How do you grow an accounting firm from £Zero to a £1million in 10 years and then set about growing the £1million turnover firm that you've now got into a £2million turnover firm in the next five years or less?
Well, according to Sian Kelly, what you do and what she has done is put client experience and client care front and central in everything this firm does.
And every improvement that this firm makes is towards improving that client care.
I hope you enjoy the podcast
" I trained with Disney and I was what they call a cultural representative. It was an amazing experience and the ultimate customer service training.
"The first thing they did was to send us on a two week long intensive cultural representative program where they taught you about customer service, dealing with customers and interpersonal skills.
"And I'll never forget. They had a statue of Snow White stood there with the arms folded and the course leader said " How does that make you feel?" They taught you a lot about body language and basics. It drilled into us the need to put ourselves in our customers shoes and then think how to behave, react or respond to them"
Connect with Sian
Connect with Paul
TRANSCRIPT - unedited
00:00:00] Paul Shrimpling: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Humanise The Numbers podcast series- leaders, managers, and owners of ambitious accounting firms, sharing insight, successes, and issues that will challenge you and connect you and your firm to the ways and means of transforming your firms.
Sian Kelly: [00:00:21] I trained with Disney and I went to, I was a cultural, what they call a cultural representative.
Um, for the UK, I worked in the Roseland camp, crown at cot as a waitress. So it's a very fancy title I taught for going and doing waitressing.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:00:35] How do you grow an accounting firm from zero to a million? Yeah. 10 years and then set about growing the 1 million pound turnover film that you've now got into a 2 million pound turnover from in the next five years or less.
Well, according to Sean Kelly, what you do and what she has done is put client experience client yeah. Front and central in everything this firm [00:01:00] does. And every improvement that this firm makes is towards improving that client. Hi,
Sian Kelly: [00:01:05] I'm Sean Kelly, the founder and director of inform accounting. Uh, we're based in Southern Coalfield.
Um, we have 22 staff now I think, uh, lose losing count. Cause we've took on quite a few during lockdown. Um, I set up informal accounting probably about 10 years ago from scratch with just me. Um, and we've grown from there. Uh, we've just hit a million turnover, which is great news. I'm delighted. It was a goal I set probably after about two years of setting up and thought I'd never reached.
So I need a new objective. Now. I think I've got one, um, little bit about me personally. Um, I've got three children when I did to help him form. I had, two of them are sort of very, very young there's any 16 months between them. So I basically had two babies in the house as well as them. Four year old at the time.
[00:02:00] Um, so it was very hard work. Uh, obviously got a husband and we've now got a lockdown dog living with us as well. So we've expanded to a family of six and have a very exciting name of Marley for the dog. We were very original there because we couldn't agree. No problem.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:02:18] It's after Bob Marley or was it after the
Sian Kelly: [00:02:20] war?
Paul Shrimpling: [00:02:23] Uh, I haven't, I'm sorry to admit that, but is it, is it worth watching?
Sian Kelly: [00:02:27] Yeah. Very good. Jennifer Aniston, Phil. And is it, I mean, Wilson? Yeah. Kids love it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, so that's a bit that me personally. I set it for him basically. Cause redundancy was on the table. When I went back after maternity leave and with the children been small, I had the bright idea of setting up my own business.
Um, having come from an industry background, never worked in practice at all and no clue how to do a tax return or reset start static, Cannes. [00:03:00] I thought I was going to be a consultant and do management accounts for small business. So went in there thinking I'd get five or six contracts that were going to pay me 10 grand or so a year as a starter and build from there.
Um, probably quite quickly realized that was achievable. First, it was going to be quite hard work to find them. I was going to be at the house a lot more than I wanted to be here. We're going to be at people's back and call. If you were sort of their external FD working on a part-time basis on Kia contracts, um, um, most small businesses.
Actually want everything in one place. So I quickly worked out and part of my background in industry had been working in shared service centers. So I'd seen sort of that shared function, functionality, fully outsourced offering. And I quite quickly got to the point, well, we can do the bookkeeping and the VAT returns like, and work out how to do that.
But I think we need to do the stat accounts and [00:04:00] tax as well as like the idea that that will pose me a problem. Right. Popped myself on a few courses, learn payroll. So I knew the basics, but what I quickly found was a little group of subcontractors who could support me on the areas. I didn't really. Yeah.
Um, and it sort of grew from there. Got my first employee fairly quickly. Um, actually I, I was in, um, quite early on, I got offered a partnership at a firm of IFA, which I did join in the first two years of informed were actually under a different banner with them. I think as we approached the two year mark and it was starting to take off, what I could see was I think it had been a comfort blanket thing for me going in when I was offered that with somebody else.
And I realized I actually didn't need to do that. And it was probably going to be quite restrictive in the long run. So as with a lot of partnership stories and what I quite often tell people entering the partnership. Are you sure
[00:05:00] Paul Shrimpling: [00:05:01] is that cause you've got the, um, the scarf and the t-shirts in the COVID shot.
Sian Kelly: [00:05:05] Yeah. Yeah. We, we, we, we parted ways and that's when informed was truly, truly launched. Right. Basically all the clients came with me that we've got. So I've got a bit of a foundation there and I've got my first two employees wanted only just started and it left his one job and missing Keno sugar.
Yeah. I bet I gotta be Sean. Yeah. And he took a chance on me and he's still with us today and he's a fabulous employee. Who's very loyal. Have a great relationship with, um, in fact, my first two employees are still with me, both of them. Um, yep. Solely a hundred percent mate. Well, I've bought husband in there.
In fact that, that, that's another thing that's just changed. He's just actually handed in his notice at his job and he's joining the firm and coming cause he's got an it background, right. We've grown to quite a reasonable size. [00:06:00] We've got a need for further, um, really into systems and processes and everything working slickly for the clients move experience.
Right. So it'd be because he's got an it and works closely with project managers, we're hoping. He's not going to get sucked into the accounting at all. He's not going to get dragged off into the running of the business, which happens to me. So I don't get to focus as much as I'd like to on the processes so he can, and we've got someone in-house, who's one of our trainee accountants.
Who's really quite talented in that area. But he needs a bit of support and guidance and help. Um, so they're gonna work together on helping us grow and improving the systems and help us with a couple of acquisitions that we wanted to do later in the year.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:06:43] So one of the challenges it's Sean, big fan. How can you not run a business without decent systems and processes?
