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Accounting firms failing on self-sufficiency front


A lot of accounting firms are failing to implement processes that allow them to step away from their businesses, causing them to become burnt out and overwhelmed, according to a consultant.

By Miranda Brownlee 10 minute read

While a lot of accountants run their own business, 9rok consultant Kim Payne said a lot of these practices aren’t real businesses in the sense that if they had to spend three months away from the business, the business would slow down or entirely disintegrate.

“That’s not a real business. A real business is where you can actually go away for a period of time and the business continues on,” said Ms Payne.

“That means you’ve got to have the right people in your business. You’ve got to be able to have the right systems in place so if someone wasn’t in for a couple of months everyone would know where the clients were at or where they were in the overall process.”


Ms Payne said a lot of accountants don’t focus on this and are too caught up in the day-to-day grind of the business.

“They need to stop and think, 'What am I really doing and what strategies do I need moving forward to get the business to a stage where I can step away and do some of things I want to do?'. Whereas so many of them are just getting burnt out and overwhelmed,” she said.

Ms Payne said accountants should be considering strategies such as outsourcing, either domestically or offshore, so that the “bulk of the grunt work or behind-the-scenes work can be done easily and cheaply”.

“That way you, as the accountant or principal adviser, can then spend some more time on activities like finding out about what clients really want, and finding out what they really value and how you need to engage with them going forward.”

Miranda Brownlee

Miranda Brownlee


Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.

Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.

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