Nikki and Nigel Adams have transformed their kitchen-table accountancy firm into a multi-million pound multi-office firm packed with high quality highly motivated people.
Nikki and Nigel are rightly proud of the high levels of enthusiasm and motivation their team demonstrate on a daily basis in their firm.
They face challenges like all firms face challenges but with their team fully on board with their vision and values, going to work is no chore.
So what are they doing exactly, to create a working environment that creates the enthusiasm and zeal in their team?
A zeal that is helping them grow quickly and grow profitably!
Check out the insights, skills and habits that are creating their success and can help you achieve the similar success...
"Good people, want to work with winners. Because we can articulate our vision our future employees have something to buy into..."
"We're a 60 piece jigsaw at the moment and we want to be a 1000 piece jigsaw..."
Connect with Nikki Adams
Connect with Nigel Adams
TRANSCRIPT - unedited
[00:00:00] Paul Shrimpling: [00:00:00] Welcome to humanize the numbers, the series of podcasts with the leaders of accounting firms, firms, building a firm of the future, actually the building it, or have built the firm of the future. Now you'll hear key insights, key skills and habits that are underpinning the success of these firms. Now.
[00:00:18] Insight skills and habits that can in the success, the future success of your firm, too. On this interview, you'll hear from Nicky and Nigel Adams from Avalara and Milton Keynes. And you'll hear how proud they are of the work they've been doing to build a highly motivated team that are delivering high value services to their many, many clients across a couple of offices.
[00:00:43] So let's dive into that interview with Nikki and Nigel.
[00:00:57] Nigel Adams: [00:00:57] 20 years now, we specialize in work. I wouldn't mind because that's where we see ourselves. So we share an embassy in my area. We have embraced technology.
[00:01:23] A small business, small price,
[00:01:28] and yeah, we've really embraced technology and also outsourcing and it's made a massive difference to practice. Um, so we do have particular areas of focus to get specialists in those areas. So that makes a little bit different.
[00:01:49] Paul Shrimpling: [00:01:49] How many, how many offices, how many people,
[00:01:54] Nigel Adams: [00:01:54] and we're looking at a third at the moment with midway through acquisitions, we have 46 people at the moment, but we have seven additional people joining us over the next six weeks.
[00:02:08] Paul Shrimpling: [00:02:08] Wow. So you've been recruiting for three, 13 weeks of lock down.
[00:02:17] I'm sure there is with the focus on this is, um, Because we go back out, you know, we've met before and that conversation before. So I want to ask you over the last 12, 18 months what's um, what, what is it you're most in the way that the firms moved on in the last statement? So I'm sure that will have some relevance to what's going on with the, you know, COVID-19 lockdown period.
[00:02:43] But I want it to be a broader spectrum piece than just that. Um, so tell me what, what is it that stands out for you and for the firm in terms of the, you know, that heartbeat in pride that, um, you know, you get, makes us get up in the morning and, and keeps us up to late at night as
[00:02:59] Nigel Adams: [00:02:59] well.
[00:03:05] Nikki Adams: [00:03:05] We've created a way of working that really appeals to the next generation. And I'd say,
[00:03:16] you know, anybody coming in that's pretty much under 35 would say pretty much has where do I sign?
[00:03:26] And that's what we're really proud of is the team that we've created and it kind of bounced off each other. Our annual strategy day. We did a little mini version last Friday, and while it was all on zoom and we were doing polls as each session that we ran, and one of the questions was. You know, what's the most important thing about Avalara and we will put down as one of the options,
[00:03:53] Nigel Adams: [00:03:53] see
[00:03:59] Nikki Adams: [00:03:59] one of the answers was the team and that was like 89. So we seem to have a winning formula and I think it's human. The human touch. With technology.
[00:04:17] Paul Shrimpling: [00:04:17] It's interesting that he cause one of the things that we've been focusing on with all the firms I've conducted out now 200, 256, two meetings in the last 13 weeks.
[00:04:28] And, um, it's actually divided by the number of weeks. It's not that many, but it just, um, you know, the, the fairly deep meetings and the, um, The central theme of all of it has been this humanized, the numbers it's bringing humanity to what's going on humanity to the numbers work that the firms are doing and humanity to, you know, sharing that numbers work with clients.
