To what extent have you, your colleagues and your firm been looking at the efficiency, effectiveness and productiveness of your accounts and tax teams whilst in the working-from-home, locked down world we’ve been living in in recent times?
Certainly I've been experiencing a number of conversations with a number of firms around timesheets, and as a result I was stimulated by one of those firms to consider having a podcast discussion with several firms on the merits, or otherwise, of using timesheets.
One of the firms suggested - 'wouldn't it be great if you got the world's expert, Ron Baker involved as well!'
And I thought - 'that's a great idea. Let's ask him!', and I did, and I'm pleased, proud and privileged to say that on this podcast, you'll hear from Ron Baker!
You'll also hear from three very strong managing partners of accounting firms across the UK, one in the North, two in the South.
You’ll hear each of them sharing their experiences of not working with timesheets and working with time sheets.
And so we've created this podcast called the timesheet tussle, which I hope contributes to your thinking around the merits or otherwise of using timesheets and maybe other ways of driving the effectiveness, efficiency, productivity, and therefore, of course, the profitability of your firms.
So please join me, Nigel, Luke, John (the three managing partners) and Ron Baker at humanisethenumbers.online.
I hope you enjoy this very thought provoking podcast discussion.
"In the 30, some odd years, I've been doing this...
I'm happy to report, we've won this war, McKinsey & Co, Bain & Co and Accenture no longer do time sheets!"
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Resources and Links
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TRANSCRIPT - unedited
00:00:00] Paul Shrimpling: [00:00:00] Welcome to the humanized, the numbers podcast, series leaders, managers, and owners of ambitious accounting firms, sharing insights, successes, and issues that will challenge you and connect you and your firm to the ways and means of transforming your firms
[00:00:20] Ron Baker: [00:00:20] results. In the 30, some odd years, I've been doing this.
[00:00:24] I'm happy to report. We've won this war, McKinsey and Bain and company and the center no longer do time sheets.
[00:00:36] Paul Shrimpling: [00:00:36] We've called this edition of the podcast series, the time sheet tussle. And if we're going to talk time sheets, it pays, it makes sense that you think to get the world's expert on trashing, the time sheet involved.
[00:00:48] And so I'm proud and privileged to say we have got Ronald J. Baker joining us today on this podcast. Now Ron started his CPA career in 1984 with KPMG's [00:01:00] private business advisory services in San Francisco. Today, he is the founder of various aged Institute. The leading think tank dedicated to educating professionals internationally.
[00:01:10] He's also a radio talk show host on www voiceamerica.com with his show, the soul of enterprise business in the knowledge economy, stay with us to the end of the podcast. And you'll hear Ron signpost, a handful of specific shows that are relevant to the discussion we're about to have on this podcast. Ron has also authored seven best-selling books, including the firm of the future pricing on purpose measure.
[00:01:38] What matters to customers, my personal favorite and implementing value pricing. He's also to have the world spreading his value pricing message to over 250,000 professionals. He's been named on accounting. Today's top 100 most influential people in the profession, 2001, 2007 and 2011 to 2020, and then [00:02:00] inducted into the CPA practice advisor hall of fame in 2018.
[00:02:05] He's a faculty member of the professional pricing society, and he presently lives in Petaluma, California, but he's with us today on the humanized, the numbers podcast, joining Ron and myself are three director, owner of three different firms, Luke John, and Nigel. And we're going to get them to introduce themselves.
[00:02:24] Now let's start with Luke.
[00:02:26] Luke Smith: [00:02:26] Yeah, so my name's Luke Smith. I have a firm of 12 people in Jersey in the channel islands called purpose. There's two directors in that firm. There's 38 monthly FPAs fixed price, agreements and turnover, a little over a million pounds a year. In terms of my journey with time sheets.
[00:02:45] So back in 2007, I left industry having trained with KPMG ex audit and bought into a local practice, used to do time sheets to the penny. Got very excited about it every month with 12 to [00:03:00] 15 staff members going through that process. Matt, Steve PIF, and pulled done 2011 and then went on a journey of discovery read from at the future, implementing value pricing, pricing on purpose measure, what matters, the goal, absolutely certainty, email strategy and the fat smoker, the whole, the whole everything by vital smarts, you know, the whole lot and stopped doing time sheets straight after that, moved everybody onto fixed priced went very well for a very long time with that.
[00:03:30] Right. And yeah, we just, we just Implemented a new job management system, which has the ability to track time, but not put charge out rates and you can't put any financial information into it. And so that's where we are with that. Thanks.
[00:03:45] Paul Shrimpling: [00:03:45] Thanks, John. How about you?
[00:03:47] John Hillier: [00:03:47] Yeah. Hi. So my name is John Hillier.
[00:03:50]I'm director and owner with another four equity owners of a firm called Condi Mathias based down in Devin in the West [00:04:00] country. We've got team of 30 people working for us across two offices,
[00:04:07] Business clients. I did a quick look see on our database earlier, which has 600 instances.
[00:04:14] Although I freely admit it does need a bit of housekeeping. Another, another thing on the list of things to do. Total fees. If we hit time by the end of March, it'll be 1.7 million, which will be an increase. We hope of six, six and a half percent over last year in terms of the time sheets journey. I think I'm probably a bit earlier in the journey than Luke is.
[00:04:44]Although I have, I am an avid Devonte of value pricing. I've been I've been, I've been using value pricing extremely successfully with a one off project work [00:05:00] and new clients. And yeah, that's some tremendous success with that. So I've been practicing that for maybe four or five years. And I realized now that.
[00:05:11] You know, time sheets or the trashing of time sheets might be a, another logical step on that journey, right? Yeah, the, the whole issue of time sheets in the, from came indirectly from a conversation I had with one of my, my business partners a few weeks ago wherein
[00:05:31] Nigel: [00:05:31] I,
[00:05:32] John Hillier: [00:05:32] I was suggesting that we ought to be building when our clients in advance getting them set up on direct debits.
[00:05:39]So, you know, just to improve the cashflow, the firm and one of my business partners pushed back and said that'll just, explit it up, our internal accounting and causes lots of more work, which I just said, system issue. You know, we could just, we could solve that by working out what to do about, about it.
[00:05:59]And if we [00:06:00] did that, The conversation then went on to, well, why do we need time sheets? If we agree in quotes in advance billing in advance, there's no need to bother with time sheets anymore. And we wouldn't end up with whipping our accounts, which is you know, based on these arbitrary charge at rates that we, that we use.
[00:06:21]So that's, that's really where I've got to on the issue.
[00:06:23] Paul Shrimpling: [00:06:23] Brilliant. Thanks, John. Okay. Yeah. Was thank you very much. Nigel. You want to give us your backstory?