So it's a prerequisite, isn't it for successful business. However, one of the downsides or possible challenges attached to a systems focus, is it [00:07:00] dehumanizing? What's going on in the business for the team and it dehumanizes how it works for the clients. How, how are you, how do you overcome that with your system's
Sian Kelly: [00:07:10] focus?
Yes, it does, but it depends how you do it, doesn't it? Cause, um, it's more for our internal systems and our side of things and making things slick and smooth for clients in terms of not asking them for the same information twice. It's more around the actual underlying processes because first and foremost, the most important thing is, um, contact and account management.
Um, Contact with the customers. Um, it's really, really important to have dedicated account managers and that relationship there with clients. Um, Customer services is sort of at the forefront of everything we do. I put what I did when I was younger. After I graduated from university, I trained with Disney and I went to, I [00:08:00] was a cultural, what they call a cultural representative.
Um, for the UK, I worked in the Rosen camp, crown at cot as a waitress. So it's a very fancy title for going and doing waitressing. Yeah. And I had an amazing experience. I earned a lot of money in tips, so it taught me some sales skills, all that blah, blah, blah. But yeah, the first thing they got us to do when we arrived in America was you were literally sent on a two week long intensive sort of cultural representative program where they taught you about customer service, dealing with customers and skills.
And I'll never forget. They had a statue, a snow white stood there with the arms folded and said, How does that make you feel? If you're stood at the podium, sort of waiting for someone to come up and book a table and they taught you a lot about body language and basics, and I'm not like, sort of, I'm not a massive reader of books anymore.
I don't have time. And you know, I just, I might get into that when the children grow up a bit, I used to read a lot, then I didn't, but these sort of things stick in [00:09:00] your mind. I'm not a massive follower this, but anything to do with customer service always resonates with me. And it's very, very important.
If Disney can build a successful company, not that all based on strong customer service, I've always had it as sort of part of the ethos behind what we do and try and make that very clear to the team. We talk a lot about customer experience and if things go wrong in the firm, as they sometimes. Well, you know, it's inevitable, nobody's got a perfect firm where nobody's going to make a mistake, mistakes happen, things go wrong.
It's about having a strong relationship with the client. So that actually, when you talk about what's gone wrong and fix it, it's not a buildup of ongoing issues or anything like that. Um, Just trying to think what else?
Paul Shrimpling: [00:09:50] No, no, no upon, so it sounds as though what you're saying is inform accountancy, uh, is informed is [00:10:00] a, uh, customer care business that happens to be an accountancy firm as opposed to an accountancy firm who's in the business.
Of course. Okay.
Sian Kelly: [00:10:07] Yeah, yeah, yeah,
Paul Shrimpling: [00:10:09] yeah. Okay. If that's the case, then what KPIs do you track and measure around the customers?
Sian Kelly: [00:10:16] Well, we're just working on this at the moment. Sweet. Your KPIs and reporting pack. And it's part of what Andrew's going to be doing as part of his new role that I mentioned. Yeah. Um, but we're doing a number of customer surveys a year.
We're not doing tons, but we're calling round a few, um, set number of questions. Asking for sorts of feedback on services, how we operate. We're not KPI. The trouble is there's too many things to track on KPIs we're growing quite rapidly. And I don't want to know. Yeah, you don't want to load it. Yup. Don't want to wait, unload it.
So very loosely, like a number of complaints I track. Yeah. But I tend to know about any complaints anyway, but if we're getting them. [00:11:00] A lot at all, which is rare. Yeah. There'll be addressed. We have a twice weekly team meeting for that. We do, we're doing some surveys a year around the customer care. That's probably it.
I mean, another initiative we've got come on board recently is we lost a sole trader recently, and this is just very simple, short story, but, um, It asked us to do is March year end accounts. And the next thing we know, I've got an email from one of the team calf saying, oh, I've just started this off Alex to say, easily leaving.
Um, I set up, get user camps done within a week of him sending them to me. So I'm not sure what's wrong. So it was like, Let's give him a call. You like, if you talk to people and I say, so, gave him a call, found out is based in Bristol. Um, absolutely brilliant through COVID lots of correspondence.
Communication really liked that, but he was a sole trader business. A lot more of, it was biased towards limited [00:12:00] companies and things that didn't really relate to him. And he wanted a firm that was sort of local and around the corner and who we could sort of just go in and see. Yeah. The good news that I was one of the staff wanted to understand what she did wrong.
She didn't pick up the phone and ask, I did right. We got some positive feedback around what we've been doing. But what I learned off that is he wanted perhaps a few more touch points with us through the year, what we'd potentially lost. That was a client that was about to turn into a limited company as well.
Yeah. Yeah. We hadn't spoke to him often enough during the year to identify that now with our limited company clients, we speak to them all the time.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:12:43] Sorry. No, you're not. No, no one speaks to the clients all the time. Okay.
Sian Kelly: [00:12:47] Yeah. Let me define, so there's different gradings. If they're are fully outsourced from who potentially on either daily or weekly bookkeeping, they've got constant contact with their account manager or main [00:13:00] points, contact with queries coming through.
Um, and if they're having regular management cancers, Contact going on there. And they, to be honest, where we do everything for a client and my absolute favorite sort of clients to win bigger clients and more exciting for the staff to look after. And you've got a sticky relationship with them. Cause you're talking to them all the time.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:13:20] Yeah. So, yeah. So there's a weekly engagement pieces of monthly, small core minimum. There's this type of going on. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Sian Kelly: [00:13:28] know, if they're not happy, cause they'll tell you, cause you're talking to them regularly. That's so much more sticky. Then you tend to have your smaller limited companies where we maybe do the quarterly VAT.
So you've got a quarterly touch point with them. Um, or it might then you've got limited companies where you just do a set of accounts once a year. Um, this group and the sole traders are the ones we identified is actually really through all the will in the world. We, the account managers, can't be phoning round all these several times a year.
It's quite difficult with workload [00:14:00] and stuff. Um, but what we have got in place is a business development manager. Who's there. Get new business, which is quite difficult at the moment. Cause you can't go out and network. So you'll just get the regular leads that come in off the website. Um, but he's there to also relationship manage onboarding of new clients, but we're getting him calling around now, all the people that we don't talk to so often just to at least touch base and, um, Check in with people and see what's happening in that business, because there was an opportunity there to up sell to a small limited company that could grow into a larger limited company one day that we missed.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:14:38] Yeah. business development person. I'm an accountant or a
Sian Kelly: [00:14:44] non-opiate no, not an accountant.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:14:47] All right. So you've got someone in the sales role within the firm. Who's not an accountant and you morphed their role slightly because of the circumstances we've been in, uh, during 20 20, 21.
