The success of any accountancy firm depends on its ability to bolster its profile, and a key aspect of this involves expanding its workforce. As anyone who has managed a team would know, finding the right candidates for accounting is a challenging and time-consuming process. What’s more, the rapid pace of technological advancements and demand for flexible working gives accountancy firms even more to think about when it comes to planning ventures into new territories.

Thankfully, expansion doesn’t have to be seen as a daunting task with the right plan in place. In this blog, we will outline a step-by-step process for how your accountancy firm can create an infrastructure for increasing its footprint, how to get the right people on board and where intelligent automation can be brought in to take accounting efficiencies to the next level.

Stage 1: Adopt cloud-based collaboration tools

When hiring more people, chances are there will be individuals who have varying preferences towards when, where and how they work most effectively. By allowing employees to access their data and software from anywhere with internet connectivity, cloud-based technology can supply the flexibility needed to offer hybrid or remote working environments.

With evidence to show accountants are thriving in the world of remote work, a strategy structured around the use of cloud technology is essential for boosting your team morale and productivity while ensuring team members can still access the resources they need.


Stage 2: Open new offices in various locations

Once capacities in core locations have been filled to the brim, your accountancy firm may find itself wanting to explore new territories. It is understood this brings a raft of benefits, including the potential to boost brand visibility and reach more clients. As a result, new business opportunities are available with the prospect of gaining more market share.

Furthermore, your accounting business can tap into pools of talent across borders, allowing your company to expand its skillset and offer a wider range of services. With an ability to provide tailored support to clients, stronger relationships can be built with enhanced retention rates.


Stage 3: Hire and upskill accountants at your firm

With all the resources in place, now is the time to get new people on board. When looking for new members, keep an eye out for experienced candidates with relevant qualifications, such as a degree or certifications from a professional accounting organisation.

No matter how good new talent is, it is crucial to realise that learning never stops and there are always opportunities to develop skills. In a role that involves managing relationships with clients and team members, maximising effective communication is essential for successfully executing duties as an accountant. Some ways to go about doing this include:

  • Practising to listen at multiple levels and make others feel heard
  • Using plain language to explain technical points and avoid the use of unnecessary jargon
  • Developing persuasion skills and logic to support arguments
  • Enhancing critical thinking skills to present solutions in a clear and structured manner

Your accountancy firm can go the extra mile by highlighting the skill gaps within your teams and creating a learning pathway for each employee. Typically, a learning pathway could be structured like this:

  1. Skills analysis: Your business will first need to find what skills are missing, which could involve questions like “What is it they need to learn?”, “What effective learning courses are available to them?” and “What impact will it have on the business and their own career development?”
  2. Choose employee training methods: With an awareness of what needs improving in the team, the next goal is to find the best way of transferring knowledge. Larger firms may offer help in-house with mentoring from subject-matter experts within the firm, but other options include training sessions from external experts, or online courses from providers such as AAT. 
  3. Find opportunities to use skills in your accountancy practice: If employees are not given the chance to use their skills in practise, chances are it will not stick in their memory. Once team members acquire new skills, find ways to put them into action, ideally by problem-solving for clients.
  4. Review regularly: Employees will continuously be learning to build their confidence and abilities. To ensure a structured approach to personal development, consider a professional development plan. For instance, if an employee has completed a beginners course for a new skill, opportunities can be outlined to put those skills into practise and enrol in more advanced courses to develop that skill even further.

While taking account of the points above, it is vital to ensure there is a learning environment that encourages team members, as too much pressure can demotivate employees from trying new things in future. Remember, it is not about completing as many courses as possible, but rather about building confidence and proficiency.


The Next Stage: Embrace intelligent automation

Looking at what’s needed to bring new people on board and get the most out of them sounds a bit much, doesn’t it? The good news is that the technology landscape is changing rapidly and accountancy firms can enlist artificial intelligence (AI) technology to assist their workforce, removing the need to upskill employees in more mundane and repetitive tasks while allowing them to pursue more fulfilling work.

A good example of this is removing the need for accountants to manually perform financial analysis by using AI to gather real-time business data. That is exactly what Pulse does. With Open Banking and Open Accounting access, Pulse can create financial insights reports for businesses free of charge. We create beautiful data visualisation for our clients, enabling decisions to be made based on real-time business information and trend analysis.

Whether you want to improve efficiency, profitability or customer satisfaction, data-driven insights by Pulse can help you achieve your goals. Partner with us today so that you and your clients can start benefitting from the game-changing financial analytics we provide.