[00:06:29]Nigel Bennett: [00:06:29] Okay. National planets the chairman of holiday's group limited. I was the managing director for about 15 years. I stepped down from the role as managing director to become chairman, to become the COO of Xanax group limited which is a group of about a hundred accounts.
[00:06:49] He firms that sends over about a hundred million. And I'm, I'm busy trying to extricate myself from it role, which hopefully will happen in two weeks. As I'm [00:07:00] actually working beyond my retirement dates and for various reasons my time sheet journey probably started it started initially with looking at my, the clients that holidays worked for who were essentially compliance.
[00:07:15] Clients were running the compliance service. And we were focusing internally on ourselves and I think that's something that time sheets makes it makes you do. And I wanted to find a way of driving the business towards delivering things that matter to clients and not what mattered to accountants. So I lots around for a piece of software and the external markets are replaced time sheets.
[00:07:38] There wasn't anything. So we wrote something that measured the speed of the people, do jobs things tasks that we think were more relevant and mustard multi-client that's actual process of, of given the times you sort of pass it up. I wasn't really thinking about giving time sheets off, but the actual catalysts were giving times you thought it was a presentation [00:08:00] given by a certain Ron Baker that I think it was East, East Midlands airports.
[00:08:05] I think you'd flown over from America. I think it's about 20 years ago. I couldn't tell you exactly when you look exactly the same age or on both
[00:08:14] Ron Baker: [00:08:14] right after 2001, nine 11. Was that it.
[00:08:18] Nigel: [00:08:18] Around that and yes, it was.
[00:08:19] Ron Baker: [00:08:19] Wow. Okay.
[00:08:22] Nigel: [00:08:22] Yeah. And and that's what I thought, you know, we don't really need time sheets.
[00:08:27] We surveyed the team and with one or two exceptions out of the van about 40 people there was wild enthusiasm at the team level for getting rid of time sheets and less so at the senior team level. And we've been on that journey since we've never thought of of going back. And my only thing to say is if you are going to get rid of time sheets, you don't, you need to make sure there's something else that, to replace them.
[00:08:56] Paul Shrimpling: [00:08:56] That's that, that's interesting Nigel. So, but we're going to bring Ronnie in, in a [00:09:00] second. So Luke, you're looking at re instigating at time sheets, if you would just share, what is it, that's prompting that, and then we'll bring Ron into choo choo that one over and hopefully spit stat again.
[00:09:15] Luke Smith: [00:09:15] Yeah. Say, Hey, this, this, this sort too two big things in that, I don't know if they're specific to, to our organization, but the first one is deadlines, stress and pressure.
[00:09:25] So we've got about 10 people. We've got about 40 clients. Like I said, on average, those 40 clients have three or four organizations, entities, businesses that they're running and we're doing consolidations, et cetera, every month, which turning out those 140 sets of accounts and 30 board meetings and what we're doing there, as well as we're applying what I would call knowledge, work to the board meetings and, and assisting the clients.
[00:09:53] We are a factory for management, accounting, and we've got a lot going on in terms of you know, pretty strong [00:10:00] processes through Xero and Xero Workpapers. And what we're finding is that our estimates of how long we think people should take to do things. I'm not matching reality because we're, we're missing deadlines on a fairly regular basis.
[00:10:17] And therefore we had, and the GMC members were saying, well, this is how long it takes. And we're saying, well, we don't understand why, why that's the case. And they don't know what they're taking longer on or not. So that's, that's one part of it. And then the extra part of it is most of the clients we work with are the dates on a daily and the rest of them are weekly.
[00:10:36] So we're heavily involved in our business. We're an outsourced finance function. And that means you get loads of requests all the time for things that are not in the box in terms of, you know, what a fixed price agreement would say. Quite a lot of those things one hours, two hours here or there going through a change order process is would take longer than actually doing the thing.
[00:11:00] [00:10:59] Or if it wasn't, you didn't know where to start before you tried to help the buy now to do that thing. That it's actually going to take half a day and then you start missing deadlines and then everything sort of falls over. We also don't have a group of people who are comfortable talking about price with anybody.
[00:11:15] So none of the accountants want to, they know these people very well. They work with them every day and they don't feel comfortable talking about money. And they don't really have an incentive to do that and they wouldn't want to do that. So those are the kids of the way that we're set up, you know, twenty-five to 30,000 pounds, average fee across a small number of very close clients.
[00:11:39] We think that we just need to have more visibility of what the team is doing, having a project and bringing in a project manager or an ops manager to just wash them. Doesn't put none of them wanted that. So they've actually welcomed back depending on their time sheets and, and reviewing them. Yeah. I mean the genius staff doing it, the managers you might say, [00:12:00] well, there's less value there because.
[00:12:01] We don't know the overall time on the job, but ultimately the more junior members of staff are actually quite comfortable saying how long things are taking them.
[00:12:11] Paul Shrimpling: [00:12:11] Okay. Okay. So, Brian, how do you want to respond to lik have you, do you want to quantify things on or do you want to dive in?
[00:12:18] Ron Baker: [00:12:18] Well, I just, at, at all, all of these things that we've talked about, that I've heard, all of you say all the defenses of time sheets revolve around four issues, period.
[00:12:30] In, in my whole 30 years of trying to destroy this thing and give it the death penalty, I've heard four defenses of timesheets one. We need them for pricing. I think it's safe to say all of you on this call, do not believe that is that fair? Yes, I agree. Okay. As Socrates said, he who says a must say B. The second reason is we need them to track the efficiency of our team members.
[00:12:59] How, how would I [00:13:00] know whether or not team member a spent longer than team member me be on a certain job? How would I know if they were a good account? You know, the whole, what you can measure you can manage third is we need them for cost accounting. Otherwise, how in the world do you figure out customer profit?
[00:13:19] How in the world would you figure out job profit or hourly profit? And the fourth defense is we need them for project management. If I don't know how long it takes, you know, we have budgets of projected time into the future, which verus age is okay with we're. We're not saying eliminate time. We're saying view.
[00:13:40] It is what it really is. Time is a constraint. It's not a cost. It has nothing to do with value. It's just a constraint. We can project time into the future. What I'm against is the fetishization. Of taking that projected time and comparing it to actual after the fact what's the [00:14:00] point damage has been done.
[00:14:02] We're all sitting here crying over spilled milk. So I think we have nuked these four issues there. They're blown out of the sky. There, it, you know, the time she came into the professions in the United States of America, first, from what I can tell in 1919 in a law firm in Boston, Massachusetts, heavily inspired by this guy named Frederick Winslow Taylor, who was an absolute fraud and his whole scientific management thing.
[00:14:35] And my question is, has the world changed in 102 years? And not even that, forget the, Knology forget the software that we have at our fingertips. Now, the apps, the whole ecosystem of forget all that. What about our thinking? Has our thinking evolved in 102 years, might we have better processes than looking at something that's after the [00:15:00] fact of course we do.