[00:04:53] So for you to bring up the fact that it's, there's a, there's that sense of, and I'm putting words in your mouth, your sense of togetherness, um, sense that we're all, um, w we've got that sense of comradery. If everyone, if you've got 89% of your team voting the teams, the best thing about working at ad valorem, then you've got certainly some of that camaraderie going on here.
[00:05:12] Nikki Adams: [00:05:12] Well, I think I might say something.
[00:05:36] pay lip service to this. Okay.
[00:05:40] Paul Shrimpling: [00:05:40] To this. What do you mean by this neck?
[00:05:41] Nikki Adams: [00:05:41] Yes.
[00:05:45] So I think, you know, if you were to put traditionally we'll call it an ledge. So the contact with the clients would be partners only. And technology's kind of broken that down because partners are not good enough with technology.
[00:06:11] Paul Shrimpling: [00:06:11] Mmm
[00:06:18] Nikki Adams: [00:06:18] know, well, what's happened in the last few weeks and this is the controversial bit. We didn't follow anyone. No, not one single person. You know, I think the people that we've managed to pick up.
[00:06:41] I think, so this is where the humanity bit comes in. Really neat to say that those few pennies, um, you know, did they really, um, you know, we made the decisions conscious decision, right? At the beginning of the situation, when you have some money that we work in front of anybody.
[00:07:09] That's genuinely human. Sometimes I think the numbers, the numbers, it doesn't work. Yes. It might save you a few pennies.
[00:07:28] Nigel Adams: [00:07:28] And I think what we're seeing as well, the feedback we're getting is a general thing, actually. I mean, obviously I think the last three months really made him really focused on something that's unusual.
[00:07:57] just being qualified, give you respect
[00:08:00] Nikki Adams: [00:08:00] because you've got
[00:08:10] Nigel Adams: [00:08:10] three months. This is something that's been going on.
[00:08:17] New breed of people coming in the greatest coming in.
[00:08:29] If you're not good enough, not good enough.
[00:08:40] For us, it's a less structured area, which is really difficult for, for us. We don't, yeah, we don't have a, uh, annoying to fully appreciate. Um, we, we operate some of our R and D guys are real techies. We'll be working at three or four in the morning.
[00:09:06] Again, the big thing that in the past,
[00:09:19] you can correct KPIs in place and the correct structure
[00:09:26] in place to deliver it.
[00:09:31] Somebody jumps on the bandwagon, but they've got no method of judging. Yeah.
[00:09:38] Paul Shrimpling: [00:09:38] There's nothing in this place.
[00:09:43] Nigel Adams: [00:09:43] It was sort of seen as maybe 10 years ago. And it really was just an excuse to not be accountable. Yeah. Yeah, yeah,
[00:09:59] Paul Shrimpling: [00:09:59] yeah.
[00:10:05] Nigel Adams: [00:10:05] I see.
[00:10:14] We're totally open. Uh, I mean, agreed that culture. So
[00:10:26] why did you do it that way?
[00:10:39] I'm not saying technology.
[00:10:46] Paul Shrimpling: [00:10:46] Yeah, that's interesting because I'm assuming guessing that you're familiar with Michael Gerber's messages. You know, it's a, you know, there's people in this processes and it's, um, it's a system failure, not people failure. And if you, if you, if you have that reference pointers, right, something's gone wrong, the system's failed, not someone's done anything wrong.
[00:11:06] Let's fix the system then culturally, that has, if you're true to that,
[00:11:27] Nigel Adams: [00:11:27] We can't do anything.
[00:11:34] We can't make him say that and we want to actually do anything.
[00:11:48] But there is a degree sometimes where they will make mistakes. We will actually sit down and that's fine because I'm more often than not the things that they do to which we wouldn't have thought of, which are innovative. Yeah.
[00:12:05] Paul Shrimpling: [00:12:05] Yeah. Yeah. You're now making me sweat, Nigel. Cause I'm just thinking we're gonna get a, a camp partners of accounting.
[00:12:13] So listen to this podcast and I'm going to have to issue tranquilizers for them to take before the listen to this. Aren't we, so that again? All right. So you give people for freedom to make mistakes with their clients. Yeah, let them talk to your clients. Don't talk to your clients. I think we're going to have to tap into the NHS tranquilizer bank.
