Scheme Approved

July 5, 2018

Outsourced Accounting Services Mesh Well With the Cloud


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Outsourced Accounting Services Mesh Well With the Cloud

Some people are interested in the savings offered by outsourced accounting services but they hesitate because they keep receiving bad information regarding the cloud. Today we thought we’d go through some of the most common misconceptions regarding working via the cloud.

It’s not safe

People sometimes get hung up on the idea that your information is “just out there”. They think a client’s files would be safer in paper form in a filing cabinet or on their own computer.

This is the exact opposite of the truth. A computer can be stolen. Filing cabinets can easily be broken into compared to the layers upon layers of security set up for cloud storage and transactions.

Think about it – someone attempting to hack into a cloud-stored file would have to know multiple programming languages and have immense expertise in each of them, and even then they could be traced. A locked filing cabinet can be broken into by anybody with a crowbar and five minutes.

Outsourced accounting services automatically up your clients’ security by an exponential degree compared to any program, computer, or physical security you could provide in your own offices.

The cloud isn’t as up to date as installed Program X

This is a weird one. Some people seem to think that because the program on their own computer occasionally updates that it is cutting edge, whereas the cloud is somehow set in stone and doesn’t evolve.

The cloud, accessed by outsourced accounting services, is continually being upgraded in response to new methods of attack and to integrate new technologies. It’s almost a living, growing thing, worked on by security, programmers, and technology specialists from a variety of backgrounds that aren’t loyal to any one company brand.

Installed software on the other hand does exactly that – it sticks to brand loyalty instead of going with the best ideas. Outsourced accounting services can suffer in this case because the software company is not able to react fluidly to your needs; you’ll have to fit your business to their software, rather than the software changing to suit your needs.

You have to rely on the internet and the cloud site being up

This one does have some basis in truth. However, as you’ve probably found, the rare times that you’ve had a problem it’s because of your local internet service provider, right?

Well if you have a problem with your local program, how do you get online to look up fixes or to get in touch with the program’s company so they can offer help or take a remote look?

Also, when errors occur on the cloud, they’re attacked instantly. When you run into a bug with a local program, the company may take months to fix the bug, if they do at all.

The cloud is the bargain basement version of a proper program

This is simply not true. When it comes to pricing, the cloud gives way more bang for your buck than any in-house program could ever deliver. Outsourced accounting services will continually shape the cloud, meaning that the cloud is forever becoming better and better for accountants. In-house programs are glacial in comparison.

The cloud is the wild west of programs

The misconception here is that since so many people are developing the cloud it becomes an unregulated mess.

This is not true. Cloud companies, like any other company, need to provide excellent service in order to stay in business. The cloud is a business for a lot of people, so they need it to look sharp. That means new features are always well tested before they are opened up to outsourced accounting services.

Additionally, this means that cloud programs will always be more cutting-edge than static in-house programs, providing features and security based on feedback not just from you but from potentially hundreds of firms.

In just about every measurable manner the cloud is safer and more efficient for accounting firms. If you have any further questions about using the cloud with your outsourced team members please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

BOSS (Back Office Shared Services Pty Ltd) is Australia’s premium outsourced accounting services provider supplying well-trained high-quality accountants and bookkeepers. To discuss your needs and how we can help, Book a Consultation NOW!

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BOSS, BACK OFFICE SHARED SERVICES PTY LTD.
Suite 2, 345 Pacific Highway,
LINDFIELD, NSW 2070
1800 889 232
www.boz.com.au
@2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Liability Limited By a Scheme Approved

July 3, 2018

How the Outsourced Accountant Puts the Life Back into Their Life/Work Balance


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How the Outsourced Accountant Puts the Life Back into Their Life/Work Balance

The idea of taking a vacation can actually be a terrifying prospect for a business owner – how will your company keep running without you there? You’ve been working non-stop to get this thing up and running for a couple of years, and you know that you need to take a breather before you drop… but can the company afford to lose you, even if it’s only for a week or two? For the outsourced accountant, the answer is yes.

The reasons why you should take a real vacation

Let’s be clear, a vacation where your employees are sending you twenty emails a day asking for permission or advice is not a vacation, it’s just remote work. A real vacation isn’t going to let you recharge your batteries unless you can leave the majority of your work behind. Ideally, you wrap up a big project, take your much-needed break, and then you’re eager to tuck into a new project when you get back.

This is a crucial point – vacations aren’t something that you have to earn, they are actually something that boosts your productivity.