[00:15:02] We've just been ignoring it. I have the magic solution for what replaces timesheet. It's not magic though. And it's not easy. I'm not saying any of this as simple, but I have never advocated just get rid of the time sheet. We've always tried to replace it with superior systems or processes, whatever you want to call it, that we're more attuned to focusing on results rather than inputs.
[00:15:30] I don't care about inputs. It's like the old Soviet union. I'll give them a quota, tell them to build a hundred pounds of nails and they build one giant one, right? I mean, they hit the quota, but it's not valuable to anyone. So I'll just, I'll start there. And then I'll also give everybody encouragement and say in the 30, some odd years I've been doing this, I'm happy to report.
[00:15:53] We've won this war, McKinsey and Bain and company and the [00:16:00] center no longer do time sheets. Now they do a lot of knowledge work. That's highly what we call we'd make a distinction between magic and logic work. You know, the routine. I think you were talking about it, Paul, the routine or Luke the routine work, the predictable work that's the logic work.
[00:16:18] The magic work is the creativity, the ideation, the innovation, the R and D. These guys do both. A lot of advertising agencies like Ogilvy and Mather do both. A lot of those folks have also gotten rid of time sheets and they did this hand in hand with value pricing because I posit to you that the only reason we're so attached to the time sheet.
[00:16:42] Is because it's B it was part of our business model for so long. We sell time. Well, we're no longer selling time under a value pricing model, which is a change in a business model. And when you change a business model, two things happen, at least two things happen. One, you always change the pricing [00:17:00] strategies.
[00:17:01] So Airbnb does not use the same pricing strategy as Hilton or Marriott. And the second thing that changes is the metrics, the internal dashboards, the KPIs, if you will, what we look at and I can assure you that Airbnb does not have the same dashboard as Hilton or Marriott. They have, they look at different metrics and we need different metrics and the value pricing from, from an hourly firm.
[00:17:26] There's no place for a time sheet and value pricing from, so I'll stop there. Okay. All right. So
[00:17:34] Paul Shrimpling: [00:17:34] Luke before we were joined with Ron , we were talking about this difference between the, what Ron calls, the, the logic work and the magic work. You, you were talking about the factory work versus the advisory work.
[00:17:47] Is there a specific question you've got for Ron that relates to your issue about getting back to time things?
[00:17:54] Luke Smith: [00:17:54] Yeah, well, I, I I think in terms of, you know, optimal strategies, if you're a firm of [00:18:00] 10 to 12 people, you have a different resource than Accenture and the others. And there is a lot of work to be done around, you know, value, chief value officers and pricing councils and all those things that you couldn't afford to do.
[00:18:15] If you're bigger and you can take away and have more people do more that, you know, you know, all the different roles and have different personality types and all that stuff. I think as a, at a small level, when the vast majority of the industry. Continues to effectively churn statutory accounts and management and accounts out.
[00:18:36]Whilst the milk has been spelled history does repeat itself on a regular basis. And I know that because it has again this morning with somebody upset. So you, you know, that there is things to be learned from, from history and yes, there are ways of managing those processes that are different. But I, you know, sort of having had eight or nine [00:19:00] years without knowing a tool what's going on in terms of how, you know, this w having a way that people will happily just get habitualized, getting information into our system.
[00:19:13]It's been a lot easier and certainly for a lot of clients, you know, we've made a lot of clients that we work with when we have introduced a system into their business. They make more profit the next two or three months after, because they just don't have visibility. And it's an easier way of doing it's a cheaper, easier way of identifying lost revenue.
[00:19:32] So I guess the question is, is there a bite point at which you're big enough to implement, you know, wholesale this, this, this change, and is there an argument, a lower level to understand if you're not doing the magic, you know, and I completely get that. Is there, is there, is there a point in there where, you know, it's still worth knowing or not?
[00:19:54] Paul Shrimpling: [00:19:54] Okay. All right. I'm going to get run down to that. And then I'm going to come to you Nigel to actually respond to that as well. If I can run
[00:20:01] [00:20:00] Ron Baker: [00:20:01] well, yeah, it's interesting. This whole revolution started in small firms solos. Two partner, three partner, four partner, never get the big firms to talk about it. And we've heard every excuse in the book, why it can't be done and they're all contradictory.
[00:20:17] Oh, well, that's easy for them. They're a small firm. They can do it. That's what the big four would tell me. You got to a, you go to a small firm and they say, well, that's easy for the big guys because they have more resources, dah, dah, dah. You know, that's easy for you. Your you're West of the Atlantic, I'm East to the Atlantic.
[00:20:31] That's easy for you. Your partners drive bigger cars than ours. You know, we've heard every excuse in the book for this. And the fact is it's applicable to all size firms. I think the smaller you are, the easier it is to implement, but let me just say what, what replaces time sheets? Well, obviously value pricing.
[00:20:50] It sounds like you're all doing that. Fixed price, agreements, whatever. Obviously, you know, I'm a big advocate of a value council or a chief value officer. I don't [00:21:00] think partners should price their own work. I think, you know why authors and actors have agents. Is because those agents get them a better price.
[00:21:07] We all suck at selling ourselves. We need to own up to that and realize it. And a lot of the problems, especially with these small change orders, one hour, two hour, half day here and there is, we wimped out on the price to begin with, right? We always overestimate how quick we can get something done. And that's just, that's not a sign of bad project management.
[00:21:30] It's a sign, a bad pricing. If anything, it also could be assigned to many customers. The other thing is we need to, we need to do better at capacity and cashflow modeling, and we need proper project management. And look, I do a radio show with ed class from Sage, and this guy is a certified project manager, PMI Institute.
[00:21:52] You know, he's got the certificates is been this whole life. And he says, if you think that real project management is looking at [00:22:00] time sheets and arrears, You're kidding yourself. Project managers have to worry about projecting capacity into the future, not looking backwards. The other thing is key predictive indicators.
[00:22:11] You know, I have a list of favorite KPIs, but here's the big one. And Luke, I think this would solve your problem. I really do. Well, let me say this. I think it would be a better system than going back to time sheets. I don't like the word solution because I don't think there are solutions. I think there's only trade-offs implement after action reviews because after action reviews actually give you context.
[00:22:33] Every there's a reason. Every military unit around the globe uses this process and it's a series of four simple questions. The army has very strict guidelines. I've read the, I've read what your army does. My army, the Canadian army, the Israeli army. They all call these things different things, but it's four questions.
[00:22:53] What was supposed to happen on this engagement? What actually happened on this engagement? The ground truth is the, you know, [00:23:00] like Mike Tyson said, everybody's got a plan until you're hit in the face. So there's always a difference between what you planned, what the objectives were and what actually happened out there in the ground.