[00:12:32] That's cool. That's cool. I'm going to stop United cause you're just going to give me about two days worth of content to quiz you on. So I've now got enough content cause you want, okay. So I just want to pick up on one piece. We said earn respect and I highlighted it in my notes and it's like, well, I know I'm going well.
[00:12:50] What do you mean by that? And you said actually, We got to earn their respect. It's not, I think in, in, in, in some firms it may be a case that, you know, employees come in and the hierarchy, um, what feel as though that the tables are turned it's, you know, they got it. Our respect twist in that you turn that coin over and go.
[00:13:11] No, no, no, no, no. We've got to earn their respect. I think that's an interesting twist. Dies. What are your thoughts? You know, is that so 20 years of cultural way of doing it, or is that relatively innovative for you over the mistakes? How far back does that go?
[00:13:34] Nikki Adams: [00:13:34] Anyway?
[00:13:40] A lot of layers of hierarchy. Um, and you know, a few years ago we tried putting hierarchy in, it
[00:13:52] tends to mean things.
[00:13:59] The essence in what we do.
[00:14:02] Nigel Adams: [00:14:02] So you get protection.
[00:14:09] And, and that wasn't just with clients, but that was
[00:14:20] when we were
[00:14:30] quite dramatic changes over a short time, which were expensive, which for training.
[00:14:43] The team coming back to us. Where have you been really? We've been here
[00:14:52] for 12, 18 months.
[00:15:03] I'm bringing it back.
[00:15:13] Yeah. Yeah. Okay.
[00:15:14] Paul Shrimpling: [00:15:14] So w w with you, you've entered it structure a couple of times here. So w w it's you said having the correct structure is part of this and, you know, you tried one, it failed and then you've flattened it and remove some of the hierarchy. Just run me through how, how you structured the firm.
[00:15:30] And I know you've got the two parts in terms of the general practice stuff, and then you've got the, um, you know, that the specialist taxed off w just run me through on the general practice, how it's structured first.
[00:15:41] Nikki Adams: [00:15:41] It's essentially. Level senior management team and then
[00:15:52] the accounts teams. Now
[00:16:01] Paul Shrimpling: [00:16:01] many people are putting Mickey? Sorry,
[00:16:07] Nikki Adams: [00:16:07] we don't want the. Trainees coming through that when we move them.
[00:16:19] So, you know, we want people to come through and because we've got marketing,
[00:16:26] it means we don't worry about where the next new business coming through. It keeps everything fresh. So as we get new clients coming through the building new training coming through, we've got probably
[00:16:46] next year, we'll start doing their own calls. And that's how we intend to grow the business as well as
[00:16:56] Nigel Adams: [00:16:56] I think he about painting a picture. So I think, you know, I know when I worked in.
[00:17:03] It really was.
[00:17:14] What we want you to do is when somebody comes on board, we can very clearly show them what their roots within the practices within the pilots. Typically, the reason we set the polls we've been doing about 12, 18 months now. And the reason we set them up was we were growing very, very quickly. Um, and,
[00:17:42] uh, and we were looking at a disconnect with got clients. So we would do all the jobs really well, but it would be a bit disjointed. So what we decided to do was bring whole day where they would have their own clients within that. There'll be a tax person. There'll be a team lead. They'll be typically to
[00:18:12] outsourcing as well. And the focus very much engage with our clients
[00:18:27] in January.
[00:18:31] Six seven months earlier. The whole idea is
[00:18:52] Paul Shrimpling: [00:18:52] you want, you want the clients to feel that connection, or you want your team to feel the connection.
[00:19:21] Nigel Adams: [00:19:21] and clients.
[00:19:32] Paul Shrimpling: [00:19:32] Hmm. Interesting. Um, the, you know, we, we, we set out to challenge firms so that they connect to the deeper level with the people and the numbers, hence that humanized the numbers piece. So, so that, that connection message is important to me. Um, the, the I'm challenged a little bit though, but you know, what, why pods do you say, well, we need pods because we're growing fast.
[00:19:56] And, and there's there's firms that grow fast, that don't have pods words. I'm still not clear as to why you think that the pod structure is key to that
[00:20:07] Nikki Adams: [00:20:07] because we're dealing with businesses
[00:20:16] and dealing with.
