Best Use Of Accountants Time

Little rant for today. I get it, you’re busy. Often really busy as a partner of an accounting firm. But what are you actually doing? What is the best use of an accountants time?

Is it low(ish) level work that others could do or high end work that only you can do?

Remember this phrase for the rest of your professional career…

“What you do with your chargeable time will create income today. What you do with your non-chargeable time should create wealth for the future”

It’s an oldie (in 1986 it was first told by Michael E Gerber in his seminal book – The E Myth) but a goodie – and it’s rock solid…. working ON your business vs IN your business. That’s why we have the hats.

Working IN time can be summarised as client work (charged or not charged), team management / queries / firm management and anything administration.

Working ON time is any task that creates leverage. So sales, leveraged marketing, writing, speaking at events, product development and leadership – as opposed to management.

The more you spend working ON your business the better your business will be, the less stressful, more profitable and more enjoyable.

You need to be brutal about your time. I bang on about this all the time.

Partners should only be doing 3 things with their time:
  1. High-end client work that cannot be delegated – around 30% of time or less
  2. Sales – existing clients and prospective clients / speaking and writing in here as well – around 60% or more
  3. Leadership – driving performance of the team / firm – around 10% of time

You need great people around you. You need great systems and technology. And you MUST let go and delegate to the people around you. There are tens of thousands of great people out there to hire. There is great technology to use. You’ve just got to do it.

As the legendary Dan Sullivan once said “if you can write a check to solve the problem – you don’t have a problem.”

Until you bite the bullet, hire who you need to hire, outsource or just don’t do it you will always be busy. Start writing some checks and STOP being so busy.

Rant over.

If you want any personalized recommendations for your firm, please feel free to book in a complimentary brainstorming session about your firm with my implementation coach, Wendy Miller here.

All the best
Rob Nixon


P.S For more articles on Accountants time check out this article on Realization.

Share This Article


Related Articles

Accountants Benchmark Report

2022 Report on the state of the North American Accounting Profession