[00:23:09] You know, you met the enemy, why or what did we learn from those, from those deviations, from what was expected to happen? You know, there were positive things out of that. There were probably negative things. And how could we do better next time? I've got a one page after action review agenda that we kind of took the armies.
[00:23:29] A formal agenda and tweaked it for a knowledge firm. And I'm happy to send this to you, Paul. And it's up on our show notes as well. We've got a whole show dedicated to what we call this the best learning tool ever. You're only supposed to spend 50 minutes on this and you know, I'm not saying do it on every single customer that you have maybe do it on a group of customers or a group of projects, or after a particular busy season, certainly do it on the top 20% of your customers that generate 80% of your revenue, but do it because [00:24:00] this thing is more contextual, then looking at a time sheet.
[00:24:03] If I look at a time sheet and say, Luke, we projected, you were supposed to spend 20 hours on that. And you spent 40 that doesn't tell me anything. It doesn't give me any context. Why, what may be the customer came in and you had to hold their hand or comfort them, or, you know, explain something really difficult.
[00:24:19] I mean, there could be a million reasons why something goes over or under budget and just looking at a time sheet doesn't. Give you any context? None there's no knowledge gained from looking at the time sheet. There's tremendous knowledge capture from doing the after action review, especially if you do it quickly after an engagement, you know, don't, you have to do these quick.
[00:24:41] And that is a big cultural change. Paul Kennedy and his firm will burn and Kennedy over there, long time, various age colleague, they got rid of time sheets in 2003. In fact Nigel was after that same. Post 2001 event that we did that I think you were at where they sat in the lobby of that hotel and figured out a plan to [00:25:00] get rid of time sheets, which they ultimately did at the same time, around the same time they implemented after action reviews and it propelled their firm tremendously because now they could really understand why, where the system breakdowns were, where, where, why things were taking longer than they thought, how could they do it faster?
[00:25:18] Some things they eliminated because they figured out that there's, they're not adding any value. They're just, you know, we're only doing this for the department of paperwork in our firm. There's no value here for the customer. So I think the after-action review goes a long way and I'm stunned. How many professional firms don't use it.
[00:25:37] Paul Shrimpling: [00:25:37] Yeah. Look, you looked as though you were twitching a bit about weather. Time sheets were actually contextual
[00:25:42] Luke Smith: [00:25:42] I'm I'm not gonna, we're not going to spend 40 minutes on 40 engagements. That's just, it. It would take a week to, to work it out. So how do you prioritize which ones? Cause
[00:25:54] Nigel: [00:25:54] I agree with you.
[00:25:55] Ron Baker: [00:25:55] Well, I was time doing time sheets and then putting them in
[00:25:58] Nigel: [00:25:58] reviewing.
[00:25:59] Luke Smith: [00:25:59] Yeah. I mean, [00:26:00] I know proportionately, I think you know, how do we, how do we prioritize which ones we did? Cause it's a valid point. We don't do it enough and we
[00:26:08] Ron Baker: [00:26:08] should do 20 top 20, 80 rule.
[00:26:12] Luke Smith: [00:26:12] Yeah. Yeah. So how do I pick those? How do I pick the ones that go wrong? If I don't know which ones go wrong,
[00:26:17] Ron Baker: [00:26:17] then do the ones that go wrong first
[00:26:21] Luke Smith: [00:26:21] because I know which ones they are because we haven't got visibility of that.
[00:26:24] So that's what I'm saying. How do you prioritize? Which
[00:26:26] Nigel: [00:26:26] ones you pick, even if you don't have time sheets, like you'll see, you know, what's supposed to be going
[00:26:30] Ron Baker: [00:26:30] wrong. Your team knows Luke. I mean, just like I bet if I asked you who your star team members are. And who I'm not going to say duds, but you know what I mean?
[00:26:41] Just a ranking. Just
[00:26:47] the thing is you, you have that, you know, that just through judgment, it's not a measurement, you know, knowledge work. Isn't, isn't about measurement. It's about judgment. I can't, I can't measure another [00:27:00] surgeon's ability. I have to judge it if I'm a surgeon and it's the same with knowledge workers you know, who the good ones are just, and they know who the bad customers are.
[00:27:11] Luke Smith: [00:27:11] We'll give, we'll give out a guy.
[00:27:13] Paul Shrimpling: [00:27:13] Well you know, if you've, you know, like if you say you've got 40 jobs and you just did one job a week without an after action review, you know, by the time it gets to the end of the year, you're cycling round again. And yeah,
[00:27:26] Luke Smith: [00:27:26] we should, we should be doing more of it. I think, I think the.
[00:27:30] The energy involved in the next thing and getting things done is, is, you know, they just, they just, everybody is under a lot of pressure on a regular basis. And in terms of she sort of being cheap on the price, I mean, we were asking people to pay six or seven times, or they paid their previous accountant and it's not an easy sell.
[00:27:51] So, you know, it it's, how do we, you know, Paul, I talked to you before about how we're splitting the service up between the magic and the logic a bit [00:28:00] more going forward, and that will help. But yeah, we'll, we'll, we'll, I'll, I'll ask them who they hate working for and why, and I guess that's the
[00:28:08] Nigel: [00:28:08] best way of prioritizing, prioritizing, which jumps to the
[00:28:13] Ron Baker: [00:28:13] Christmas bonus.
[00:28:17] Paul Shrimpling: [00:28:17] Now, now, Nigel, what are your further thoughts about leaks issue and challenge?
[00:28:22] Nigel: [00:28:22] I think there's probably two. And the things that I would say, I think one thing that's, I think is a generality about the accountants and the type of people who end up running accountancy firms. And another one is about how we manage profitability in our firm, which might help.
[00:28:38]So first of all when things go wrong in, in accounting practices, professional services firms, the people at the top of the firms tend to want to manage in detail, detailed issues, whether it's a person issue or whether it's a job issue. And the fact of the matter is that although Luke has probably got issues with clients and [00:29:00] issues with team members, probably 95% of the jobs and 95% of the team, 95% of the time we're actually doing fine.
[00:29:09] And that we have a tendency to introduce systems that apply to a hundred percent of the clients and a hundred percent of the team. Instead of managing the 5% that aren't working. And that is never a good thing. In my opinion, you are actually saying to your, your team who are working effectively I don't trust you.
[00:29:28] Okay. That's what you're saying to them. And it's, it's an, it's an application of responsibility in my opinion, at a management level to do that, because what you should be doing is, is managing the individual issues that are arising after a client, if it's the fault of the client of scope creep, but you should describe, you need to talk to the clients.