[00:20:18] Nigel Adams: [00:20:18] Sure.
[00:20:19] Nikki Adams: [00:20:19] So we don't tend to deal with companies that have got, for instance. So it's knowing what your market places we are specialized in, what we do.
[00:20:40] Nigel Adams: [00:20:40] And where it's really coming through
[00:20:46] in detail. So if someone calls up on accounts question,
[00:20:59] they can engage at a human level. Yeah.
[00:21:06] We've got it.
[00:21:12] Well, we'll give you a call back at some point. So again,
[00:21:23] A tax assistance or in the team as well. You hate conversation in the office because everybody's talking and stuff going on
[00:21:40] and what you actually get there and you get, throw away comment Chica. Um, we had one
[00:22:04] as well.
[00:22:13] The rubbish, the connectivity, I think from a business perspective is unique, consistent product. And if you've got a load of people with this disjointed, Hmm.
[00:22:37] Nikki Adams: [00:22:37] They didn't care
[00:22:45] Nigel Adams: [00:22:45] different names.
[00:23:00] Which most of them,
[00:23:09] Paul Shrimpling: [00:23:09] a Nigel, Nigel, I was driving. I was driving in yesterday and, um, they were playing alternative, alternative by stiff little thing. Yeah. I just stay in the car park till it's finished. It's only two minutes and 50 seconds long, but it was really brilliant.
[00:23:27] Nigel Adams: [00:23:27] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. The
[00:23:28] Paul Shrimpling: [00:23:28] free finds is a cool, by the way, my daughter plays me that that's good. Okay. So you've got 1500 clients, five pods. So is that 300 clients per pod or is.
[00:23:59] Nigel Adams: [00:23:59] The polls to a degree and just make sure
[00:24:05] the questions I can't answer basically
[00:24:10] to actually filter through. And support the other team leads.
[00:24:28] Comes to me equally. Um, we are encouraging to various levels.
[00:24:39] I mean, for me originally before technology, it wasn't for me. I didn't like it. It wasn't scalable.
[00:24:58] that's why we practice, but we might not profit connects with clients and how we manage our resources.
[00:25:20] We've got transaction transaction. We don't do coaching,
[00:25:28] but transactional stuff, transaction stuff. It can be things like, uh, it can be wealth management. Uh, it can be, um,
[00:25:44] those sorts of things. Yeah.
[00:26:12] But I guess
[00:26:19] it comes back to the message of being focused. I think a lot of practices
[00:26:29] because we haven't focused on it and it's still. Well
[00:26:48] Paul Shrimpling: [00:26:48] Okay. So we've got, we've got five pods, 300 clients per pod, five or six people per pod. What sort of fee bank? So scale of fees per product,
[00:26:58] Nikki Adams: [00:26:58] half
[00:26:58] Paul Shrimpling: [00:26:58] a million. Okay. Brilliant. So you mentioned, um, in that, um, you know, the kickstart to this morale piece is it's correct structure. Yes. Earn respect. Yes. A less structured regime.
[00:27:14] Yes. You also talked about having the correct KPIs. What, what is it that, uh, what is it you track and measure or what, or rather, let me rephrase that. Um, what do you have the pods track and measure? In order to help them ensure that they're on track. Cause I'm fairly certain you don't wheel the big state.
[00:27:32] You have them measure themselves on my off tilt
[00:27:35] Nigel Adams: [00:27:35] that.
[00:27:49] All of our clients have their,
[00:28:19] Excuse me.
[00:28:26] Paul Shrimpling: [00:28:26] What was that one? So I missed that
[00:28:35] from where to where? So obviously the end point is the draft accounts decline,
[00:28:43] Nigel Adams: [00:28:43] right? Using technology. What we tend to do is we look, we use,
[00:29:03] uh, for us
[00:29:10] pretty much that ready for school. We do a quick.
[00:29:35] Paul Shrimpling: [00:29:35] So you work two 14 days, thirties, where you start to get really honest
[00:29:42] Nigel Adams: [00:29:42] days. And that was about 15 years ago and it was a bank. So that's what we say working days. Now we're all excuses, excuses.
[00:30:04] And it was because it was the practice.