Sian Kelly: [00:14:59] Fitbit. [00:15:00] Yeah.
Mixed role. Really
Paul Shrimpling: [00:15:02] cool. Yeah. Um, interesting that, um, you've got a non accountant who sells accountancy services, you know, some accountants that suggest, well, that's never going to work. Is it.
Sian Kelly: [00:15:14] And it doesn't. So to two schools of thought small clients, that this is an ex bank person, by the way. So they've got an understanding of finance.
Yeah. So I don't see that that necessarily matters cause somebody can learn the basic finance process. So I think for the smaller size of businesses that works and for initial fact-finding and stuff yeah. Wherever we've got a larger prospect. Um, I'll tend to deal with that, or it needs to be somebody senior, right.
It might be that that business relationship person sets up the initial meetings and has an initial conversation that I'll certainly be involved from quite an early stage. Yeah. Fundamentally, nobody is going to have [00:16:00] the same, I mean the senior staff perhaps, but nobody's going to quite have the same passion about my business as I do.
Yeah. And be quite as enthusiastic. So to me, it's a bit of a tricky one as we've got bigger because I CA I cannot physically deal with every new inquiry. Well, let's
Paul Shrimpling: [00:16:13] go, let's, let's pursue that then, because you said that you had a goal of hitting the million, uh, which you didn't think didn't you and you now have one.
Now you've got a new goal. What's the.
Sian Kelly: [00:16:24] Well, we, we, we got really excited with this one. I sat with a group of accountants. I meet with quarterly a couple of weeks ago, and I was like, I haven't got a goal now I've done it. I don't know what my goal is. So I was really creative and I'm like 2 million within five years.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:16:38] Right. Okay. So you tend to get to want, now you want to do the next additional million in half. Yeah. Yeah. That's that's that's yeah. There's an elegance to that. Isn't it?
Sian Kelly: [00:16:50] Yeah. I think you've gotta be really careful as you grow with customer service levels, because what I learned very, very early on [00:17:00] is that you grow too quickly.
Customer service levels, slip, and you'll end up firefighting. So putting out fires rather than focusing on the grief and getting that right damage there, as well as the show. Exactly. And I'm not okay with that.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:17:17] You are coming across as a bit of a control freak. I've got to say,
Sian Kelly: [00:17:23] but
Paul Shrimpling: [00:17:23] you know, but it sounds like you, you, you, you want the control because of the passionate about the customer care.
Sian Kelly: [00:17:29] Yeah, because I wanted to be right. It's my name? It's well, it's, it's not because I've not gone down that sort of traditional John Kelly accounting. Although you would laugh. If you look back on company's house, once upon a time, it did say S K accounting.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:17:43] I, I I'm the same as you. I didn't, you know, remarkable practice has got a corporate it's a corporate. Yeah. Just Paul. It's not just Sean. I get that. Yeah, I get that. So, right. So 2 million in five, so 2 million in five years. So in five years, time, you double the size you are now in terms of, uh, [00:18:00] fees, maybe team, depending on how you engineer
Sian Kelly: [00:18:03] it, we weren't double in size,
Paul Shrimpling: [00:18:05] right?
Sian Kelly: [00:18:06] Why not? Why because a lot of the, getting to million and a lot of the pain of getting to a million each, you know, you have all your growth peaks and troughs is taking on those senior staff that you need. And maybe that sales role. And, you know, when you first start off, you don't have an admin person. For instance, there's all those roles that you need as a growing business.
And I've got all the key roles in now. So really what we're going to need to get to the 2 million point. We might need another senior manager that I hope to promote from within to be quite honest with you. I've had a lot of people start as graduates and work their way up and through. So very keen on growing your own as well.
I'm sorry. Let's try it. Yeah. So won't need so many people because. We've it's the way it's structured. The foundations are already there, right? We'll just need to add in probably additional pots or maybe heads into what [00:19:00] we call at the moment. It's, it's, it's kind of the bookkeeping and processing team, but it's not really bookkeeping, middle technology.
We've got nowadays it's a bit more like data integrity, checking and pushing stuff through. So we'll probably need one or two heads in there and then another little pod to get there, but it's not like a doubling in structure scenario.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:19:19] So have you worked, have you worked out how many people you'll need according to what you, it sounds as though you've, you've got reasonably clear pictures to the way the business is structured when you're turning it over to
Sian Kelly: [00:19:29] yeah, yeah.
Yeah. I always plan ahead. Always got like my like little plan for the next few years,
Paul Shrimpling: [00:19:36] depending on
Sian Kelly: [00:19:38] yeah. Yeah. Uh, I think. There's going to be between six and eight more people to get to that
Paul Shrimpling: [00:19:49] or up to around 30 people. Yeah. Turning over 22 minutes.
Sian Kelly: [00:19:55] Yeah. Yeah. Some of my [00:20:00] existing team are time as well. Some of them are sort of on job shares or part-time so we set probably sound quite heavy on numbers, but yeah.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:20:07] That's where I was going. Cause you do
Sian Kelly: [00:20:09] your numbers. Yeah. That's quite a few part-timers in there
Paul Shrimpling: [00:20:13] or time equivalent. So if you got within the 22, then charter, I need to work it
Sian Kelly: [00:20:18] out, but there's probably nine, nine part-timers.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:20:24] Yeah. Yeah. So would that make up to say four or five full-time roles or six? Do you think?
Five. Five. All right. So, so 29. So at 22 less nine plus five. Yes. So, um, um, yeah. So we've got a million turnover with 18 full-time employees,
Sian Kelly: [00:20:44] but we do a lot of bookkeeping as well. Cause we do everything. So that's the other thing in there. Yeah, yeah,
Paul Shrimpling: [00:20:49] yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, the reason I quizzed in that space, cause it's one of the conversations I have with a lot of firms is, uh, just establishing what the fees per full-time employee equivalent is and, and looking [00:21:00] at that now, and then.
It was 1,000,018 people. And then you look at 2 million with 30 people. How many things they shift in terms of fees per full-time employee? Is it ambitious enough? Sharp. And that's the.
Sian Kelly: [00:21:14] Yeah. Oh, no, I'm right. I'm hot on this. So I'm going to have you, I haven't worked out per employee, but I'm always looking bottom line sort of percentage.