[00:29:47] Okay. Not introduce the system that applies to all clients. If you've got a problem with a team member, everybody knows who the problem team members have, by the way. And they know the stars you don't use. You certainly, you must know who they are like. And, and if you [00:30:00] don't know, go and ask your managers, they know, and if they don't know, go and ask the secretaries because they know as well.
[00:30:05]But in terms of PR, so that's one thing that I think applies to massive sways of the professional. And I think it's. Partly a problem with the type of people that chats with the profession, the way that professionals take portrayed by the bodies who, you know, the institutes and things like that.
[00:30:20] They're a bit stuffy. They attract people who I'm not suggesting. We're all like this because we're on this call, obviously we're not, but the, the, the profession is full of these people have a certain profile. And part of that profile is is wanting to do things in a in a, in a certain, highly sister systemized way and micromanage people.
[00:30:38] And through that process. And I don't think that is a good way of running a modern firm. And it's certainly not a good way for the younger generations. Once we've managed, they do not expect to be managed, managed in that way, and they want greater freed, freed. And I like the football analogy that you use, or so you could probably drop that in later.
[00:30:56] It's a great analogy of how often you should have money and people
[00:31:00] [00:31:00] Ron Baker: [00:31:00] we're control freaks.
[00:31:01] Nigel: [00:31:01] Yeah, exactly. One night the second year. I just thought, I'd tell you how we manage sort of profit in the firms. So we, we How different teams in the firm, so that a team might be somewhere between 800,000 and a million.
[00:31:17] So maybe not too dissimilar for them, but from you Lee or Luke. And so if the, if the other couple of them together and the, the, the, you CA, as I said, you've got to put things in that that surround removing time sheets. It's not just we'll get rid of time sheets. And Ron said that as well. So you have to introduce a culture into the team and honesty and transparency about what you're going on.
[00:31:41] And, and part of that is it's monitoring the, the team based on profitability. So as long as I know, I know broadly that the the, the direct costs of the turnover is on target and the direct costs are around about 30%. I know how that that team is doing. I don't really need to know that else from a profitability [00:32:00] But perspective.
[00:32:01] I don't care if one of the jobs is more profitable and one of them is less. One of the team members cuts up and one of them didn't actually within the team. They are, they are the monthly meetings and they go through that stuff in diesel. If there's a particular problem per person, we go to the preview review meetings on Mondays, the individual person that the problems with.
[00:32:19]So I think that that's Awesome. The other side to that is that. So if you, if you work out what your the sweet spot is for your, your direct costs if you, then you see them creeping down to the 25% level and then I'm not doing the naps and the chairman, but when I would have the monthly meetings with the team leaders and the S the, the direct cost of creeping down to 25%, I'll be talking to them about efficiencies.
[00:32:43] Are you having, are you having difficulty getting jobs out the door, or you're definitely hitting it at, in deadlines is the stress in your team, is the team up and it's going down what sort of, kind of different metrics from what you might otherwise think you'd be measuring if the, if the direct costs are going up and going [00:33:00] to 33, 34%, I'm having conversations about pricing and having conversations about efficiency, putting the wrong people on the jobs and those sort of conversations.
[00:33:08] And once you and the. And one key element to that that's sort of profit equation is you have to link salaries to to to turn over budgets. So when we, when we do the turnover budgets for the following year at the same time we do the the salary increases. So because when we have them separate where you say, okay, now what what's a turnover increase?
[00:33:31] Can you get this year? Or I don't think we can get any turnover increase this year. It'll be about the same as last year, maybe a little bit less even. And okay. And what about your salaries? What salaries you're like? Oh, I think we need to put them up by 10%. We need to pay everybody a lot more money.
[00:33:45] And obviously that makes no, no commercial sense whatsoever, but if you don't allow the team to make that, that link and then they don't really understand that. And one of the points that you said was that you didn't think your T wanted to have [00:34:00] the sort of price and an expectations meeting. We pushed that down quite.
[00:34:04] It's a quite a low level. And actually, if you have those sort of dialogues at quite a low level about people, or you've asked me to do that additional piece of work, and they know that they've got to, if it's of any significance they've got to basically say there's an additional fee. And they've got to court with some sort of verbal agreement.
[00:34:21] We don't, because we've got good relationships with the client. We don't, you know, sometimes we don't insist, they agree a fee which has got to get that recognition out there that there's going to be an additional fee and the dialogue has to happen. But if they know their salary rises are linked to the turnover and their turnover is linked to the price increases or making sure that you build for all the work that we're that's done.
[00:34:41] Then then the pro the, the, the, when they do the price renewal conversations, they tend to be on the high side and they tend to, you tend to pick up more of the of the actual work, because they know that, you know, when it comes to the salary compensations you know, cause you can do this, they turn off the calculation, quite arithmetically for an accountancy firm based on the previous firm you know, [00:35:00] your cheer and et cetera, et cetera.
[00:35:01]Yeah, so. That's about all I've got to say.
[00:35:06] Paul Shrimpling: [00:35:06] So it strikes me that, you know, Ron's kicked it off is there's a con conflict conversation around the, you know, an after action review. That's one type of conflict conversation. And other is a conflict conversation around the timesheets and others is what Nigel's just brought up is a conflict conversation around salaries versus turnover.
[00:35:22] And I know Nigel and I've chewed this over many, a time over the years. It's about, you know, the building commerciality knowledge insight into your teams, so that they're connecting the dots between their costs and the performance of their role in delivering for the client, which I think is is Nigel's point.
[00:35:38] So John I'm thinking you've got a conflict conversation with your fellow business owners who are resisting you know, taking time sheets out. What w w w what, what question do you want to post to either Ron blue core or Nigel that'll help you out? Do you think in that specific conflict conversation?
[00:35:57] John Hillier: [00:35:57] Well, I am very interested in, [00:36:00] I'm just exploring a bit more. And a bit more detailed about the after action reviews, Ron specific question. I mean, would you, would those include looking at the, the financial performance of that job? So you're taking Nigel's point about the direct costs and some overhead would it include a, a review it to see whether you would have actually made a profit or not on that job?
[00:36:25] Ron Baker: [00:36:25] No, because I don't think you can compute profit per job, profit per customer it's it's undoable. And this is the cost accounting, defense and cost accounting is awful. One of the worst ideas that engineer's foisted on mankind accountants didn't come up with it by the way engineers did. And I don't know why we're so attached to it, but we are the fact of the matter is customers and jobs don't have costs.
[00:36:50] Firms have costs and trying to allocate your rent and paperclips to every single job is impossible. You're starting to make relationships that that have [00:37:00] no bearing. I mean, if you have an accountant that you're paying a salary to, and they spend two more hours on that job than you budgeted, tell me who, who you write the check to.
