Jul 2019


Why micromanaging is wrecking your Australian accounting firm

By: Odyssey Outsourcing
Tags: Australian Accountant, micromanagement, Outsourcing

This week we’re talking about micromanagement by Australian accounting firm owners.  We’ve all read the negatives associated with micromanagement, which is, for Australian accounting firms, one step removed from doing the work yourself. There are still plenty of Australian accounting firm owners who love nothing more than getting on the tools and getting out a tax return.

And there’s plenty of excuses why accounting firm owners tell me they need to stay on the tools. It keeps their tax skills up to date, they stay in touch with the software, they stay in touch with their clients. The list goes on.

At the next level up, is the micromanager. This person is one step removed from the tools, but for all intents and purposes loves to sit over the shoulder of the person on the tools. They’re great at assigning jobs to people, and ready to step in to help as needed (you know, assisting with on the job training), and really operate the tools by remote control.

Micromanagers at this level generate resentment and unhappiness, reduce employee morale, stifle productivity, creativity, and ideas. The micromanaged employees suffer from poor decision making skills, a concern about making mistakes (and hence not learning decision making skills), uncertainty, and ultimately a lack of commitment.

At its worst, micromanagement is destructive.

And yet, this insidious need to hold onto the tax compliance work, has been given a breath of fresh air through the recent (last 5 years) discovery of low cost offshore labour. These labour offerings are a fraction of the cost in Australia, and allow the Australian accounting firm owners the ability to stay on the tools. The requirement to “train your offshore staff” also allows the accounting firm owner to jaunt over to lovely destinations like the Philippines, albeit on a “work related” trip.

I don’t doubt this appeals to many micromanaging accounting firm owners.

However, for those that can move themselves up to the next level, and let go of the work (both hands on and remotely), then the opportunity to Outsource to a firm that can complete the work to a high quality standard in a timely manner should be seriously examined.

And this is a tough ask. Many Australian accounting firm owners don’t have any idea what to do when they’ve sent a job over to Odyssey. “What do I do now?”.  It’s a bit like retirement. You’re no longer needed at the coal face, nor do you need to watch the workers at the coal face.

This is daunting, and it’s easier to want to get back on the tools.

Instead you should be strategizing (thinking!), looking at your firm’s service offerings and new offerings, talking to your clients (with current data), and maybe taking some time off to recharge the batteries.

Odyssey staff are trained as service professionals to deliver Quality work on time, while maintaining a high level of technical accuracy and at the Odyssey Outsourcing Total Quality standards.

If you need help with overcoming that desire to stay on the tools, then drop Odyssey a line and we’ll show you how Outsourcing your compliance work can assist with working on your goals.

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