The outsourced accountant, able to take a proper vacation, can expect at least these three benefits outlined by Psychology Today:

First, being refreshed means being able to tackle problems with more clarity and energy, as opposed to continually grinding up against them. According to the linked post, 64% who take a proper vacation report returning to work being not only fresh but actually being excited to get back to work.

Second, fatigue dims your creativity. Creativity is essential in problem solving, and in identifying opportunities and areas of potential growth in your business. The post sites a study that says people that disconnected from work and got back to nature showed a 50% to their creativity.

Third, relaxation diminishes stress. Stress attacks our immune systems. So by diminishing stress the outsourced accountant is actually improving their health, reducing time lost to illness.

How to take a proper vacation when you own a business

So there are very good reasons to take a proper detached vacation, reasons that can have an actual bottom-line impact on your business. But how do you manage to take those breaks without your business going off the rails?

First, set up workflow documentation. The documentation should be so clear that a new employee would sit down and be able to do the same work that you do on a file on their first try.

Second, become an outsourced accountant. This automatically shunts a lot of the grind away from the desks of your people, allowing them to focus in on their specialties.

Third, designate one employee to be your filter. This employee is the only one who can contact you in emails or for emergency phone calls, all other employees must go through them.

Fourth, learn to delegate far in advance of your vacation. Your employees should be handling a lot of the daily workload anyway (that’s what they’re there for), while you, the outsourced accountant, are busy wooing clients, giving clients face-to-face time, or working on expansion ideas.

In the end, the point of all of this is that you could be streamlining your business now, instead of being in a rush in the week or two leading into your vacation. Get to work immediately on setting up your workflow documents (if you haven’t already). Become an outsourced accountant so you can shift a lot of your daily number-crunching out of the office. And don’t be afraid to delegate.

BOSS (Back Office Shared Services Pty Ltd) is Australia’s premium outsourcing provider supplying well-trained high-quality virtual accountants, outsourced accountants & bookkeepers. To discuss your needs and how we can help, Book a Consultation NOW!

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BOSS, BACK OFFICE SHARED SERVICES PTY LTD.
Suite 2, 345 Pacific Highway,
LINDFIELD, NSW 2070
1800 889 232
www.boz.com.au
@2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Liability Limited By a Scheme Approved

June 25, 2018

Expertise is Marketing


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Expertise is Marketing

You have great employees. You’re outsourcing. You’re a wizard at accounting itself. And none of it matters because you have no clients. No matter how much some accountants might shudder at the thought, marketing is not a side-project but an essential part of your firm’s future.

Marketing costs time and money. And you might think that you simply can’t afford the time to do the marketing yourself and/or hire someone to do it for you. But that thinking is incorrect. Marketing money and time doesn’t go outwards; it’s money you’re spending inward into your firm, just the same as upgrading your software or hiring a new specialist.

That being said, what do you do if you’re a brand new start-up and you just straight up don’t have the money? It’s time to get the word out that you’re the expert accountant when it comes to something. Anything at all.

Becoming the go-to accountant

Choose a field or an industry. Maybe it’s General Practitioners because your sister is a doctor. Or perhaps it’s restauranteurs because your significant other is in the business. These scenarios will start you off with some insider knowledge and contacts.

Then again, you could research your town and see what industry doesn’t have a firm dedicated to its financial woes – perhaps nobody has made an effort towards putting together a comprehensive plan for start-up mom-and-pop businesses.

Whatever the case, your goal is to find that underserved niche and become the recognised expert accountant that serves people in that field.

How do you become known in the field without laying out a lot of money?

Social media

First, we’ve talked before about joining social networks – already existing groups on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. If a group related to your chosen niche doesn’t yet exist, start one.

To be clear, these social media groups are not for accounting, but instead revolve around helping people in your niche industry get to know each other and, more importantly, get to know you as the guy or gal who gives out awesome accounting advice. So your new group wouldn’t be called “Melbourne Accounting Group”; instead you’d name it more along the lines of “Melbourne Start-up Support Group”. You would just happen to be the one giving all of the accounting-related info within that group.

Write a book

You can collect the accounting wisdom you’ve given out in bits and pieces and A) write a book and B) form service packages that helps people in your chosen niche deal with all the accounting woes they’re facing as they get their business up and running.

If writing a book sounds daunting, it’s honestly not that bad. People are coming to you for direct how-to advice so you don’t need to be Shakespeare – you just need to put down your advice in a clear and followable manner.