[00:37:09] It's not a cash transaction, so it doesn't matter what matters is pricing and capacity management, project management. And so I'm not worried about profit per job. I Nigel made a reference to like, he looks at the portfolio. That's what I'm looking at. I'm looking at a group of customers across profit, across a portfolio.
[00:37:33] Now, if we have good, good customer onboarding, we only work with customers who, who. You know, Doris and are willing to pay us, then, you know, worrying about profit per job per customer per hour just goes away. I know I'm going to be profitable if I price it. Right. So no, the AAR is a very high level, 30,000 foot review of the engagement.
[00:37:56]It doesn't, I mean, you can talk about, yeah, why did this, this particular [00:38:00] aspect take longer? You know, the customer wasn't ready. The customer was supposed to give us this information and they didn't. And therefore we had to sit out there and do the reconciliations or whatever. You can do all that.
[00:38:12] And then after action review, but they are just kind of a high level way to capture knowledge and share that knowledge. With the rest of the team. Just one quick story. I sat in an ICU ward of a hospital that does an after action review at the end of every single shift, every eight to 10 hour shift, the two doctors had doctors, the RNs, the LVNs, all the other medical personnel that work in this ICU life and death situation.
[00:38:40] Sit down at the end of every shift, take the chairs, put them in the circle in the middle of the ward, all these sick people around. And they talk about the day's activities. What went right? What went wrong? What could we do better? And they do it every single day. And he let me sit in on one of them. And and I, I was just, my jaw hit the floor because this guy came out of the [00:39:00] military and that's why he implemented them.
[00:39:02] And I said to him, what has happened to your lawsuits? As a result of doing these as though he said, they're way down, because we're constantly improving. And I sat there through this AAR and I noticed that LBNs and RNs, all these highly educated medical personnel were admitting freely in front of their bosses, mistakes.
[00:39:24] They had made errors. They had made, says the AAR is not a gotcha tool. It's not an annual performance review. It's a learning tool to help us improve going forward. And so it's kind of a safe space to admit airs. You know, you're not going to be dinged on your promotion, on your annual performance review.
[00:39:42] If you admit a mistake and then other people are going to be able to chime in and say, yeah, you know, when you have to give that patient an IV, you have to do this first and do that and then turn them over and then put the IV in them. And I, and I sat there and watched this dynamic play out. They only spent 30 minutes.
[00:39:58] But they do it at the end of every [00:40:00] shift I posit to you. That's the best 30 minutes you can spend in the knowledge from time spent on reconnaissance, as the military says is never wasted. And we don't spend enough time reflecting on the lessons that we learned from the activities that we perform. We just frenetically jumped from one activity to the next and never step back and reflect that would never happen in the army.
[00:40:23] It would never happen among a group of you know, like what do you guys have the over there, the red arrows, you know, they're doing after action reviews at the end of every you know, air show, they do usually four to six hours. They go over every aspect and you say, well, our team can't afford this.
[00:40:41] Or a firm can't afford. You can't afford not to do this because it's true knowledge capture and it's true improvement of future performance. This improves future performance, time sheets do not. Period time sheets are not contextual enough to improve, improve future performance, [00:41:00] but
[00:41:00] Nigel: [00:41:00] put in
[00:41:01] John Hillier: [00:41:01] short, you know, if something took longer than it should, and actually having the, the hours recorded is, as you say is irrelevant, it's just, it took longer than it should have done.
[00:41:13] So we've got to change what we do next time to either reduce those hours or if we can't reduce those hours, we've got to increase the fee. Cause it's taken too long. Right. So the, the actual measurement of those hours, I think you're saying is, is just completely irrelevant. What's your
[00:41:30] Ron Baker: [00:41:30] doing when you come into it?
[00:41:31] And look, I work in a I'm the chief value officer of a top 20 to the 22nd largest firm here in the United States. And. I have insisted on doing after action reviews, trying to get them into side the culture, which is really different in a 1400 person firm. But at least we're doing them on jobs that have gone South.
[00:41:52] Okay. So I ended up doing a lot of after action reviews on jobs that we just butchered, we, and [00:42:00] most of the errors that we make, we didn't spend enough time upfront diagnosing the problem. We just jumped right into the work, which is always a mistake, right. We spend no time on diagnosis. Psych. If we went to a heart, surgeon said, doc, I think I need hearts surgery.
[00:42:13] Oh, hop up on the table. Wrong, no tests, no MRI, no cat scan, no EKG, nothing just, you know, and then we get in there and the things that, and we wonder why you know, we spent so much time on it. And so it's really important to do the after action reviews. I think start on jobs that go South because do know.
[00:42:34] But the last thing I want to do to my team is come in with time sheet data. And, you know, come in after the warrant ban at the wounded. Well, you spent, you spent three times more on this than we projected, you know? So what if there could be a million reasons for that? I mean, one, you give me stuff that I'm not trained to do, so maybe I need more training or you've piled my plate so high.
[00:43:00] [00:42:59] I didn't make the right trade off. You know, some other partner came in with a rush job or whatever. This is why people lie on time sheets. They fudge on time sheets. They eat time. You know, we think the time sheets are accurate. They're not how can you possibly account for every six minutes of your day?
[00:43:16] How can you possibly
[00:43:17] John Hillier: [00:43:17] it's interesting. It's interesting because I said at the beginning, I have been having some great success with, with the value pricing on one off projects and that when you get the prospect of a one-off project for a client. If you're value pricing it correctly, you will force yourself to think about what you've got to do for that client.
[00:43:43]Very carefully. And I, you know, I found myself doing that so that I, well, Hey, you establish the value. You find out what's going to be of value to that client. And then B you've [00:44:00] automatically told yourself what you're going to need to do, not in terms of hours, but in terms of value. And, and then you come up with the, the, the, the value price projects, which as I said, I've, I've had some astonishing success with, so it kind of it's if you do it right.
[00:44:19] I suppose it's, it's, it's self fulfilling.
[00:44:21] Ron Baker: [00:44:21] Yes. I mean, price. Is the number one driver of profit period. I mean, more than efficiency gains more than rainmaking. And if you price things right, and you know, at a good price, that's commensurate with value, then you can take the extra time with the customer that might need a little bit more hand holding or coaching or comforting through a tough time, whatever we're not selling time anymore.
[00:44:44] We're not focused on the time. You know, this idea that if we do things quicker, we'll be more profitable is a huge man. Our costs for, for technology, for, for human capital, for the rent that we pay on our buildings. These are, these costs [00:45:00] exist from a cash basis. I'm talking about irrespective of how they're utilized.
[00:45:05] So it doesn't, you know, so whether or not your, your S your accountants are spending five or 10 hours on a particular customer, your cash costs are no different. So when you model cash, you get rid of this fuzzy thinking of allocating costs. And so that's a really good point. Now,
[00:45:23] Paul Shrimpling: [00:45:23] Nigel, what do you think John can or should do to engage with his fellow owners and the team in terms of actually dropping the time sheet process within the firm, but having gone through that, I'll come to you again on that one as well.