So for million turnover. Yeah. I should pretend everyone is, but at a million and I'd like this to have been a little bit higher, but I, it is where it is for reason because I've took on quite a few new heads in the last year to get ready for capacity growing. Yeah. So we've got a 25% profit on that.
Before cortex. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So on the million we've got 25% profit. Yeah. Um, when we get to 1.5 million, we're going to have, uh, at the 1.5 million, I'm hoping to have 500 [00:22:00] thousands of profits at that point, possibly 600,000. Yeah. So I know I'm not at the 33%, which is the traditional module. Yeah. Quite a lot of bookkeeping.
And I'm also in growth mode. There's reasons why we are where we are. Yeah.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:22:18] Yeah. That's a great answer. But sometimes that gets lost. It's the, it's part of that question. What comes first? Sean growth or capacity.
Sian Kelly: [00:22:26] Well, yeah, and yeah. What'd you mean by full capacity? So
Paul Shrimpling: [00:22:30] it's, you know, um, it sounds the way you've described your team now is you've got the capacity for growth you've invested in the future.
So your answer by what you've said already is, or capacity comes before growth. You can't have growth. You haven't got any time to do any work?
Sian Kelly: [00:22:46] What comes first, right? Absolutely. We're always overstaffed ready because we automatically take on new clients. It's not what I found as we get bigger as well.
We're getting more referrals from existing clients. That's a massive source of [00:23:00] new business for us. Uh, clients setting up new businesses or referring people in the growth. There is huge as you grow, if you're getting things right.
Yeah, yes. Yeah, yeah. Which is why it's so important. My probably come across as a competitor control freak, it's working and, you know, as a business, if I wanted to stay at a million, I could probably trim things down and get stuff super, super efficient. And I reckon I could probably make 3 5400 profit if that's where I wanted to stay, but it's not what I'm trying to achieve for the longterm.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:23:37] So, so what what's behind, what's the reasoning behind seeking the growth that you've, uh, you're after Sean. Why? Why are you, why do you want to go from one to two?
Sian Kelly: [00:23:51] I don't know, um, um, some kind of weird maniac that I don't know because, um, well I found I can do it. I find [00:24:00] it. It's exciting to be honest, it's nice to have a challenge, but you know, those are the things I want to, I've got a good team and I've got some really strong people in there who I don't want to lose.
Who've joined me from either school or university. I need room for them to move up. That's part of my motivation. I want to keep your people and grow them. Yeah, I'm enjoying it. At the moment, I'm not finding it really stressful or anything, you know, it has its moments. Don't get me wrong of course, but I enjoy it.
Um, I've got three children. They have no idea what they want to do for a living yet. The middle one's quite keen on being an accountant. She does make me good. Cool. Um, I think you spotted enough the older one's a bit later. I'm not sure. Yeah. Who knows what the kids will want to do. Um, but I really want sort of room for growth for the existing employees I've got, who were doing well.
Yeah. I find that really quite rewarding. Um, I like it. Yeah. And it learned me more money and stability as we grow, you know, [00:25:00] that's, you know, at the end of the day, that's also there. Yeah.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:25:03] But if it's like the challenge, it is exciting. Want to build a place that, you know, people can grow in because that gives you a boss.
Um, and, and it clearly there's a, that enjoyment pieces, uh, plain as the nose on our faces as, as, as the saying goes. Um, so how, what, what are your plans to make the business less reliant on Sean? As you go from the journey from one to two.
Sian Kelly: [00:25:27] Um, it's never been hugely reliant on. It was always set up that way.
Like I said, I can't do stuff, accounts and tax, so I don't get sucked into that. I get sucked into day-to-day issues and coordinating staff embedded in new employees because I want to be, and I'm always wanting to understand what to do with structure, but ultimately if I wasn't here, it would tick along.
It probably wouldn't grow as quickly because I do very much do all the strategic. Peace, um, and take control of the marketing and the direction of [00:26:00] the firm. Um, I've got some strong people underneath me. Who've been with us a long time now who could potentially do that longer term, but they're still quite young.
Um, I mean, my goal, we talked briefly before we were on a, um, you know, I've got a house in Florida, unfortunately I can not go there at the moment. And I haven't seen it very much. I think I've, I've owned it for less time than I've been able to go to it and we're all math. Um, but yeah, you know, my goals were to spend the six weeks, summer holidays every year in America, for instance, You know, when I was first setting up, it was very much, I worked school hours now that's changed over the last year.
Cause I haven't been having to do school runs and drop-offs as much. Yeah. But it's very much around. I want to get back to working school hours and having holidays whenever I like. And that's always been at the core, it's part of why I chose to set up. I'll probably skip that beginning and then trays it's part of my motivation around setting up my own business was to have time with the.
Okay. Cause [00:27:00] whilst it's probably sounds like I just live and breathe in Paul. I actually live and breathe my family as well. That's really important to me and it's why I do this. So I think if that makes sense.
Well, that's part of why Adrian's joined in the business now, as well as he's got skills that can help us. It was like, well, actually you get four or five weeks of holiday a year as an employee. Like the business is in a position now where you can come and join it and we can go away whenever. Yeah.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:27:33] Right.
Yeah. So, so the, um, so we talk about earlier in the conversation, client care client experience, uh, what you're saying is that client care that client experience doesn't revolve around Sean, it revolves around. The people in the firm, so that they're managing the client relationships by the sounds of it.
Um, how, how do you ensure that, um, that works in terms of retaining the capital value? Because if you build client relationships around a good client manager, that [00:28:00] good client manager can go and walk and set their own business.
Sian Kelly: [00:28:02] Yeah. They can, uh, we in fact have had one person do that early on. They were with us for a short time and they went and set their own business up.
Um, they didn't take anything. Um, w whether I was lucky who, who, who knows, um, you know, I have good relationships with all my staff. Um, it's a real team environment. So, you know, you can only, I don't think you can let you slate against that. But w what I like to think is inform actually, as a firm has got a reputation, part of the reason we've got to the size we are, and part of the reason.
If the client chooses nowadays, but not because they died. Happy, nice, friendly, feel, good relationship management. They've got a mix of people. And if they go off and work with someone, who's setting up as a one man band, they're not getting all the benefits of all the services we can offer. Right. Um, you know, I don't worry about that to be quite honest.
