We last spoke to Ria-Jaine in July 2020
Q: How have things been since we last caught up?
A: I’m now in my second year running my practice and have doubled my client base; we’ve 8-25 leads a month. I had a manic period of spending a lot of time on discovery calls and onboarding – I’ve now structured myself better to keep that work to defined blocks. When I speak to them I think about the ideal client: someone ready to embrace technology and willing to learn. If they make the commitment then I will too.
Ultimately, if we flow information between ourselves more accurately and quickly, then I can act in a more valuable way for them. This has included planning for lockdown, but also general tax purposes. I package things up from basic upwards – those at the bottom level won’t get the full benefit of what I can offer though.
Even then, I’ll run online demos, online videos or just have more regular check-ins, which I think demonstrates the benefit of a deeper relationship. Automation within our software, along with scheduling and reminders, helps with workflow and process.
Q: How do see you the next few months, particularly lockdown/SA filing season and more government initiatives?
A: I’m now looking for processes and systems and even easier-to-access client data – so client portals to benefit both myself and the client. I’m pushing with the digital processes that I have now, I probably have my app stack set so it’s about utlilising all the elements the best that I can – to really push to get my money’s worth – and the same goes for clients as well.
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: We’re looking to employ someone. Having someone new and training them is really, really hard, but it would be great to get one more qualified accountant as a team member. I have a new staff member due to start early 2021 so will be focusing on client allocations and training to get us off to a good start. I have an office space but haven’t been there much. I’ve always wanted to offer a deep advisory service with quick support, but with a doubling of clients I need to streamline to be able to do that and manage if the client number grows