Case study: Surmounting scalability

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A multi-office accountancy practice expanded during Covid, but had begun to over-reach itself. This
case study explains how Advancetrack supported the firm to solidify its growth ambitions.

Tell us about your practice
We’re a multi-office practice in the Midlands, serving owner-managed businesses. Alongside
handling the standard compliance tasks, we see real benefit in getting to know the clients better and
them providing them with greater-value insight. OMBs in the £1m-£5m space can find it a lonely
place - we become their trusted adviser.

What problem did you need solving?
We had bought firms during 2020 and 2021; they were-short-staffed and under-pricing work. While
being part of a bigger business helped mitigate some of those issues, the amount of work kept piling
up. Then in 2022 it was the ‘Great Resignation’ year. We had some churn - not a great deal, but
enough to make it difficult to have a net increase in people to handle the work.

Our work would take too long and we were not being as responsive to clients as we would like. We
were falling behind.

How did you begin working with Advancetrack?
We arranged to take on people across the board: audit/accounts; business services; and two in tax in
an offshoring arrangement with Advancetrack. This meant that they were effectively ‘our staff’ to
utilise. Ironically we went ‘over-capacity’ to help us catch up.

The process of integrating them into our way of working had its challenges – we’re all working in a
massively regulated environment and the remoteness means it can take offshore staff longer to get
up to speed, than if in-house. However, we got there.

The second issue was from within our practice – our teams were reluctant to change how they
worked. And, because they were also under pressure, they saw change as an obstruction to getting
things done.

But, after investing in the process, it’s worked great. While it seemed to take a long time to bed in, I
think that in reality it was probably very quick – but change is painful and so it felt like longer.

How has the relationship between your firm and Advancetrack progressed?
I came back from holiday last year to find two people we were looking to employ hadn’t come
through. Having successfully road-tested Advancetrack through the accounts department, we were
comfortable to acquire more resource to help with bookkeeping, management accounts and tax
returns.

The turnaround was incredible. While it was time-intensive, the reality was that in three-to-four
months we’d again cleared a backlog of work – phenomenally quick.

And from December 2022 we were again overstaffed! It was an epic success, from running long lead
times and thinking we might fail clients – to business as usual within months.

How has your firm developed, and what does the future hold?
The offshore team require more managing, but in some ways there’s less review work at the end of
it, which has meant we’ve restructured roles to manage during the process rather than at the end.

And that’s made us do that more internally too – we’re better at managing our own people.

I think there will always be a case for us working with Advancetrack. Certainly when we undertake
acquisitions, which is a disruptive process, having a resource of people who know your systems will
always be powerful for us.

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