Amazon has book templates you can download so you don’t have to do any formatting. You can hire an editor if you want for a couple of hundred bucks, and a graphic designer for about the same amount. You can even hire ghost-writers to do the writing – you provide the info and the final quality check, the ghost-writer does the actual word-crunching.

Create niche-oriented services

Service packages are exactly what they sound like – you create a selection of your services geared towards helping people in your niche collected under one price.

You can offer different tiers of packages, steering people towards the one that brings in the most money for the smallest amount of effort on your part (make one of the packages a bit too expensive so your preferred package looks more attractive in comparison – sell them on the silver package instead of the gold).

Give talks and seminars

The next step – give talks to the locals in your chosen industry. These can possibly be free at the beginning, or you ask for just enough from each participant to cover the cost of renting a room. You hosting and/or giving a talk automatically lends you the air of expertise and authority. As you grow you can start raising your prices.

If your business is mostly remote and on-line you can still host talks via the internet. There are all sorts of services that let you host online talks.

Ask your clients to spread the work (referrals and testimonials)

Finally, get the people you’re already servicing to do some of your marketing for you. Ask them for referrals (make asking for referrals a formal part of your meetings’ agendas). And ask them if they’ll give you a recommendation.

There are basically two kinds of testimonials – written and video. Video is better. If they agree to make a video for you (if you can) get a bit of professional lighting in there. You can probably hire a local wideo team of even some film students for a low price.

If you don’t want to hire someone, Google “three-point lighting” (it looks more professional than flat lighting). Give the client space behind them (don’t have them backed right up against a wall).

If this is not possible (maybe they’re a remote client) even a webcam-recorded video is going to have more of an impact than a written recommendation.

Whatever the case, ask if they would be kind enough to focus in on a specific problem or two that you helped them solve. This is better than a general “<your name here> is great” because it gives other people in your chosen niche the chance to perhaps hear the very same problem they’re currently facing voiced out loud and then they immediately hear that you helped solve that problem.

Becoming recognised as the authority in a niche accounting focus is in and of itself a powerful marketing tool. And it doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money. Make your brainpower and experience a major draw for your future clients.

BOSS (Back Office Shared Services Pty Ltd) is Australia’s premium outsource accounting provider supplying well-trained high-quality accountants and bookkeepers. To discuss your needs and how we can help, Book a Consultation NOW!

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BOSS, BACK OFFICE SHARED SERVICES PTY LTD.
Suite 2, 345 Pacific Highway,
LINDFIELD, NSW 2070
1800 889 232
www.boz.com.au
@2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Liability Limited By a Scheme Approved

June 11, 2018

Should You Be Charging More?


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Should You Be Charging More?

There’s a common chain of events that plagues struggling accounting firms. It looks something like this:

Worse, to stay competitive in this scenario there’s only one thing you can really do – lower your prices. But then your competition lowers their prices. So you lower yours again. And so on. And all the while you’re scrambling to grab up even more low-value clients which in itself costs more time, and of course it also means you’re continuously adding to your workload just to break even.

For this to work at all you need to have a massive marketing presence. You in essence have to become the McDonald’s of the accounting world. That’s not likely to happen if you’re a small or medium-sized firm.

If you find that your firm is crushed with hours per work but you’re still not getting to the point where you’re able to expand then chances are you’re simply not charging enough per service. Your goal shouldn’t be to become busier; it should be to make more money in the hours that you work.

Standing out and charging more

The first question you’re going to have to ask yourself is if low-value clients are worth carrying at all. They take up time for low-paying tasks. It’s time to come up with a minimum charge for your lowest-paying task, and that is a flat-rate, not charged per hour. You’re not doing this to insult those low-paying clients, you’re doing it to put a minimum value on your time.

Consider this – when you’re working on a low-paying client’s file you’re not just making very little money, you’re also giving up time which could be spent on a valuable client, so you could actually be losing money in an overall sense.

Stop charging per hour

Your clients are paying you for a service. They are not paying you for a percent of your day’s working hours. And people prefer to know in advance how much they’ll be expected to pay for that service. Which would you rather face at a mechanic? A) “That’ll be $75” or B) “It will be $25 an hour.” “How long will it take?” They shrug. You come back three hours later to not only find the work hasn’t been completed but they spent some of the time “fixing” things that weren’t a problem and they’re going to charge you for the parts you never asked for.

