Speaking at the 2015 SMSF Association conference, Ms Penn said that even if an accounting firm does not have staff leaving shortly after being hired, failing to implement automation and technology to help staff could create problems for the business in the future.
“If you don’t have decent processes in your business that support your people and make it a good place to come and work - where they know what’s expected of them; they don’t spend all their time chasing paper around the office because you’ve got things automated or digitised - then you’re really going to run into problems with employee engagement and satisfaction in the longer term,” she said.
Ms Penn said that in many cases processes and staff “go hand in hand”.
“It’s the staff in your business that have to operate processes for you – there’s really no way around that,” she said.
“If the processes you have in your business don’t support your staff to do their job or they’re not clear or they’re evasive or take 53 pages to describe, then you’re going to run into problems.”
Accounting businesses can, however, utilise staff to help bring change into the business.
“The funny thing is that the people that can help you solve this are these very staff, especially if they’re younger – they probably have [plenty] of ideas,” Ms Penn said.