[00:45:37] Luke, after Nigel's, don't set his peace. I
[00:45:40] Nigel: [00:45:40] think serving them was a definitely a good thing to do to get the feedback. And then now having a sort of dialogue in the author meetings about, you know, what we're going to do and when we were going to do it we did make some mistakes. One thing that I didn't realize was that there are a small number of people and I'm meeting small number of people, certainly [00:46:00] less than 5%.
[00:46:01] In fact, we only have one in our firm who actually see time sheets is I'm recording time as that justification of of, you know, job. That's how they justify their existence in a way taking their time sheets away from that lady actually caused her an enormous amount of stress and she actually left.
[00:46:19] Right. And we ha we haven't recognized that at all. So I mean, you have to be a little bit careful about that also. And one of my co-directors who it was one of the, the highest biller a price highest, and he was wedded to time sheets and he used to see his clients after at the end of the year.
[00:46:35] Cause it would be priceless and give them all an extra bill based on time. And a couple of years later lost his last, his largest client. I'd say for him once by doing exactly the same thing, it was a well accessible under fee. But so we are not time sheet yourself on such and such a day or the team's really delighted.
[00:46:55] Three months later, I found out that, you know, is Paul horse about, but not say his [00:47:00] name, you put it in. The thing made the supply. Three months later, I found out in the notes area of the, of the software that was using. He'd been recording time and carried on doing the same basis. I went absolutely ballistic with him and I, and he stopped doing that except on his probate jobs, but I shuffle.
[00:47:20] Okay. That's all I will. And and if you had a gun gum back to him after about a year after that and said, you need to, you need to go back to re recording time. He completely flipped and became the absolute advocate of the way that the way that we would, we were doing it. You know, but that's another typical trait of typical cancers.
[00:47:40] They hate change. And then when they get to the, the new norm, then they hate change it from the new norm.
[00:47:44] Paul Shrimpling: [00:47:44] Yeah. But I do wonder though, Nigel, if it's a bit, like, I remember my father given up smoking and he stood up in front of us and got a roll of sellotape and smoke one, one puff off the first cigarette and then sell it, put the whole sellotape with all sat around with him, said, right.
[00:47:59] I'm never smoking ever [00:48:00] again. And I've never seen anyone runt at people who smoked after he flipped it's that, you know, almost that road to Damascus piece, maybe. Very good. So, Lee, what are your thoughts in terms of John's conflict conversation with the team, but I'm thinking more, more about his fellow, you know, the fellow directors.
[00:48:21] Luke Smith: [00:48:21] Yeah. Well, you know, we've, we've had nine or 10 years of, of not having them and, you know, margins, the margins are fine on a, on a pool basis, you know, it's all, it's all good. It's, it's been it's been a great journey, you know, I've got a lot of appreciation for for all the list sharing and everything else.
[00:48:39] I mean, Paul knows that I don't believe in democracy. So benevolent dictatorship is the way forward and I would just tell them it's happening. But there's in terms of practical solutions, you do get comfortable with not knowing what's going on. I, I think where we are [00:49:00] is, you know, we haven't. Under a significant amount of pressure because growth is coming very fast and we're not coping well with that.
[00:49:08]And, and so saying to people, you know, and I will say to them, because it is a benevolent dictatorship, but, you know, we, we, we will go, right. What do we do and what are we doing wrong and blah, blah, blah. But actually it's a resource that we just haven't got enough people in the, in the right places to get.
[00:49:29] Yeah. And if, if we get to a quote, I think with you guys, as long as you've got some internal non-client facing people, cause we, we don't really have anybody that doesn't do client buyer because we all enjoy what we do, you know, with most of my conversations, I'm on the board of lots of the businesses and it's all lots of fun.
[00:49:48]Actually you need someone who knits it all together and, and monitors it and understands it. And that's the investment. And the point I was making earlier is. Is the cost of that investment and the risk [00:50:00] less, or more than going back to the crutch, you know, that's the yeah. That's the two sides of that.
[00:50:09]And it's certainly a quick effect, but you know, well, I'll see what they say to her breakfast.
[00:50:22] John, there's no reason not to do it. And everybody that I know that has has, has made more money as a result of doing it. It may just be that when you hit certain growth points, I think that I think growth is, is a straight line growth is spiky, and it's identifying that. And when you're going to hit that spike.
[00:50:42] Yeah. Yeah. And,
[00:50:43] Paul Shrimpling: [00:50:43] and actually manage that capacity piece, which you think is, is the point you're making loop. So I'm going to come back to Luke, John, and Nigel for their final comments. And what I want you to think about is. W, what is it about this discussion today that stood out have been of most value? But before we get to that Ron, any, any [00:51:00] final thoughts or insights that you think are relevant to our conversation today?
[00:51:04]Ron Baker: [00:51:04] Yeah, just one. You know, there's value pricing, 1.0 out there, which we've been talking about and teaching since the nineties there's value pricing, 2.0 and 2.0, blows up all of this blows up the change request. It blows up the fixed price agreement blows up everything and that's the subscription business model.
[00:51:26] And it also changes what we measure the income statement. The gap income statement looks different, very different on a subscription business model. That's a firm with annual recurring revenue. And I do believe that that is the firm of the future. It's going to be subscription-based and. That's going to mean for us, probably fewer customers at a higher price, but basically you tell them whatever you need, you're covered whatever we can do under our roof.
[00:51:55] You're covered. If we can't do it, we'll go quarterback with a firm or [00:52:00] an expert who can do it. And we'll shepherd that relationship through to the end result. To me, it's a more sane way to run a professional firm. I mean, the subscription economy is literally a tsunami around the world around the world.
[00:52:15] Most unicorns are subscription-based most growth during the pandemic has been subscription-based businesses that have weathered the pandemic really well had been subscription-based and we already have a model inside professional firms to do this. Now I know you guys don't have this in the UK, but they're concierge medical practices and direct primary care medical practices.
[00:52:38] So general physicians over here. No longer take insurance and they charge their customers anywhere from $100 a month to $5,000 a month, depending on you know, who their segments are. Some go after just CEOs. And they basically say for anything medically that you need, and a GP can usually handle somewhere between 60 and 80% of your medical [00:53:00] needs, not everything, but for what you do need, you're covered, you break a leg, you need stitches, you're covered, and we can do the same thing.
[00:53:08] And it's a much St or much less friction, much less bureaucracy, much less paperwork. You don't have to go through these annual FPA discussions. You just focus on where the customer is now and where do they want to be in the future. And how can we guide that transformation? And that's an ongoing continuous process.