[00:29:00] It, it's not something I'd lose sleep about, and that may be parallel in the future. I don't know, but I think you can spend your time worrying about things strong enough as a brand and as a firm.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:29:11] And isn't it also, Sean, about the, um, the culture you create. It helps you keep the right people.
Sian Kelly: [00:29:20] Um, yeah, absolutely.
And also I think if someone does want to go often set up on their own and that's their aspiration, you're not going to stop them. But what I have learned is I think in my head, I thought anyone can set up a bit. And what I've learned over 10 years is it absolutely doesn't suit every character. And you can say it in your client base.
When you look at it, you've got some businesses there. I mean, I'll refer to the myth. I read this very early on and I always knew I wasn't. Yeah, I wasn't going to be a technical. And I wasn't going to be a manager either. I am kind of a manager. I do, I do manage, but I like doing all the airy fairy stuff.
You know, the, the bit that, uh, the entrepreneur, but [00:30:00] yeah, but I think not everyone has got that skill set and some people will go off and set up their own business, but they'll, they've just set themselves up with a job they can't get away from.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:30:10] And. No, no. A great, great response. So the risk is relatively low and if they're going to do that, they're going to do that.
Right. Listen, you can do it, but
Sian Kelly: [00:30:18] you're not going to stop them. So, you know. Yeah.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:30:20] Um, so, so w where I'm trying to get to with the question though, as well is, um, How do you process Matt? How do you set processes and systems up to go back to your systems point earlier in that you've read Gerber? Um, how do you put the processes and systems up to ensure you achieve the client care that you are so obviously passionate
Sian Kelly: [00:30:41] about?
Well, so if we're setting up a new system, we'll also always do like in the office, we've got a whole wall of like stick on whiteboards. So it's a great big, huge wall, right? We basically do traditional process mapping. Cause, cause I came from industry very [00:31:00] much taught to do this and are works on a lot of projects.
So it was probably in built in may and I'm used to working in teams to do it. So you're map out what you've got. Okay, well, have a good look at where our problems are and why we're looking at the process. Cause generally if we're reviewing the process, it's because I feel it's an area. Yeah. I'm feeling a few little pain points on for some reason or another.
It's that gut feel thing. Yeah. Um, so we'll map out what we've got. We have identified a relevant project team and we'll go from bright. That's what we've got. This is where we want to get to. Um, we'll then try and fill in the gap in the middle of hard to get from a to Z, that sort of thing. And fundamentally at the core of that, it is always about the client experience.
Um, I mean, w we're reviewing sort of payroll at the moment, um, because we've had couple of new staff come into it. We're restructuring the team from September. Um, payroll guru is moving out of the team, still going to be in the business, but starting the RACI CA exam. Needs to get [00:32:00] accounting experience.
And unfortunately got delayed because the furlough by having to stay on payroll. Yeah. That's an area I feel need to focus ready for their exits. Right. Um, and what we've identified is we use bright pay software for instance, on the payroll, fewer on Xero payroll, but, um, We're not using, and this is inherent.
It will happen in firms because we've sort of grown over 10 years. When we put bright pay in, we were using it to the best of its functionality. We added in bright pay cloud, which if people are familiar with it at bright pair connect, sorry. We'll know about. But we didn't use some of the bits in the middle.
We haven't got the journals working as well as we could. We're maybe not using the dashboards as well as we could. And when you start to look at what you're doing now, and you speak to the software provider and have a look, right, where do we want to get to? We want to get lots of efficiencies. Let's watch the latest video where they demo it to their new prospects.
And actually I'm like, Hmm, don't think we've caught up with the changes in the software here. Right. And w we'll put the fixes in, um, but you have to get round to each of those one by one. There's another one [00:33:00] we use PI for our practice. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's it works really well, but there's been a lot of developments PI I'm aware it's been there over the last couple of years, but we've had it the priority.
Yeah, when's an acquisition coming on. And the latest developments with new proposal, attitude changes and stuff. We need to get up to speed with making sure we're using that as effectively as we can. And that's another project that we'll be looking at, you know, there's all this continually because we're using cloud rapid developments to do so.
We've got ongoing projects. It is all underneath about customer experience and making sure they're getting the right impression of us when they. Brilliant. Yeah.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:33:40] So there's all. So there's that, that, that constant improvement, the cars on then approach that the Japanese would name it. Um, how, how do you avoid initiative overload Sharma too many, too many things changing too, too, too fast.
Cause that could, well, yeah,
Sian Kelly: [00:33:59] yeah, it can, but [00:34:00] they're in project teams on this sort of thing and we can't do everything right. So we'll have a couple going at a time. I mean, you know, the other thing we've got coming at us, digital links has just happened and we're working, um, still on rolling out bits and pieces on that, on some of the bigger clients.
But, you know, you've got MTD coming that they must do use. Cause you're driven by timelines by HMRC. The other ones will fit in as, and when we can, right. And I've got to judge that and sometimes you'll start a project and it'll get delayed because something more urgent. Yeah, but we were using like Trello boards to map out what projects we've got on what's in the pipeline and what stages we're at and stuff.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:34:38] Right. So within those, within the trailer box is a great product. Um, how many, how many life project developments have you got Gary Mann at the moment?
Sian Kelly: [00:34:48] Ooh, I'm not sure how that's the two big projects we've got on. We've got a little mini self assessment project for chasing all the self-assessments and getting that more slick this year.
[00:35:00] Um, but we're about to have the acquisition project, which is why I've prioritized the PI one at the moment, because we're going to have to bring on a number of new clients. So it's a bit like onboarding them from scratch. Yeah. So that's made that more urgent to the top. Yeah. So there's three big ones on at the moment, right.
But there's lots of little ones waiting or bigger ones in the queue on the card, which, and they're labeled as urgent. Medium term long-term projects. Yeah. So that, cause otherwise we used to have lots of ideas on projects that get forgotten and then they'd resurface. Cause something would crop up. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
At least we've got all the materials to do with each one all stored in the right place. Now when we get to it this week, another
Paul Shrimpling: [00:35:46] thing. So I love that because what you're saying is, yes, we're going to do this, but not yet. Yes. We're going to do that, but not yet because we've got to get
Sian Kelly: [00:35:52] this one and finish them.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:35:57] And there's only so much bandwidth any human or [00:36:00] any team have got and therefore you, does it mean to say you ignore something, you do park it for another time. Yeah. Um, one of the, uh, one of the pieces that we've seen proved to be extremely valuable for all sizes of firms, is this right? There's four quarters in a year.