[00:30:11] Paul Shrimpling: [00:30:11] Yeah. Okay. So we've got two KPIs, um, year end draft accounts decline every client within three months of the year end date at 90 days of the year end date, um, turnaround time from kickstart of the joke, which is when you've got full access to books and records, whether it be on zero or whatever, um, And do you look into turn that round within 14 days, but worst case
[00:30:35] Nigel Adams: [00:30:35] that's correct.
[00:30:39] Paul Shrimpling: [00:30:39] Right. Okay. What's that KPI?
[00:30:51] Nigel Adams: [00:30:51] Yeah.
[00:30:57] Now the smaller clients. That's okay.
[00:31:05] Oh, see, the more complex ones we're working a little closer, but there's a minimum. It has to be at least two phone calls.
[00:31:16] Paul Shrimpling: [00:31:16] Okay.
[00:31:18] Nigel Adams: [00:31:18] And we do that through.
[00:31:29] From who's going now and as much as anything,
[00:31:37] and again, technology
[00:31:43] we can use.
[00:32:15] They sell, but making the phone call without
[00:32:30] X, Y, and Z.
[00:32:42] Brilliant right.
[00:33:19] Nikki Adams: [00:33:19] Yeah,
[00:33:26] Nigel Adams: [00:33:26] they would just say right.
[00:33:35] Paul Shrimpling: [00:33:35] And these are your BD guys?
[00:33:36] Nigel Adams: [00:33:36] Yes. Okay.
[00:33:39] Paul Shrimpling: [00:33:39] So, um, so we've got four, four points of contact every client every year minimum. Yeah. And, um, and the other cake guys that we've already, we've already touched on, I'm guessing that you've had far more, um, phone call contact with all your clients in the last 13 weeks than, um, the half a call that we're meant to get.
[00:34:06] Nigel Adams: [00:34:06] Yeah, I mean, for me, Yeah. Looking at
[00:34:15] that cost,
[00:34:25] we spend
[00:34:31] about 10% of our turnover. And
[00:34:40] he's not an accountant with a CTO.
[00:35:01] Right. Uh, and I guess that's where the flood came in because we didn't follow people because of flexible enough that they didn't jump in and they were,
[00:35:23] yeah. Yeah. We achieved 90%.
[00:35:52] Uh, send out to clients. We had some amazing feedback from it. Yeah. But I think it really came to the feedback
[00:36:10] and we're able to feed that back in that confidence. Even with some of the clients and members.
[00:36:23] Paul Shrimpling: [00:36:23] Yeah. And
[00:36:25] Nigel Adams: [00:36:25] I think it gains a lot of confidence to the team. Yeah.
[00:36:34] Paul Shrimpling: [00:36:34] Yeah. Yeah. Nikki, I'm going to challenge Nigel, but you can stick up for him, I think, but I think it's probably, I'm going to challenge your, um, uh, outlook here. So we've got this predetermined standard, which is two calls, two emails per client. Minimum per year. And yet in the last quarter, you've probably averaged a minimum of two calls per client
[00:37:04] Nigel Adams: [00:37:04] over
[00:37:04] Paul Shrimpling: [00:37:04] the last 13 weeks.
[00:37:05] So your clients have appreciated that depth of care and contact. And now we're going to revert back to in the next six months, we're going to call them once. Does that sound right to you?
[00:37:18] Nikki Adams: [00:37:18] Well, it depends. I mean,
[00:37:23] we've got a business development team. Right. So we
[00:37:33] dedicate, it depends now CRM system. They want to be talked to.
[00:37:51] Yeah enough.
[00:38:01] I think the trouble, when you start saying
[00:38:09] what we focused on is actually making sure.
[00:38:20] Paul Shrimpling: [00:38:20] And a phone call. It might be Facebook rather than WhatsApp. It might be LinkedIn. It might be tactile
[00:38:28] Nikki Adams: [00:38:28] 2016. We shot those 20 anyone that wasn't going to be digital. Yeah. Reasonably have clients that are not digitized.
[00:38:45] Those, those clients come to us because we're digital
[00:38:49] Paul Shrimpling: [00:38:49] practice.
[00:38:53] Nikki Adams: [00:38:53] We have to be at the forefront of this.
[00:38:58] Every client is gonna want to be contacted the same way.