[00:53:29] And that just doesn't happen once a year. I mean, people are videos, not pictures, right? We're constantly learning and changing and our client customers are changing. And so I'm really excited about the possibilities of VP 2.0. And that just makes everything we talked about today. Completely obsolete.
[00:53:46] Paul Shrimpling: [00:53:46] Very good. Thank you very much, Ron. So guys, what's of everything we've talked about today, what, what, what stood out have been of most value to you and your firm at Nigel? Can we start with you and then we'll do John and
[00:53:58]Nigel: [00:53:58] I'm not sure [00:54:00] there is and something that I it's new to me. I, the name of the document that I'm, that Ron is using on the four steps is something, obviously we do reviews.
[00:54:13]But I I've not had heard it called what Ron called it and I we don't use these exact for stats, but I really like that and that process because it's just in a simple
[00:54:26] Paul Shrimpling: [00:54:26] after action review
[00:54:26] Luke Smith: [00:54:26] piece. Yeah.
[00:54:27] Nigel: [00:54:27] Yeah, I like, I like him to have these devices. I think it is that it's interesting. I feel that perhaps Luke hasn't asked himself the right question.
[00:54:42] Paul Shrimpling: [00:54:42] do you think that right question is then Nigel?
[00:54:45]Nigel: [00:54:45] I, I, I think you should say, say what is the issue that you're trying to address? Not, should I give it its time sheets?
[00:54:52] Paul Shrimpling: [00:54:52] Okay. Thank you. Nigel. John, what's been of most value to you.
[00:54:58]John Hillier: [00:54:58] Definitely [00:55:00] the, the phrase don't focus on profit per job. That's because that's been sort of one I've been wrestling with for a while and, and of course, yeah, the, the after action reviews Most certainly I think those are those I can see, those are
[00:55:14] Luke Smith: [00:55:14] going to be very powerful.
[00:55:16] Paul Shrimpling: [00:55:16] And it's about how to implement and introduce that. Isn't it, in terms of, and again, a little bit like Luke's issue in terms of you need to do all 40 every every quarter or every month. Probably not. It's actually, which ones do we do first? Which ones we do most often is going to be the issue, I guess.
[00:55:31] Nigel: [00:55:31] Yeah, yeah.
[00:55:32] John Hillier: [00:55:32] Yeah. Those is kind of the, the replacement for time cheek, so to speak. Yeah. That's yeah, that's very, that's
[00:55:39] Nigel: [00:55:39] been
[00:55:39] Luke Smith: [00:55:39] valuable today. We need more results. People I think yeah, I'm not, I'm not a hundred percent and you know, I, I, I think this.
[00:55:52] There are a lot of, there are a lot of reasons not to do it to, to knock her back. Right. Because it's been lovely [00:56:00] over the last I was going years to, to not know. I think, yeah, I, I, well, we just didn't that next stage of development of the business and it's whether or not, you know, I've got the energy bearing in mind, everything else that I've got going on and how do we, how do we put something in place that other people can run?
[00:56:20] You know, how do we find those good people to run it? You know, if that's because the model is very good, you know, otherwise we wouldn't, they wouldn't have regulars, but you know it's just another leap of faith on the money. Isn't it. So, yeah, I think that's the.
[00:56:36] Ron Baker: [00:56:36] Yeah. Yeah. And Luke, just let me say that the issue, I think you're confronting is, you know, you need more capacity and traditionally professional firms across all professions have put revenue before capacity and that can get dangerous when you're starting to grow, because we think, well, I'm not going to hire somebody until everybody's at [00:57:00] full tilt here.
[00:57:01]If we've got, you know, an extra 5% capacity, we're going to work everybody harder before we bring on a new person. And I actually think you should put capacity before revenue because you'll be amazed when you have the capacity opportunities will just spring up and not just from new customers, but from your existing customers.
[00:57:18] If imagine if your dentist ran that full 100% capacity, you'd be quite upset. If you had a toothache and you called him, he said, yeah, well, we can fit you in, in three weeks. Hmm, we should always have spare capacity for those last minute high value jobs. And we don't think about that enough. And that's what I mean by good project management.
[00:57:38] Good capacity planning. Yeah. What
[00:57:40] Paul Shrimpling: [00:57:40] a brilliant way to finish a wrong. I can't tell you how proud I am that you've said yes to this. It's been an educational as it always is. Look at John Nigel. You all know how, which I hold you in high regard. So thank you to you too. Gentlemen, I think this has proved to be an extremely valuable conversation.
[00:57:58] Thank you very, very much.
[00:58:00] [00:58:00] Ron Baker: [00:58:00] Thank you, Paul. Thank you everyone.
[00:58:02] Nigel: [00:58:02] Cheers, Ron. Nice to see you got
[00:58:07] John Hillier: [00:58:07] 20 years.
[00:58:14] Paul Shrimpling: [00:58:14] still look the same.
[00:58:16] Nigel: [00:58:16] Exactly. Very annoying.
[00:58:21]Paul Shrimpling: [00:58:21] Brilliant. I really appreciate the offer about your sharing that after action review piece set Ron out, we'll then forward it onto the chaps and put, put it into our show notes of this with you
[00:58:28] Ron Baker: [00:58:28] guys, go out to the soul of enterprise.com, which is my podcast or radio show, actually that I do with ed class, from Sage, we have an archive tab, and if you go to show number 15, we have over 300 shows, but you'll see them all on the archive page, go to show 15.
[00:58:47] And that's the show, the best learning tool ever, which is the after action review, check out the show notes. And at the bottom, there's a link to the agenda. It's a Microsoft word document. So you can tweak it for [00:59:00] your own from your own culture. But ed worked on that and did a really nice job with it. And if you're interested in why cost accounting and customer profitability is the wrong thing.
[00:59:10] Check out shows 66 and 112. And we interviewed Dr. Reginald Lee who wrote the book, lies, damn lies and cost accounting, and has just destroyed cost accounting. And again, he's an engineer, not a, not an accountant. And then if you're interested in trashing the time sheet and all the things that go into it, show number one 19.
[00:59:32]We, we cover that in depth. So,
[00:59:35] Paul Shrimpling: [00:59:35] Ron, thank you very much, John. Thank you Nigel. Thank you and Luke, thank you very much for being so open today.
[00:59:40] Nigel: [00:59:40] Brilliant.
[00:59:41] Ron Baker: [00:59:41] I didn't expect to be able to persuade you in an hour or so.
[00:59:50] Paul Shrimpling: [00:59:50] thank you, gentlemen. Enjoy your evenings. It's
[00:59:52] Nigel: [00:59:52] been really good. Thanks, Paul. All right. Thank you.
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Changes in culture and recruitment
Making an impact
Team/family and their sense of achievement
Changes made based on team feedback
How will technological changes affect the accountant?
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