When it comes to getting your practice management perfect, it’s often about continuous improvement, rather than finding any one, magic solution. The ideal situation – making sure you can keep track of all your clients, spot skills gaps within your team and tackle them, turn a profit, and do more of the work you want to do, all while maintaining a healthy work-life balance – takes time and effort to build.

But, as part of a long-term strategy, sometimes it’s useful to stop for a second and see what quick fixes you can implement to make things just that little bit more productive or efficient, right now.

With self assessment season in the rearview for another year, now’s the time to do that for 2024. Here are some quick wins you might want to consider. 

1. Review and realign progress against your goals

This might not sound like a quick exercise, but it can be. Start by writing down your top-level goal for your practice in a single sentence: something like ‘become the go-to accountants for hospitality businesses in Bristol’, for example. 

By articulating your goal simply, as if you were explaining it to a friend or relative, you’ll be able to see how far away from it you are. Ask yourself: what progress have you made since last year? Do you know how you plan to measure your goal? What metrics will you use? 

Taking stock, celebrating progress, and making sure your whole team is aligned behind one single vision can help refocus your efforts for the coming year. 

2. Conduct a SWOT analysis of your practice

With a refreshed sense of what you want to achieve in mind, take an hour or two to do a top-level analysis of your practice’s current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 

Try to be objective and self-critical, as well as considering what external factors could impact your ability to get where you want to go. 

This part isn’t about finding solutions – it’s more to generate a clear understanding of what’s good, what needs improvement, where you might find some opportunities that you could capitalise on quickly, and what challenges you might need to prepare for. 

When it comes to improving your practice management, being aware of your existing situation is the first step to making positive changes – no matter how small.

3. Ask your team and clients for feedback

Being aware of your existing situation means having a broader view than your own, or your senior team’s, perspective on how things are working. 

Asking other people is critical – and can be a quick way to identify snags or inefficiencies that you might not otherwise spot.

It might feel daunting to ask for open and honest feedback from your wider team or client-base, but it demonstrates  transparency and an appetite to improve. 

Your team might have specific frustrations that could be solved with minimal effort or investment, and they’ll probably have suggestions about how things could be done differently, too. The boost to morale you’ll offer by showing you’re listening could be worth its weight in gold. 

Similarly, there might be parts of your process that creates friction for your clients or creates a barrier to them communicating with you – by asking them, you’ll create space for new ideas, as well as highlighting trends before they become critical problems. 

4. Audit your tech to check it’s doing what you need it to

In 2024, one of the most significant ways to elevate your practice management is to make sure your tech is keeping up with you. With so many sophisticated solutions out there, there’s no excuse for outdated tech to be slowing you down or preventing you from doing as much, or the type of, work you want to do. 

As well as encouraging efficiency and making things easier, the right tech allows your team to focus on more meaningful work, which is a key factor in retention. In today’s market, that’s more important than ever.

So, look at your tech stack and rank each part of it – is it fit for purpose? Are you having to find workarounds? Does it all integrate? Does it, ultimately, make your practice management easier? 

Focusing on evolution not revolution

As we’ve said, improving your practice management is about the long game. But by taking ten minutes, an hour, or an afternoon to work through some of the above, you might be able to spot some quick fixes that could have an impact immediately. 

With a clear idea of what you want, an honest view of where you are now, and the right tools to support you, you’ll be setting yourself on the right track. 

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