[00:39:13] Paul Shrimpling: [00:39:13] Say that last bit again, Nikki,
[00:39:17] Nikki Adams: [00:39:17] for
[00:39:17] Paul Shrimpling: [00:39:17] the con for the level of contact that we're giving them. Alright, so, so you then therefore sponsoring. Conversations with clients about this level of contact requires a higher fee.
[00:39:28] Nikki Adams: [00:39:28] Yes.
[00:39:29] Nigel Adams: [00:39:29] Yes.
[00:39:32] Nikki Adams: [00:39:32] Initially it may not be because in actual fact we know about. So we might, you know, to getting into the realms of being genuinely proactive, we see data is the key thing, and it could be, we pick up data from data mining and our business development manager.
[00:39:58] He's going to contact 20 clients. They've got money in their bank account or XYZ. That's why we want to talk to them.
[00:40:11] That's where we want to be is. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
[00:40:16] Paul Shrimpling: [00:40:16] I can now see that what you wanted to do. And tell me if I've got this wrong, is you access to client data? The CRM. And the other technologies that you're using, you want to be triggering calls with clients on something that's relevant to their data set, whether it be cash at bank or cash, not at bank, for example, you know, they might, you might, you might set limits that if they drop below 10 grand in their bank, then that, that triggers a call.
[00:40:41] Nikki Adams: [00:40:41] Yeah. And it might not even be.
[00:40:45] It may the Facebook page. It may be
[00:40:53] there's all sorts of ways we can extract
[00:41:12] to engage with the client.
[00:41:19] Paul Shrimpling: [00:41:19] So, so you've got these seven people that are starting with you that you've recruited during lockdown that are disillusioned with their firms who furlough them and, and they're looking at what you guys are doing and going. I want some of that. Um, how, how has they found out about you guys? Your best marketing engine for recruiting new people is the existing people you've got on the phone.
[00:41:43] Nikki Adams: [00:41:43] Um,
[00:41:46] she, that came from our recruitment consultant that knows us. And every time he gets anybody,
[00:42:01] to be honest with you.
[00:42:07] And then they go back to there.
[00:42:15] Paul Shrimpling: [00:42:15] Yeah. Buy one, get one free.
[00:42:17] Nikki Adams: [00:42:17] Fantastic. Okay.
[00:42:20] Paul Shrimpling: [00:42:20] The recruitment consultant doesn't watch. They'll listen to this.
[00:42:27] Nikki Adams: [00:42:27] Yeah.
[00:42:30] Yes, we did that happens,
[00:42:36] but I think
[00:42:42] recommendation from someone who going back and told them what Holly, um, Ooh.
[00:43:12] Nigel Adams: [00:43:12] Great presentation. Just a good show, shortlisted, et cetera, et cetera.
[00:43:26] Very rarely do you get clients
[00:43:34] who see it on your website? It must be great because separate accounts, all their accounts.
[00:43:45] Nikki Adams: [00:43:45] It says something about your mindset.
[00:43:47] Nigel Adams: [00:43:47] It absolutely does.
[00:43:49] Paul Shrimpling: [00:43:49] And, uh, you know, I've spoken to, um, Andrew wrote it so well, I wrote on this and, and he's in the same spot, you know, it's like, we're doing this 80, give the team a Pat on the back.
[00:43:58] So it's, it's an acknowledgement of what they're all doing. Claws. It sends a message out to the marketplace around. Well, the staff finding us in wanting to actually just put that, pick the phone up or send the CV in and just start the, start the conversation. Um,
[00:44:18] start again. Say that again, please.
[00:44:32] Amazing. Amazing. Um, so are you ready for a bit of quick fire numbers to see how this, how this, how this piece works? Yes, no. No. Okay. Okay. Now what I could do, I could do them out of order and I delete you're completely free yet.
[00:44:53] Okay. Okay. Okay. So, um, let's do couple of years. Number of equity owners in the firm.
[00:45:03] Nigel Adams: [00:45:03] I don't see me, Nicki. We have a nice night.
[00:45:21] Paul Shrimpling: [00:45:21] Well, thank you for that long answer. This is meant to be a quick fire round as a hint. Okay.
[00:45:27] Nigel Adams: [00:45:27] Your
[00:45:27] Paul Shrimpling: [00:45:27] generosity.
[00:45:30] Nigel Adams: [00:45:30] Thank you.