What's the big strategic move forward step forward this quarter that we're going to achieve with that with a without fail approach. And it sounds as though you sort of in that space or be it you've got three without fails as opposed.
Sian Kelly: [00:36:29] Yeah. Yeah. They might just get slightly stretched on their life.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:36:34] Yeah.
We were a bit pedantic about that word priorities. Because that's an, I don't know how you can get an oxymoron in one word, but priorities is plural when the, you know, the derivation of priority is there's one, there's one main thing. Yeah. And it sounds as though probably the acquisitions that without fail, it really
Sian Kelly: [00:36:54] isn't it.
Yeah, it is. Yeah.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:36:56] Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Brilliant. Brilliant. So what, um, [00:37:00] what do you think is inform accountings? Number one, challenge. As you move your firm in the next five years to 2 million. What's what's the, is you might say it's not one Paul it's two or three. That's fine. But I'm just wondering what, what have you identified as being the, uh, the thing that could trip you up the most?
Sian Kelly: [00:37:24] I'm not sure there's any big thing that's going to trip us up. We've got to maintain customer service levels, which means we've got to maintain having the right staff on board. I suppose I'm taking a leap of faith because one of the practices and bind is going to come with a few staff. Yep. Hopefully they're good.
Yeah. Hopefully. Yeah. I assume they are not yet. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so, uh, but that that's down to training and management and. It'll [00:38:00] be fine. Um, I'm not too faced if we have assets at right on our side, all the things set up. So the jobs are all there and we can't miss anything. We can manage it properly and workflow it.
Um, I suppose it is, I don't know. We were just growing now a different level to where we are, where it's a different type of growth.
Yeah, it MTDs come in. That's going to be a little bit of a challenge having to do everything quarterly, but I'm already thinking about that. And I think where I've got to, after watching a couple of webinars, cause I started doing webinars on it recently, is that actually, instead of just having everything in at the end of the year on the tax return clients and the rentals and that it's going to force it to be a more frequently.
So it's actually. Help us in that it will increase workload a bit because you've got to chase for stuff more than we want to get some of those onto software where they've come from the acquisitions and stuff. Yeah. But, um, it's going to help us cause it's going to spread out the lumpy workload at the end of the year.
[00:39:00] Hopefully. Yeah.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:39:01] It makes for a more efficient firm. If you ask for it in the app, rather than you having.
Sian Kelly: [00:39:06] Yeah. So I think so long as you've prepared and you've thought about stuff and you've got a plan and something that will work, um, I'm not too faced, you know, the biggest challenge for me, I think, as we've grown up from like, nothing to where we are now is when you recruit externally getting people who are the right fit for the business.
And that has been a challenge. I've had some real successes and some failures. Yeah. Not everyone. It, because the trouble is people come and think they're move into an accounting practice from an account to pay. And we're very different. Yeah. And we don't operate like a traditional, uh, traditional accounting practice.
Yeah. And, and, and that has been like a step too far for some sales. Suppose what I've learned is to really make sure they get the technology and want to be in the space we're in when we take them on. Yeah.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:39:55] Yeah. We recently did some work with it at high growth firms. They've gone from, [00:40:00] um, Just under 2 million, two in excess of seven in, in, uh, just over three year timeframe so that they're growing quick.
And, um, they've, they see themselves as a technology company first and accountancy company second, or B actually, what really, really matters is the same as your view, which is customer care. Um, but actually it's the facilitation that the technology allows and they like you are in this. Well, well, we do for some clients, we're doing bookkeeping daily.
Some we're doing it weekly and some were working in spite of non-work. It's not as regular as that. Um, but ultimately as you move towards quarterly reporting, if you're not, not processing things every week for every client, you're going to come and stop. And that's, you know, that that's gotta be part of every firm's strategy to some degree is how do we get to a place where we've got, um, up-to-date data on every client every week so that we can actually move towards advisory?
Sian Kelly: [00:40:57] Yeah. And the pain, the pain will [00:41:00] be getting the clients to do to do that. But once you've got them in the habit yeah. If again, it's what I said. You've got greater stickiness. You're talking to them quarterly. Um, you've got a reason for them to pay you by direct debit, all our new clients that come on board, the direct debit.
It was our whole model from the start, um, with acquisitions, we've got to work on that and get people paying us monthly. So that'll be a change for us. And that will be one of the challenges we've got to overcome. Um, but it, it just leans towards a whole model of operating anyway, MTD, I think.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:41:33] Yeah. So it's, it's interesting.
We, um, I used to use MTD as a frightening, when I went to a firm of accountants to look, this is unavoidable. It's a train coming your way he had in the sun if you want, but it's going to change the dynamics because ultimately when it lands fully, there's a PNL, balancing and tax calc for every one of your limited companies.
I know that's a bit further away, but it's yeah, but hang on a second. That's got [00:42:00] nothing on the pressure that's coming from your client. And we'll get stronger pressure from your clients over time towards you. I want to access on my phone, some business intelligence on my business, not accounts, data, something that helps me make decisions I've got on demand films and music and books and groceries and wine and shaving cars.
Flights to all, I've got it on demand, but I can't see my business stats. I can't see the business information that enables me to run my business better. Yeah. What's going on, you know? Oh, what's up. What's up. Will the accounting profession.
Sian Kelly: [00:42:36] Yeah. And that's the beauty of how we've operated today and for MTD, for the limited company, clients actually not a bother for us.
We've got it. It's like, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So
Paul Shrimpling: [00:42:47] how many clients are you of your total number of clients? I'm curious now about the total number of clients and the total number of weekly date bank rep type clients. You've got Sean, what's the split.
Sian Kelly: [00:42:59] Oh [00:43:00] gosh. I don't know. I don't know. Um, I think. Probably about of our limited company clients, because we don't tend to do the booking or traitors, you know, um, of our limited company clients, probably about 50% of them.
We do the bookkeeping for, so there'll be on daily or weekly. Bookkeeping and we'll have it today information and we do management accounts for a significant proportion of those. Right.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:43:29] So half of your limited companies, you've got them on weekly or daily bookkeeping anyway.
Sian Kelly: [00:43:34] Yeah. Yeah. And if they're doing it themselves, they're on zero or whatever.
Anyway. Doing it themselves. Yeah. Indexed
Paul Shrimpling: [00:43:41] or, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, so you you're you're miles down, down the path already.
