The rate of change affects accountancy firms the most!
Accountants are fantastic at handling change. The United States have introduced tax regulations which update, on average, once a day. The average complexities and changes that the regular firm have to deal with each year is staggering. And change is nothing new! In the 1970s some ground-breaking work on artificial intelligence identified tax accounting as fertile ground for development work, while in the 1980s spreadsheet software and microcomputers (as they were known at the time) were embraced by the leading accountancy firms.
Despite this remarkable ability to cope and manage change, the reality is that unless it is turned carefully to your advantage, it can be a costly distraction. Coping with change does not necessarily bring in additional fee income and can swallow days of valuable partner and staff time, providing nothing in return.
When change sends you off-balance it can feel as though you are running as fast as possible and not moving forward. You go from job to job, dealing with urgent client demands and still the practice does not grow meaningfully.
It can create significant frustration, disappointment, and in some cases we speak to many senior staff who have quite simply had the stuffing knocked out of them. They are tired, discouraged and blinded by the rate of change.
To flourish, wise firms will focus on change that brings positive results, whilst remaining highly agile. One of the characteristics that distinguishes successful firms is the ability to remain agile. Agility in this context means the ability to respond and change, both to the world around you and in the way you communicate internally and externally. In an uncertain world, if you can offer a response founded on leadership, clarity and conviction,clients and potential clients will welcome it.
Your response may not be perfect, but it should demonstrate adequate plans and strategies. Historically, agility meant adapting and communicating in weeks or months. It meant you had time to think and decide. It’s not like that anymore. With technology at your fingertips, this is real time change and the first movers are the winners.
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