September 29, 2023

Episode 90: Robert Fiford, MD at djca Accountants

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The Story

It can't be easy to transform an accountancy firm from one that's charging clients £200 a month to one that's charging clients in excess of £1000 a month.

It can't be easy to grow, from scratch, an offshoring team out in the Philippines – from zero to ten team members in just twelve months.

And it can't be easy to approach, on a really personal level, every one of your 30 team members across two locations and ensure that every one of them gets what they want out of working in your practice.

That's what Robert Fiford of djca accountants has done and, in this Humanise The Numbers podcast, he shares how he's done it. I found this discussion wide-ranging, as Robert has so many insights to share.

I hope you enjoy this discussion as much as I did and I hope you can take away one, two, three, or possibly even six or seven, high-value elements of this podcast.  

Scroll down this episode page for the contact information for Robert and for the additional, downloadable resources mentioned in this podcast.

The Solution:

One of the things I'm quite keen on is making sure that they set the KPIs with their team, because it builds their understanding of the numbers.

We train their management team and we try and link in a profit share bonus with a lot of the stores, in an effort to try to incentivise ownership on the P&Ls from ordering through to the end.

We'll produce profit reports based on how much each store is contributing in terms of profit and there might be a ratchet level of what they need to achieve, or there might be a blanket percentage set.

What that does is connect the business owner's goals with his or her management team's goals as well. I think that's really critical, it’s certainly critical in the accountancy business as well, to be honest with you, but in hospitality, which is my main sector, linking the two together is critical, otherwise, there is just a bit of a divide there.





Connect with Robert

Connect with Paul

Resources relating to this podcast:

During the podcast, Paul and Robert discuss the value of KPIs for both the team and the clients. Robert talks about the typical KPIs for a hospitality business and their importance to management and to the wider team. He feels that when the team have KPIs they are more invested and better connected to the KPIs of their manager, as well as to the business as a whole.

From his team’s point of view, Robert thinks that quarterly goals are too broad, so they have introduced monthly meetings with each team member to ensure that their current KPIs and goals are still correct and achievable.

Rob's main KPI is team happiness – if they are happy, the clients are happy.

Most accountancy firm owners and managing partners measure what they think is right rather than measure what matters most.

We know accountants love to track and measure – let’s make sure you track and measure the right things in your firm. Click here to read this Business Breakthrough report – Healthy Heartfelt KPIs – and discover how to use them as key PREDICTIVE indicators.

Towards the end of the podcast, Robert and Paul discuss leading and managing change and how there is just never enough time to get eveything done. Rob talks about the discipline he attaches to his running and admits that he does not always get the work/life balance right.

He mentions a book called Atomic Habits, by James Clear, that outlines how small changes can make a big difference. Here is a link to the book.

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