Aug 2019


Why the hourly partner recovery rate isn’t making any sense

By: Odyssey Outsourcing
Tags: flog, partner, recovery rate, super star

I see a lot of coaches for Australian accounting business owners, and they’re comparing stats amongst firms with various partner levels and employee levels, and they invariably have some maths that leaves me scratching my head.

For instance, take the total revenue and divide that by the number of chargeable partner hours per partner, in order to get an actual partner recovery rate.

We seem to be stuck in some old world thinking there.

In our opinion, the leap is missing from business owner to star. A star is a partner who has a business that runs itself, and needs no input from the partner. So total revenue divided by a partner with 0 chargeable hours, gives a formula that doesn’t compute.

To illustrate, the image from this weeks blog highlights where I think the missing link is, and it’s preventing many accounting firm owners from entering “Star” (or super star) level.

Let’s start with where most Australian accountants will work, the entry level. A few years ago the Big 8 affectionately called their new recruits flogs (though strangely this job title wasn’t brought up in the job interview process). But that’s pretty much what happened. Work extremely long hours, on incredibly mundane things, in the hope this will benefit your career. Back in the day staff with any clever ideas were sent down to the photocopy room to teach them humility, and to assist printing out hundreds of audit reports on the photocopier. I’m sure there are more relevant stories of time wasting in the modern firms!

After you’d done your time as a flog, you were either fast tracked to partner (a process involving 10 to 15 years), which involved a convoluted path through many many levels of job titles, senior 1/2/3. Bit of time wasting, and really just to keep you keen.

There’s a problem with this business model. And it doesn’t make sense in the gig economy

However, the biggest lie being sold to Australian accounting firm owners today is the continued need to hire new staff to grow revenue, whether these staff be onshore or offshore, thereby continuing the need to be involved in training, communication etc.

It’s our believe that the real stars of the accounting world are those Partners who have developed systems, procedures, policies, and a comprehensive outsourcing strategy, such that they don’t need to have 1 chargeable hour in any year.

And if we were being honest, we’re failing our clients, our staff, and the public, when we aren’t generating enough income and spare time, such that we can spend time with our family, and time to give back to the community in some way.

If you’d like to chat about how you can get to 0 chargeable hours, and become a super star, then drop Odyssey a line about how we can assist with your Australian compliance outsourcing workload.

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