So, Job One – set fixed prices based, and make them worth your while.

Get paid up front

Somewhere along the way it became alright for the accounting world to allow people to buy their services on credit. What other service industries allow this? Some might do a partial up-front and the rest-down later approach (like roofers, for example), but how many give their whole service away in the hopes that they’ll be paid later?

You don’t owe it to anyone to let them slide. You’re running your own business here. And again, while you were working on Client A’s tax returns you could have been doing Client B’s monthly business analysis.

So if Client A keeps slipping out of paying you, promising over and over again that they’ll pay you next week, you’re not only not able to use Client A’s money to expand your firm, you’re also wasting time chasing them and you lost the paid hours you would have worked if you have been focused on Client B’s file.

Get paid up front. Turn what you’re owed into your asset as soon as possible. Get it working for you (isn’t that what you tell your clients?). Don’t waste time chasing delinquent dues.

Ignore market share

It’s a mistake to try to grab up as many people as possible. First of all, as stated earlier, this would require massively expensive marketing. Second, you’re simply not going to win if you’re a small or medium-sized firm – how would you ever get all the compliance work done required by 40% of the market, never mind higher numbers?

A focus on numbers is another way to get into the downward spiral of a price war. It’s much healthier to focus on quality over quantity – high-value A-list clients over low value high-volume D-list clients.

Increase the right prices

In order to maximize the value of a client you’re going to want to steer them towards packages of services that don’t require tons of extra work on your part but give a lot of value back to the clients.

If you’ve tried buying something online that has tiered sales packages chances are you’ve probably seen the equivalent of a bronze, silver, and gold selection of packages. Each increases the number of services and/or value-adds on offer.

Quite often one of them will be listed as the “best value”. Sometimes that best value is the gold (most expensive) option. But sometimes the silver option is listed as giving the best value – it offers more essential services and value-adds than the cheaper bronze option, but is far less expensive than the overpriced gold option which doesn’t add all that much for how much they’re charging you.

This isn’t a slip up, it’s deliberately steering you towards the silver package that turns you into a more valuable customer or client for that business. In other words, you’re paying more than the bronze, but you’re requiring less work than that demanded by the gold. The services in the silver tier are more valuable to that company.

As an experiment, try setting up the equivalent of a bronze, silver, and gold package of services for a niche set of clients. What package of your services could you put together as your ideal silver tier that would offer value to your clients while at the same time make you the most money without requiring heaps of extra work?

Be the first to set your price

The ability to set the first price for a specific kind of service, or a suite of services, is fairly rare in the accounting world due to the number of firms.

But if you’re positioning your firm to service an underserved niche industry or field then you have the chance to be the first one to set the price that the clients found in that niche will expect. You will create the norm. Others may come along and undercut you, but you will have staying power because you were the first, and being first grants you authority.

It’s a cliché for a reason – time is money. Stop undervaluing your time. Sell services, not a percent of your day. Make more while working less. Your firm deserves more.

BOSS (Back Office Shared Services Pty Ltd) is Australia’s premium accounting outsourcing provider supplying well-trained high-quality accountants and bookkeepers. To discuss your needs and how we can help, Book a Consultation NOW!

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BOSS, BACK OFFICE SHARED SERVICES PTY LTD.
Suite 2, 345 Pacific Highway,
LINDFIELD, NSW 2070
1800 889 232
www.boz.com.au
@2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Liability Limited By a Scheme Approved

June 4, 2018

Accounting Outsourcing Can Lead to Employee Loyalty


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Accounting Outsourcing Can Lead to Employee Loyalty

It might seem counterintuitive – wouldn’t the thought of tapping into accounting outsourcing’s benefits scare away employees? Won’t they be worried that they’re going to be replaced?

The point of outsourcing

The fear that your employees may have concerning outsourcing is that you’re only concerned about saving money. This is a feature of outsourcing, but it’s not the point. The point of outsourcing is to help you achieve your financial goals and expand your business – the savings in overhead are a method to help you do just that.

You’re going to be reinvesting the savings in overhead from accounting outsourcing back into your business, which includes reinvesting in your employees.

What employees want

Let’s look at some numbers pulled from a U.S. survey concerning employee satisfaction in different-sized businesses. The poll is taken from salary.com.
Taking a look at the numbers, it becomes obvious that factors other than pay are what keep an employee at a particular company, rather than pure financial compensation.

