We last spoke to Bruce in August 2020.
Q: How have things been since we last caught up?
A: We’ve had someone leave our firm, and I’ve reorganised the work around our existing team – that was a tough decision but it has worked well. It’s an upshot of the circumstances of recent months where I realised we needed to make changes. We’re now at two offices, Surbiton and Cheam (we had Kingston), having at one point been at four during the initial lockdown. The Cheam office is new, larger and gives us room to grow.
Q: How do you see the next few months, particularly lockdown/SA filing season and more government initiatives?
A: With fewer local offices it’s important that we up our online presence, so that’s a task to be dealt with quickly. There’s been much furloughing and insolvencies are increasing, so I think it’s going to be a tough winter. For my own practice, I’m trying to get a better handle on how we work and the metrics that flow from our operations.
As a management accountant in a growing business I’m always looking to improve the how to tweak and change things based on reliable information – but I am also a business owner and that can make it difficult to see the wood for the trees I recognise our monthly numbers, and the work people are doing, but from a system/process point of view we need better connection.
I’m managing cash and revenue separately. It’s against my rules of being a management accountant – instead I’m being an entrepreneur… I have a CIMA colleague coming into the firm to help connect the two.
Q: Longer term, how easy is it for you to plan? Where do you see the firm in the planning cycle, both long term and next 12 months? What is in your thoughts?
A: Fine-tuning the organisation is a big priority because it will help redefine the work people are doing and then manage from there. It will help me understand what work is going to be undertaken day-to-day and by whom. I’ve applied for a government grant to help me on that journey.
For the client, we’re looking to outline the path that a client will take and document it. From there it will mean that whoever is working with that client will know what they require in their lifecycle.