Sian Kelly: [00:43:48] I'm not phased about limited companies. We have a handful who were on manual records. You know what? We're going to have some more when we do these acquisitions. But part of the reason we're doing the acquisitions is because the [00:44:00] existing business owners don't want to do.
MTD and what's coming and we're in a position to do it. So it's just like we're bulk onboarding a load of clients for us. Yeah.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:44:10] Are you, are you seeing any sort of shift from, uh, your clients and new prospects coming in that their attitude towards, can you please do more of this? Can you do the bookkeeping?
We don't want to do it. Have you got any sense that there's an appetite, a greater appetite for you taking more of that workload from them?
Sian Kelly: [00:44:28] I think we always got a lot of that anyway. How we marketed ourselves. Yeah. So I haven't seen a massive change. I think what has happened a little bit with COVID, um, there's a few businesses looking at their costs and look into outsourceable keeping, whereas they maybe had someone in house or, yeah, we're using a separate bookkeeper and they're seeing the value in actually one place.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:44:52] Yeah, brilliant. Brilliant. It is. It's um, it's interesting Shanda, you know, I go from, you know, talking to a firm, that's got [00:45:00] 150 or 250 people and it goes into a film. You've got seven people. Then we could talk to the firms and you know, some of the, um, the challenges are similar and some, some are different.
It seems that from the get go, you've gone, right. This is a regular point of contact. That w that works best. If we've got weekly bookkeeping and therefore we can build a, a high contact point business that just happens to be an accountancy firm. Um, I love that. I love that it's putting the customer experience right at the center of everything you do.
Isn't it. And that's, what's clear for you, huh? Marvelous marvelous. So it's a big opportunity. So we've said what's the big challenge or there isn't one, but maybe MTD, but that's not going to be really that big a deal because we've already got our systems and processes and we're in good improve on an ongoing basis.
So, you know, maybe we're going to adapt and we've got this constant change, constant improvement model built in cause Gerber says Disney there's there's this system, that system, this system, uh, but the most important system is how you change it system, [00:46:00] which is what you've clearly worked out as well. So that's taken that out.
Well done. So what's the biggest opportunity. Do you think for the firm as you head towards 2 million turnover in less than five years,
Sian Kelly: [00:46:10] um, new, new clients growth, um, like we get, we're getting lots of inquiries still, even though we can't go out, we're not massively marketing at the moment. We haven't done a lot of development on the website.
We're continually changing. We haven't done a lot. It's steady new inquiries. So that opportunity is still there. There is more competition. We can't, we haven't got that advantage of, we do zero where cloud anymore, everyone offers zero in cloud. So what we've got to do is just shout louder about the massive experience we've got on it.
And I think the website says that very clearly. So I think that that's still an opportunity for us.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:46:50] I don't think it's got anything. Marcus has got nothing to do with. Um, what that, you know, we've got to shout louder that how good we are at this.
[00:47:00] Sian Kelly: [00:47:01] You
Paul Shrimpling: [00:47:01] mean what? Well, if I may have misheard what you've said, champ, but it sounds like everyone's got cloud, everyone's got a zero or QuickBooks and decks and sounds simple, but not everyone's using it to its best. So what we'll do is we'll put ourselves out there as being one of the
Sian Kelly: [00:47:16] best. Yeah, but not by just saying that we're going to have to do it subtly and I need to talk to the marketing team about best way of doing that.
It's a bit like, um, What did it, every boring sort of accountancy website say, we'll give, we'll give you proactive advice, blah, blah, blah. Yeah. I'm not very eloquent like this. I don't know sometimes how to put things into words, but we've. So I just talked to my guy at the marketing company and talked to you, right.
This is what we've got to achieve. Yeah. You need to work out to do it for us. Yeah, yeah, yeah,
Paul Shrimpling: [00:47:49] yeah. With a very, very practical and sensible and on the button, um, response. But what I find interesting, you go from one accountancy website to the next account to website to the [00:48:00] next. And, um, who are they selling?
Who's the hero of the piece on the website. Yeah. And it's typically. The team or the accountants or the firm, you know, that completely erupts.
Sian Kelly: [00:48:15] And you want customer stories, customer Tibet. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:48:21] How do you client stories tell, you know, audience. Uh, your, uh, guide coat style, character, uh, goal and things, you know, brand is Dory piece.
Sian Kelly: [00:48:35] Isn't it? So where we're doing the, um, reviews with clients and we're picking some, each year to do, um, testimonials as well, sort of thing. Um, and we're picking a range of. But we're also then using those on the website as well to have customer stories on there. Right? Cause I mean, I said earlier we grow massively by referrals and that is the customer [00:49:00] story.
That's your clients. Sorry, I'm talking about you, right?
Paul Shrimpling: [00:49:05] It is, and it, and then it's just a right. Well, if we go, yes, the clients, the hero, how do we best present their story becomes the, um, the only real question that matters. And then after that, how do we distribute this? How do we get it down and out there
Sian Kelly: [00:49:21] to, to, to everybody?
Yeah. I mean, I, I see what I'm finding quite often after, because people arrive. Cloud products already and almonds and stuff. They've done that bit. And that's not where we necessarily win them over at the businesses because there's a lot of competition out there with it now, but there's been so many poor implementations where they're on it, but they're not using it properly.
Or the systems aren't place. Yeah, it's quite hard to find those clients until they realize it's not going well. And start looking for a firm who they think is the expert, and that they'll get a feel off the website, but they don't really get any confidence in that until they [00:50:00] speak to you. I mean, we've got one, um, at the moment, who's come back to us where they chose someone else probably last August, September, little bit based on price and locality.
And that an email a week ago. Can I have a chat with you and what he's got me today? He's like, Hmm. Yeah. He says, I don't think what I've done is quite right. The systems aren't quite jelling. Can you have a bit of a look at it for me? And I'm having a look and it's not been implemented properly. So we've now got to go through, right?
Do you want to switch over, this is what you need to do
Paul Shrimpling: [00:50:33] you so very simply a really powerful story. And it's how do we get that story into your
Sian Kelly: [00:50:39] marketing? And that, that is where my marketing guys really, really good. And then sit down and talk to me. Yeah. He went, I'll tell him what I want to achieve. Yeah.
And he'll do it in the right way, which is where I know I am not a marketing expert.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:51:05] I guess if there's just one part in shot around this marketing pieces, um, the stats suggest that the, uh, of all the bandwidth that's used across the interweb in excess of half of it is video. And yet, um, uh, how well is inform using customer stories in video, in such a way, and it's in their lives, some magic I believe.