Over 300 employees were interviewed. Of those that had worked for large companies (where they would be paid more) and then left, the major reasons for their departures were:

  • 62% became fed up with the internal politicking.
  • 55% claimed the business showed no loyalty to them.
  • 42% grew sick of a toxic work community.

On the flip-side, the factors that kept employees working at smaller businesses where they felt they were probably paid less than their big-business counterparts were:

  • 46.2% enjoyed a more balanced life/work lifestyle.
  • 38.1% preferred their shorter commute.
  • 34.8% felt that smaller and mid-sized businesses had more loyalty towards them.
  • 31.4% felt that they had a better working relationship with their boss or business owner.
  • 29.5% felt they had a better work community with their fellow employees.

Using accounting outsourcing to please your employees

Obviously a higher salary can draw star employees. But if you’re a small or mid-sized business, you simply might not have the resources to compete with big businesses.

However, as we see from the numbers above, the dollars in big salaries lose their value if they come attached with negative work experiences. That means that the overhead and time that you’re saving with accounting outsourcing can be partially steered into making your in-house employees happy by creating a positive work experience.

Your turnaround is going to be quicker. This means less time for everyone in the office. Automatically you’re improving the life/work balance of your team. Invest some time up front to get a solid workflow down to filter client information to your overseas team member(s) and you’ll save even more time.

The shorter commute is of course entirely dependent on where you have your offices. However with the cloud era you can definitely consider giving your employees the ability to work from their homes at least some days of the week. To be totally honest though you, as the big boss, might actually be on the road more since you’ll have more time to meet with clients and potential clients face-to-face.

You can show your in-house employees more loyalty by investing some of your accounting outsourcing savings in their futures. Help fund some of their ongoing education, send them to seminars, help them pay for books, and so on. By helping them deal with the costs of their expanded future you’re showing that you think they’re worth investing in and that you want them with you for a long time to come.

Boost your relationship with your employees by using the time-savings to become more available. Set up regularly scheduled short meetings where employees can voice their concerns and give suggestions. Some of these suggestions can really help you boost your business, providing an ongoing positive loop of growth.

As for the better work community, you’re already providing it by doing the above. Additionally, accounting outsourcing is going to free up funds and time for you to provide some fun stuff: lunch once a week, a non-work instructor (a martial arts teacher or cooking lessons), time off for charity work, never missing child-related appointments, no stress caused by sick days, etc.

Don’t be afraid of losing employees to big business, and don’t let them be intimated by your upgrading to accounting outsourcing. The benefits of outsourcing can improve their work lives just as much as it improves your business as a whole.

BOSS (Back Office Shared Services Pty Ltd) is Australia’s premium accounting outsourcing provider supplying well-trained high-quality accountants and bookkeepers. To discuss your needs and how we can help, Book a Consultation NOW!

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BOSS, BACK OFFICE SHARED SERVICES PTY LTD.
Suite 2, 345 Pacific Highway,
LINDFIELD, NSW 2070
1800 889 232
www.boz.com.au
@2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Liability Limited By a Scheme Approved

May 22, 2018

Tips for Attracting High-end Clients


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Tips for Attracting High-end Clients

We’ve talked before about the benefits of shaping your client list into an all A-list roster:

  • Less work for more pay.
  • Their word-of-mouth spreads to other A-listers.
  • They’re not as concerned with costs as much as they are with receiving high value.
  • Their association with your firm elevates your firm’s status.
  • You need far fewer clients in order to meet your firm’s financial milestones.
  • They’re highly unlikely to bring in D-list clients in their wake.

But if your firm is still in its infant stages, how do you attract these big-time clients? Let’s use this article to flip things around a bit and look at accounting firms through the eyes of an A-lister on the prowl for an accountant and/or business advisor.

They want people who demonstrate not just competence, but brilliance

Anybody can get someone to do a fair job with their books. But A-listers don’t just want run-of-the-mill bookkeepers; they want financial wizards handling their affairs. And if you’re charging A-list prices, it’s only fair that you meet these expectations.

So how does your firm demonstrate your brilliance if you don’t yet have direct contact with the top tier client crowd? You use social media. You give seminars. You give awesome advice that saves/makes people out there a lot of money. You become known as the go-to guy/gal when it comes to whatever niche you’re looking to serve.

You might be thinking that it seems kind of suicidal to give out all your tricks – if you show how the trick is done why will they need the magician anymore?

But here’s what happens – the more advice you give out, the more potential clients are going to see just how much work goes into being a financial rock-star. They’re in the market for an accountant, not for accounting lessons.