[00:45:33] Paul Shrimpling: [00:45:33] Okay. Total fees for the end. The last financial year.
[00:45:40] Nikki Adams: [00:45:40] Brilliant.
[00:45:40] Paul Shrimpling: [00:45:40] And how many full time employees in the firm you gave us that early? Was that 46, but isn't this some part time is in there.
[00:45:50] Right? So it's mainly, I'm mainly full time. Brilliant. And what are your firms most important on financial KPIs? Other the ones we've already done.
[00:45:58] Nigel Adams: [00:45:58] Think
[00:46:03] also most importantly, Right. Okay.
[00:46:08] Paul Shrimpling: [00:46:08] Okay. Um, now this isn't on the list and this is me going along short term. How often, how often are you reporting on your KPIs?
[00:46:23] You report me just say that all your KPIs every week,
[00:46:29] Nigel Adams: [00:46:29] right?
[00:46:34] Paul Shrimpling: [00:46:34] Okay. And do those KPIs always drive action every week.
[00:46:42] Okay. I'll let, I'll probably that one know we might touch on that on another conversation.
[00:46:49] Say that again.
[00:47:05] Nigel Adams: [00:47:05] That's most important thing. Right?
[00:47:07] Paul Shrimpling: [00:47:07] So you invest in time and energy in them using the KPIs to drive insight and therefore decisions and therefore action. Yeah. Marvelous, marvelous. So tell me, what are you doing to drive the profit, the job?
[00:47:24] Nigel Adams: [00:47:24] Right. And we have had a dry, we measure how much. Work goes to India in connection with the whole job. So if we've got 1500 clients, 1500 jobs go to India.
[00:47:43] Well, obviously.
[00:47:49] Paul Shrimpling: [00:47:49] So you got your trucking jobs to India every week. KPI. Brilliant, brilliant. Um, so how often you have a board meeting
[00:48:01] Nigel Adams: [00:48:01] every day?
[00:48:02] Paul Shrimpling: [00:48:02] Ha ha. Yeah, I've got that challenge.
[00:48:11] Nigel Adams: [00:48:11] So we have that once a month. Right.
[00:48:13] Paul Shrimpling: [00:48:13] Brilliant. And how often do you have a workflow production meeting? And is that pod, is there a broader one that sits above the whole firm.
[00:48:27] Okay. And on that, how, how far ahead are you production planning your work? How many weeks in advance you can you see? And I've got work schedule
[00:48:36] Nigel Adams: [00:48:36] typically.
[00:48:43] We said we can pretty much schedule when work will come in, really for 12 months, to be honest, probably 12 weeks.
[00:48:51] Paul Shrimpling: [00:48:51] Right. Okay. So you're, you're, you're you're you're at that time, quarterly reference point is interesting. I've I've just done a, an exercise. There's a bunch of firms and it's um, if you've got a rolling 13 week planner, you've got an insight into the turnover of the firm over the next 13 weeks.
[00:49:05] If not, you multiply it by four, you can sort of predict what the firm turnover going to be.
[00:49:23] Nigel Adams: [00:49:23] Yeah.
[00:49:43] Paul Shrimpling: [00:49:43] Right. Fantastic. Fantastic. And I'd be interested to dive into a deeper conversation on that, that, that planning piece at another time, actually. Um, so if we ever get next to a bar with a beer in our hands, we can do that. So that Nikki, I'm not interested in speaking to Nigel.
[00:50:11] And, um, how would you have a client care meeting?
[00:50:18] Nikki Adams: [00:50:18] Yeah, cause we have
[00:50:34] Nigel Adams: [00:50:34] probably monthly to see where we are, but some of them,
[00:50:42] but as a general overview.
[00:50:51] Nikki Adams: [00:50:51] Premium, premium plus,
[00:50:57] Paul Shrimpling: [00:50:57] right. Okay. And how many, how many of you 1500 drop into that premium or premium plus
[00:51:04] Nikki Adams: [00:51:04] the 80 20 rule 20%.
[00:51:13] And we spent integrating those funds, you know, we'll see.
[00:51:18] Paul Shrimpling: [00:51:18] But. Okay, well, that, that might the answer to the last question, which is, you know, what's the priority strategic focus for the next 13 weeks or 26 weeks. If you want to extend it to the end of the year, what, what, what's the strategic priority that if you, if you, if you, if you crack that, you'd be really, really pleased.
