In difficult times it’s more critical than ever for accountants and bookkeepers to dial up their empathy and sensitivity to their clients. Most if not all businesses will be under huge pressure and owners will be looking to their advisors for assistance.
Accountants and bookkeepers will find themselves in a unique position to give support, guidance and advice to their clients and as a result will themselves be under pressure.
So here is a checklist of weekly “To Do’s” that will help ensure you are delivering support to your clients whilst also looking after your own practice, colleagues and yourself.
Weekly To Do's Checklist:
1. Give the key information to your clients
Aggregate the overwhelming flow and complexity of information into simple layman's terms so that your clients can easily understand it i.e. don’t talk accountantese.
2. Keep clients updated
Send out a weekly email (or short video) of the latest updates. Even if there isn’t any specific news this will remind your clients that you are there for them and thinking of them. Consider posting on social media as well.
3. Connect virtually with your clients
Run a weekly webinar or open forum to update clients and field their questions. This is a very effective way of engaging with your clients and far more efficient than a succession 1-1 phone calls.
4. Connect with your team
Run a morning 10min stand up BAU meeting with your team and ask them three questions
- What are your wins in the previous 24 hours?
- What are you working on today?
- What are you struggling with and how can we help?
5. Make time for 1:1's
Run a weekly 1:1 with your direct reports, a virtual coffee. Check in on a personal level e.g. how are they doing as well as how work is going. Over communicate in terms of the next steps and future plans with them.
6. Offer Business Continuity Planning sessions
Free up time to run Business Continuity Planning sessions with your business clients. For many this will be absolutely mission critical and should be prioritised over day to day compliance which won’t save many businesses.
7. Look after your own business
Ensure you continue to manage your own cashflow. This includes chasing up late payers (with sensitivity), getting your own invoices out quicker, making use of software (Practice Ignition, Go Cardless, Go Proposal) to speed up the engagement signing and cash collection process.
8. Build out cashflow forecasts
Build a very simple and high level 13 week cashflow forecast for both yourself and your clients and play with a few what-if scenarios based on downturns or sensitivities such as team members needing leave or sickness etc.
9. Keep looking ahead
Plan your tomorrow, today. Meaning that at the end of each day set out a plan for tomorrow. This could include prioritising your tasks, meetings, calls, to do list and highlight the 3 nonnegotiables that you must complete. Consider tackling the tasks that require the most focus in the morning whilst you are freshest.
10. Be kind to yourself
Make sure to take short breaks to keep yourself fresh and focused. This could be a walk around the house or a run around the block. Utilise Google or mobile apps to practice yoga or meditation exercises, try to eat well and get plenty of sleep.
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