So if you have heaps of fantastic content out there, all with a picture of your smiling face next to the author credit, they’re going to see you as being the person who can get all the work displayed in the tips and advice done and they’ll be able to brush off the stress associated with keeping their finances healthy.

Cheap = low quality

A-listers don’t have to gamble that cheap prices are too good to be true. They can afford to pay for top-quality service without the gamble.

Raising your prices raises your status in the eyes of potential top tier clients.

If you are looking for some way to offer discounts, don’t do it on your initial service package. Instead offer the discount as a special perk to a valued customer (we’ll get more into the idea of extra perks below).

Every part of your operation should cater to class

If you wow a potential client online your job probably still isn’t done. While some clients might prefer to handle everything digitally, you’re more than likely going to have to meet most of your potentials face-to-face. This means that even if your online presence is awesome there’s still a chance you’re going to blow the booking if your operation looks low-end.

Serve them some seriously good coffee or tea in fancy cups or mugs. Even better, have someone else serve them – you, as the big boss, are above such things (unless you want your brand to be that you’re they’re easygoing pal – this depends on the direction of your overall branding).

Drive a nice car. Wear well-tailored clothes. Spruce up the office with nice-looking furniture and décor. Get a professional to design your website, logo, letterhead, and business cards.

The side-bar question here is – can you be the quirky firm that’s full of financial whiz-kids who show up to work in Hawaiian shirts and shorts? As long as you can back it up with amazing financial skills this branding approach will make you stick out from the crowd, right?

It’s possible. But remember that the upper crust have associated suits and ties with austere financial institutions for a very long time. The quirky approach is likely to turn off a few clients no matter the quality of your services. It’s a gamble.

Whichever route you choose, it’s incredibly important to never give your client a reason to say “no”. A Business Insider survey showed that 60% of consumers (U.S.) have stopped a purchase of goods or services because of a bad customer service experience. It takes 12 good experiences to win back the offended client or customer – something that’s not likely to happen if they take their financial ball and go down the street to your competitor.

A-listers expect extras

They’re paying you a lot of money. They expect to be treated like they’re special. And that’s fine, because slinging a couple of perks their way is actually a form of marketing.

If, for example, your A-lister is paying you for bookkeeping for their business you could throw in a quarterly financial projection, or maybe an analysis of how they could boost their widget prices without losing enough customers to make it a loss, something along those lines.

Now your A-lister has bragging rights. Most A-listers are influencers – they’re wealthy so they must be doing something right. Other people want to learn how to be an A-lister too, and other people on the same level as your existing client want sweet perks thrown their way. Nielsen says that a whopping 92% of people trust word-of-mouth above any other form of advertising. So when your client brags, others will listen, covet, and then check out your firm.

BOSS (Back Office Shared Services Pty Ltd) is Australia’s premium accounting outsourcing provider supplying well-trained high-quality accountants and bookkeepers. To discuss your needs and how we can help, Book a Consultation NOW!

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BOSS, BACK OFFICE SHARED SERVICES PTY LTD.
Suite 2, 345 Pacific Highway,
LINDFIELD, NSW 2070
1800 889 232
www.boz.com.au
@2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Liability Limited By a Scheme Approved

May 15, 2018

Outsourced Accounting Tasks Can Help You Dodge Business-killing Mistakes


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Outsourced Accounting Tasks Can Help You Dodge Business-killing Mistakes

Taking your clients for granted is a decent way to make sure they head into the welcoming arms of your competition. You should always be testing and tweaking new ways to draw new clients in and to improve the services you offer your current clients. Take a look at the points below to see if you’re falling into any of these customer-relation ruts, and we’ll explore how outsourced accounting tasks will help you improve your performance.

You’re writing your own contracts.

Yes, attorneys cost a nice chunk of change. And yes, it is possible to download contracts from the internet and just fill in the blanks.

The problem is that while you think you might have covered everything you need in the contract, you might be leaving out the language you need to protect you to keep things out of the contract.

It’s well worth spending the extra money on an attorney to make sure you’re covered in the language about what your business is expected to do, and what you don’t have to do to complete your contract. And by using an outsourced accounting team you’ll have the extra cash on hand to pay for the added level of protection provided by a proper contract attorney.

You’re not finding new ways to earn loyalty.

You must earn your customers’ business every day. The idea of customers or clients sticking it out with you purely because you’re local or you were their first business in your field that they interacted with is long gone.

