Practice Management – Critical Success Factors

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Practice management is quite simply making the decision to manage the important variables of your business. Taking this step allows you to manage your workflow, improve employee satisfaction, maximize profits, and improve your clients experience.

In order to start managing your practise you will need to identify the critical success factors (CSF’s). These are the essential tasks that your company needs to consistently succeed at. Success has a different meaning to everyone, so make sure to clearly define what it means to you, your staff, and your business.

An easy way to determine is your CSF’s is to sit down with your team and ask this questions, “what about your firm is leading clients to choose you over your competitors?” Generally the answers to this question are your CSF’s. Some of the best CSF’s for accounting and bookkeeping professionals have to do with:

Customer Satisfication

One of the biggest roles of an account or booking professional is helping to reassure stressed out clients and instill confidence that you are going to take good care of them. Building a relationship based on trust is very important for retaining current clients and acquiring more.

Pricing

There are essentially three pricing strategies for your firm. You can either fight to be the lowest priced, sit in the middle or focus on premium pricing. The low priced strategy focuses on speed and cost, while the premium focus on quality and customer service. Whichever strategy you choose will greatly affect your CSF’s.

Accuracy

This is important but not the most important. Everyone makes mistakes and this is, for the most part, understood. However it is very important how mistakes are handled.

Quality control is extremely important and mistakes should not be happening. However, when they do happen respecting the client and fixing it promptly can often go further in the long run than not making a mistake at all.

Staffing

Clients can be very sensitive to the number of staff that they have to interact with. If you are using the premium pricing strategy it would be highly recommended to dedicate a team to your valuable clients. That way they are interacting with the same staff and can build a relationship.

After determining your CSF’s it is time to start planning. Take a look at where you are currently at with the CSF’s and plot out where you would ideally like to be.

Jeff Borschowa explains his acronym, SMART, for setting goals to achieve your ideal CSF’s in his book, 8 Pillars for Exponential Business Growth:

• Specific – what specific area will be improved

• Measurable – is there a quantifiable measure of progress?

• Actionable – what action can be taken?

• Realistic – is the goal realistic with current resources and information?

• Time-Related – when do you anticipate achieving the results?

After you have defined your goals for what you believe will bring your company success. It’s time to implement ways to measure your progress on the road to success.