Walking the accounting balance beam
To effectively succeed with a service-based business you must have a well-rounded team. My dentist’s office can’t survive by only having dentists working there, just as the dental office can’t cut it if the personnel solely consists of administrative folks and no dentists. It takes a village, so to speak.
Over the years I’ve heard comments from more than a handful of public accounting firm partners and managing partners declaring they have too many technicians or too many leaders (and not enough technicians) or too few this or too few that. It’s like trying to have that “just right” blend of sweetener in the iced tea, you might say. Of course, then there’s that entire other layer of “busy times” and “not-as-busy times” throughout the calendar year adding to the complexity of having not only the right blend of skilled staff, but also close to the ideal quantity of skilled staff.
As with all companies, having the talents when you need them is a requirement for business success -- and the juggling of capacity makes all the difference in the world. Not enough proficiency at the right time, potential client dissatisfaction and lost accounts; too much worker supply weighed against the amount of work, decreased profits.
Samantha A. Bowling, CPA, CGMA and partner at Garbelman Winslow in Upper Marlboro, comments on trying to maintain a proper balance, “This is something we have struggled with over the years and have offered different services to clients during the not-so-busy times. It’s important to recognize the revenue streams and how employees can overlap in various services.”
Indeed, an accounting firm must strive for a balance. Bowling, the new Chair of the MACPA Board of Directors for 2018-19 (effective July 1) also adds, “We have a blend of people with all different backgrounds. I believe the innovation revolution is going to provide more opportunities to help clients move forward with innovating their systems and processes -- and we need to grow our technology departments to support that need.”
The accounting profession is transforming right in front of our eyes. These are most definitely exciting times, full of promise and opportunity.
“My journey has always been the balance between chaos and order.”--Philippe Petit