You must offer more value than your competition. You can do this by fully exploiting your outsourced accounting team members – use them to increase the speed you turn over clients’ files (while maintaining or improving the quality), and by expanding the amount of services you can offer your clients.

You’re not tweaking your pricing.

Your goal shouldn’t be to pull in flocks of clients if that means you’re lowering your prices. For those of you with hordes of clients, consider your pricing versus hours worked – are you killing yourself hour-wise in an effort to keep everyone happy at your lower prices?

It’s time to start raising your prices so that you’re bringing in the same amount of money for fewer hours worked. It’s also time to use utilise outsourced accounting tasks in order to reduce your personal (as opposed to firm-wide) number-crunching hours. You’ll have more time to work on the big-ticket services, and in doing so you’ll become more attractive to higher-paying big-ticket clients.

You’ll end up being paid more for fewer hours worked.

You’re expecting clients to want what they need.

So your outsourced accounting team has granted you the ability to offer your clients more essential services. Great! The problem is that clients don’t know that payroll, bookkeeping, etc. handled by a pro is good for them. They see these things as luxuries and they don’t feel like they’re in a healthy enough financial position to pay for them.

Your task is to present these services not as luxuries, or even as services, but rather as tools that will help your clients expand. Give them a discounted package of services, or even one month free, and knock it out of the park by showing them how the services give them a much clearer picture of their business’ finances and relieves them of hours of bookkeeping and the related stress.

At that point they’re going to wonder how they ever lived without your additional services and they’ll consider paying for them as essential operating costs instead of luxuries.

You’re not delegating.

Your job as the big boss is customer satisfaction. You’re the one who needs to interact with your clients and find out what they like, what they don’t like, and what more they need from your firm.

Most of the rest of the work you do can be delegated. Can’t afford a bunch of in-house staff? That’s fine, outsourced accounting team members are as good as or better than anyone you can hire in-house and they’re going to cost you far less.

If you’re not delegating, you’re losing quality-control time, and that means that you’re losing client satisfaction.

You’re not marketing.

You don’t have to spend thousands on old-school marketing. But you do have to get involved in social media. Word-of-mouth is the most trusted form of advertising, but if you don’t have any clients yet to talk about you then you won’t have any mouths to spread the good word about your firm.

Social media marketing does take some time – you have to set up blogs and interact on various platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. You’ll save the time you need (and more) by using your outsourced accounting team to do your number-crunching for you, leaving you to do just a simple quality assurance check one the file is returned.

You think that none of the above matters because you’re the only game in town.

You might be the only pony in the race for a particular niche you’ve carved out for yourself. That may be true right now but it will change in the future. International concerns are encroaching on local firms, and the internet extends the reach of every firm in the country.

The internet also offers your clients lots of do-it-yourself forms and accounting tips. You are in competition right now even if you don’t realise it.

You must keep tweaking and improving your firm in order to keep it appealing to your current and potential future clients. An outsourced accounting team is a massive tool that can help you both avoid the above mistakes as well as continuing to improve your firm’s appeal.

BOSS (Back Office Shared Services Pty Ltd) is Australia’s premium outsourced accounting services provider supplying well-trained high-quality accountants and bookkeepers. To discuss your needs and how we can help, Book a Consultation NOW!

Subscribe to BOSS - Receive monthly articles and special white papers

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  • Tips to Market Your Business
  • How to Increase Your Profit
  • And More!

BOSS, BACK OFFICE SHARED SERVICES PTY LTD.
Suite 2, 345 Pacific Highway,
LINDFIELD, NSW 2070
1800 889 232
www.boz.com.au
@2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Liability Limited By a Scheme Approved

May 7, 2018

Quick Tips to Help You Become a Better Leader


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Quick Tips to Help You Become a Better Leader

As you grow your firm’s team you’re going to discover that being an accounting wizard does not translate into being a top tier leader. They’re two entirely different skillsets. The weaker your leadership skills, the more you’re going to have to make up for the lackluster performance turned in by your team. That defeats the whole purpose of bringing in new people in the first place.

Happily, leadership qualities can be grown, just like your accounting skillset. Here are some leadership tips to keep in mind as you bring new people in under you.

Personalize your team members

It’s completely demoralizing for employees to realize they’re unrecognisable cogs in a firm’s number-crunching machine. Everybody wants to be recognised both for their contributions and as individuals.