[00:51:45] Nikki Adams: [00:51:45] Right.
[00:51:46] Paul Shrimpling: [00:51:46] Two quarters, quarterly focused
[00:51:52] Nikki Adams: [00:51:52] March next year plan. I don't want to give you too much here, but we've got certain things that we need to do to get a structure.
[00:52:19] Focusing this year on getting the structure in place that we can know that we can replicate what we're doing. So that's the key at the moment. Because we want to prove that we can replicate what we're doing.
[00:52:53] Nigel Adams: [00:52:53] So, yeah. So I think, think it's an acquisition. We've got a couple of drawings at the moment. Uh, and a couple more. And he often, uh, obviously the radiate BD guys, it's interesting. We've ever had some new business. Right.
[00:53:37] Nikki Adams: [00:53:37] Pretty much what's happened is people are looking at that provider and request
[00:53:47] Paul Shrimpling: [00:53:47] whether the value equation actually stacks up in terms of that, the deliverables on the tangible accountancy bookkeeping, payroll type stuff put actually on the, we got an advisor here with a relationship that's deep enough to warrant paying.
[00:54:04] Nikki Adams: [00:54:04] Um, you know, coming to us, they've probably,
[00:54:11] Paul Shrimpling: [00:54:11] we've had
[00:54:12] Nikki Adams: [00:54:12] clients when they're in the bedrooms and of course, one person working out that bedroom.
[00:54:32] Paul Shrimpling: [00:54:32] Yeah. But brilliant. For some of us
[00:54:39] Nikki Adams: [00:54:39] we did at the beginning, or should we.
[00:54:53] Nigel Adams: [00:54:53] So acquisition
[00:54:59] very, very quickly,
[00:55:13] Paul Shrimpling: [00:55:13] right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.
[00:55:15] Nigel Adams: [00:55:15] I think as well, what we're looking at.
[00:55:23] Paul Shrimpling: [00:55:23] All right. Don't worry. Don't worry about it. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
[00:55:32] Nigel Adams: [00:55:32] Okay.
[00:55:37] Paul Shrimpling: [00:55:37] The, um, this, um, the beauty of this conversation for me, just reaffirming that this, um, you know, balancing that the, the humanity with the numbers piece. Um, so you're not following anybody to make sure that you're there for all of your clients, as often as you could be. During the last 13 weeks, but that's just a reflection of what you set the firm up to do in recent years, really.
[00:56:03] Um, and I love that line at Nikki back, you know, the, the, the, the flame that are out there wanting to work for a really good firm, um, which marries up with your comment Nigel about, you know, the, the. Good. People want to work for a firm. That's a winner. You know, they want to work with winners. Um, and I think, you know, that fits with my thing is that everyone gets out of bed in the morning to when they don't get out of bed in the morning to lose.
[00:56:36] Nikki Adams: [00:56:36] Cause we can.
[00:56:41] There's something they can buy into. I think, I think a few of them
[00:56:52] Paul Shrimpling: [00:56:52] absolutely. You know, there's, there's a firm up the road from here who, uh, who hired, um, three brilliant people in a very short period of time. And, and these three people really high quality, um, you know, um, mid, mid level managers, you know, these are the future of the firm really. And, um, They were, um, there was essentially that a beauty parade of accountancy firms wanting to hire them and the firm that they worked with up the road to hide them.
[00:57:17] We just set them up to look, just talk about the next 18 months or the next two years for your firm and how they fit in and how that breaks down into either six month chunks or quarterly chunks. That's exactly what they did. And they recruited them on less salary than there were being offered by all the firms because they bought the boat, the actual future focus.
[00:57:48] nice line. What a great place to finish that is. Thank you very much, Nikki. Thank you, Nigel. The quality of the messages you've shared here has just been outstanding, uh, really, really remarkable impact. Um, so thank you very, very, very much. And we'll, we'll, we'll call it a day there. So thank you. Thank you.
Introduction to the Podcast
About Advalorem teams, clients and fees
Recruitment and retention
Quickfire numbers about Advalorem
Click the play button below and use the slider on the audio below to get quickly to the chapters in the podcast.