And it's certainly worth investing time and money over the next few months to encapsulate our client's stories.
Sian Kelly: [00:51:37] Yeah, no, I absolutely agree. And so does my marketing guy, cause he's gone on about video and webinars for awhile, right? What keeps happening to us is we keep planning it. Yeah. They may add yeah.
Going too fast and sort of I'm like, whoa, we don't want any more clients quite yet. So, you know, and I will turn it on and off like that. Cause like I said, you don't grow too fast. Um, You know, and as a [00:52:00] firm we could grow faster. If we wanted to, we could get investment or we could choose to ramp it up. But I like my lifestyle as well.
So yeah, that's important to consider, but yeah, we are, we are looking at a program of webinars and things, but it's like, It's time and now we've got the acquisitions going on. Things keep getting put off and at the moment we're doing just fine. Anyway, it's on the board and it's been there for awhile
Paul Shrimpling: [00:52:22] because of the passion you got in the business.
Sian Kelly: [00:52:31] yeah. Yeah, we don't, we don't have a massive last space. Yeah. If we're looking for, see, I've really struggled with bringing good seniors in, but I don't know whether it's before. Maybe I was trying to do it on a bit too much of a shoe string sort of thing. Kind of as we got bigger now, I don't know. Yeah.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:52:47] right. So can you see, you know, which don't you agree with? Um, Estimote needles and case studies and videos of client. Guess what? Just take that process and go, right. Um, [00:53:00] of here's two people that have been with us from the beginning, what's their story captured on here's someone who's only been with us for three months.
This is their story. See Sean, if someone walked in tomorrow and they were the perfect employee, even though you don't have a job for them, what would. And I've take them off. And then the following day, other ones,
Sian Kelly: [00:53:19] what would you do? Probably higher than the government and get some more clients and turn it
Paul Shrimpling: [00:53:26] And so I'd argue if you wanted to accelerate the 2 million in a shorter timeframe, there's one marketing job. That's more important than all the other marketing jobs, which is the marketing job to win candidates. And so you just apply good marketing to winning new people and, and there you fix the biggest challenge facing everyone.
Sian Kelly: [00:53:44] worked with. Yeah. So long as it doesn't pull me away. Cause at the beginning you have to get involved a bit more with what's going on and I, I don't like that. Yeah.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:53:54] And you got it. Absolutely take from that one. It's similar. Yeah. [00:54:00] Rule one, a business is paid
Sian Kelly: [00:54:01] L first. Gotcha. That's what I mean, always with my Millie and even I know it should be 300,000 plus.
It's not, and I know why, and I'm happy with what it is because it's affordable to me. Yeah.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:54:13] And it delivers you the lifestyle that you want. Yeah. And that's one way of you paying yourself is in time. Not just in me and cap value and growth and you're absolutely on the bottom. Yeah. Brilliant. Um, we've, we've had, uh, uh, I've really enjoyed the conversation.
Thank you very much of all the things that we've touched on and covered, which ones made you refocus or, uh, which, which aspects of the conversation is going to have that that's more important than a thought or that's a real value. Is there anything that stood out from our interactions and today that you've gone?
Yeah. That's on the button. Let's deal with that. And that, that to the Trello board or bring that together. Uh, the pile,
Sian Kelly: [00:54:48] um, I don't know if you've had, you've had me thinking about restructure and when I'm doing the right thing with the growth, but I'm constantly thinking about that at the moment and I'm looking forward to it.
[00:55:00] It's exciting. I think it's interesting that I could not answer sort of, well, I haven't got a big challenge and I'm just thinking, am I missing something? Right. I don't think so. Okay. Well
Paul Shrimpling: [00:55:11] on that one, there's what they say is if you've got a crystal clear strategy, you know, you know, you got a vision as to where you're heading, you know, what core purpose what you stand for is, and you've got your values in place and you're acknowledging the technology trends and the trends towards advisory weekly, thanks to MTD or whatever client pressure.
Strategy doesn't really work as well. Unless you have clarity over what the difficulties and issues and challenges that strategy has to help you overcome. And so there's a, there's say there's good strategy, bad strategy and no strategy. Well, no strategy is probably, you know, you can stumble along and do pay.
So, you know, that's fine bad strategy. It means usually you've not recognized the core challenges facing them. Yeah. And so it's, um, if, if it [00:56:00] stimulated that I would, um, there's, uh, one of the best books on strategy ever, um, is the name escapes me, but I'll put it in the show notes of the podcast. Um, and now I I'm a big reader, so we, we pull, I put a, uh, sort of, uh, uh, uh, uh, business breakthrough report together on it.
So it's, by the time you drink a cup of tea, you can have read the insights if you want. I'll share that with you. It, it, it, it points that, yeah, we've got to work out what those, whether it be internal challenges or external, you know, internal challenges, team, system, whatever, uh, external, um, Brexit, COVID, whatever, you know, uh, they're obvious, but maybe there's one or two others.
Um, you know, the key thing that holds most firms back is capacity. Because it's very hard to recruit. Very good people. Yeah. Yeah. What the system and process for marketing the firm to candidates, nevermind clients. What's the marketing job for candidates for new employees [00:57:00] and very rarely the firms invest enough time, effort, and energy in that.
Um, brilliant, John. I really appreciate you, uh, investing your time in this. Uh, it's been lovely, uh, to, uh, to, to, to talk through with things again with you. I've enjoyed it so much last time, which is why I wanted to pull you on the podcast. Thank you very, very much.
Sian Kelly: [00:57:18] Thank you, Paul. Been lovely talking to you really enjoyed that.
Thank you. Marvelous.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:57:28] You'll find more valuable well discussions with the leaders of ambitious accounting firms. Humanize the numbers.online. You can also sign up to be notified each time a new podcast is made available this podcast series humanized. The numbers has been made possible. Thanks to the support of our sponsors.
My Workpapers advanced track and VFD pro. Visit humanized the numbers.online click the logo of each sponsor. And [00:58:00] you'll hear what our podcast interviewees have to say about the sponsor services. .
Click the play button below and use the slider on the audio below to get quickly to the chapters in the podcast.
Resources relating to this podcast:
Business Breakthrough Report
Good Strategy For Your Firm
Business Breakthrough Report
Client Experience First
Business Breakthrough Report