Of course, if you end up as the Big Boss for hundreds of employees then knowing all of their ins-and-outs is going to become a little tricky. But one of the reasons people choose to join smaller firms is the notion that they will be recognised and seen as people rather than as just human calculators.

So get to know your people. Whether you do this in small one-on-one meetings, by mingling with the troops for a couple of minutes each day, by hosting a lunch once a week or a wine-tasting on Friday before you close up shop, find a way to get to know their personal ambitions, likes, senses of humour, if they have families, and so on.

If you’re on the quiet end of the spectrum and not all that great with social scenes, make the moment about something other than socialising. Quick meetings that are completely work-related are the most obvious way to go about this. But this could also include cooking or karate lessons, a game or sport, charity work, anything where the socialising is a side-effect instead of the focus.

Knowing the individuals of your team gives you a chance to build loyalty in and of itself, but also through the knowledge that when you hand out gifts, perks, or bonuses you can individualise them. An employee who is a huge fan of a local sports team is going to be thrilled to get tickets from you. But another employee who can’t stand sports is going to love that you got him or her tickets to a beer-crafting fair.

This kind of individualised attention is what is going to help keep those employees in your firm when other higher-paying firms come looking to poach your talent.

Let employees make decisions

This one can be a little scary, but you should consider letting some employees make decisions that will affect the future of the firm. Every employee is going to recognise that when you, the Big Boss, leave a big decision in their hands, you’re trusting them with the future health of the firm. This investment in them will result in a big emotional investment in the firm on the part of that employee. They’ll no longer just be a worker, they’ll be a part of your firm, dedicated to its overall growth.

Invest in employees’ futures

We mentioned above that you should get to know your employees’ hopes and dreams for their future careers. If you really want to get and keep them on your side, help them achieve those goals.

You can do this by paying for them to attend seminars, classes, purchase books, or what have you that it might take them much longer to afford on their own. Not only do they feel like you care about their future, as an added bonus you get a loyal employee who is now able to handle a more specialised workload. You may even end up being able to add more services to your menu because the employee learned a new skillset that you yourself do not have.

Keep teams as small as possible

Have you heard of Jeff Bezos’ (Amazon) “Two-Pizza Rule”? He tries to avoid groups or meetings too big to be fed by two pizzas. This helps avoid two pitfalls:

  • Highest Paid Person’s Opinion (HiPPO) – people further down the firm’s food-chain will outwardly agree with you, even if they have differing opinions.
  • Groupthink – the pressure to stick with the crowd for fear of being ostracised or disliked because you’re seen to be holding things up.

These two problems defeat the whole point of having open meetings – to test out an idea with your team before you roll it out live. A good leader is going to want to have new ideas subjected to criticisms and improvements before it’s seen by the clientele. So keep your meetings and groups as small as possible in order to get the most value from them.

Pick leaders to lead

If your firm grows to the size where you need someone to act as a manager make sure you pick someone not just for their ability to get the work done, but also because they have leadership skills. What we mentioned in the intro – that having great accounting skills does not translate into having great leadership skills – goes not only for you but for people you’re looking to put into management positions.

Build groups based not only on strengths, but also on weaknesses

If you have a special project coming up, perhaps something you’ve pitched to an A-list client, you’re naturally going to want the employees with the greatest strength related to the project in that group. However, by only appointing the people who have this stuff down cold you may be missing an opportunity to strengthen your firm as a whole.

You should consider adding a member or two who are weak in this area. The idea of course is that they gain experience and know-how while working with your specialists. And don’t just have them peering over the shoulders of the experienced members – have them do some actual work. This makes sure they stay focused and motivated to learn how to handle the tasks at hand.

They’ll be appreciative that you both gave them a chance to work on a big project and that you gave them the chance to learn something which will help boost their future careers. And you of course have just gained another employee who can be trusted to handle similar future projects.

BOSS (Back Office Shared Services Pty Ltd) is Australia’s premium accounting outsourcing provider supplying well-trained high-quality accountants and bookkeepers. To discuss your needs and how we can help, Book a Consultation NOW!

Subscribe to BOSS - Receive monthly articles and special white papers

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  • Tips to Market Your Business
  • How to Increase Your Profit
  • And More!

BOSS, BACK OFFICE SHARED SERVICES PTY LTD.
Suite 2, 345 Pacific Highway,
LINDFIELD, NSW 2070
1800 889 232
www.boz.com.au
@2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Liability Limited By a Scheme Approved