Practice is changing all the time. As client needs change, and the world of business evolves, firms need to be agile and able to adapt.
Many accountancy firms have added new service lines to diversify, as well as taking steps to rethink their revenue models. Part of this process of ‘future proofing’ your Practice involves looking at the staff mix and how flexible and adaptable it really is. With the uncertainty of Brexit now thrown in the mix, it’s a fantastic time to take stock of not just staffing levels, but your ability to flex up and down payroll costs as the need arises.
One potential solution is to implement the use of short / long term interim staff to supplement your permanent team.
Import skills – There are occasions at times where a client asks you to undertake a project which is completely out of your comfort zone, and you are lacking the necessary skills within the existing workforce. You could pass the work to another firm (either under a white label or not) but how comfortable are you with a competitor working with your client? Not only do you lose control of the situation but you potentially risk losing a client relationship.
It may be possible for us to find someone with the right skillset to work with you inhouse on a contract basis or the period of this project. You keep control of the relationship, and manage the quality of the output.
Flex up for peak periods – Most accountancy firms will have natural peaks and troughs in their workload, and whilst that’s normal it’s not so great having the peaks and troughs in chargeable hours. It’s like walking a tightrope. On the one hand, you need enough staff to ensure delivery targets are met in peak, but at other times it’s a challenge to find enough billable work for everyone.
The rise in Audit threshold has caused a quandary for some smaller firms, especially those with only one or two clients left with an Audit liability. Some have chosen to relinquish their Audit capability altogether, but at the potential cost of losing their largest clients is that really the right answer?
It’s possible to flex up for peak periods with interim workers (whether that’s your busiest Audit season or Tax return mayhem) as long as you plan in advance. The benefit is that you can switch the resource (and the cost) back off as soon as the peak period is over.
Cover absence/maternity/paternity and other staff leave – There are a number of reasons why key people in the organisation need to be absent for the business for extended periods of time. Maternity and Paternity leave is an obvious example (and one you can plan for) and we frequently source interim accountants to cover maternity leave.
There are however other times where team members may suddenly need extended leave. Illness, family bereavements or other family issues at short notice. As an employer, you will want to be understanding and give your team as much leave time as they need. But what do you do to cover their workload in the meantime? We can often help you with a flexible temporary solution, and in turn ensure your clients don’t see a reduction in service level.
Successfully navigate periods of change – Growth is good. If you are winning new clients hand over fist no doubt you are pleased with the outcome. But sometimes managing mushroom growth from a staffing perspective can be a tricky task. You need the extra ‘hands’ (or should that read brains) but are reluctant to commit yet to another permanent employee. Use of an interim accountant for just a few days a week can help to bridge the gap in the short to medium term. Again, you can potentially flex the hours up and down as demand requires.
Public Practice Recruitment (interim) Limited
In order to provide you with all of the recruitment solutions you need Public Practice Recruitment have now launched its sister company ‘Public Practice (Interim) Limited’. We are now able to provide you with temporary and contract staff at all grades from Junior right through to Partner level, for short or long-term assignments.
How it works
By taking the time to talk through your staffing needs we can advise you whether an interim accountant (or auditor/tax accountant) is a viable option for your practice. we will always give you honest and straight forward advice including the pros and cons.
If we conclude that an interim or temporary staffing solution is suitable for you, we will then work out what level of seniority is required, any key skills needed along with any other key attributed required to meet your needs for the placement. Finally, we will agree with you upfront what the hourly charge would be for the term of the contract. We then take care of sourcing the perfect interim accountant for your needs.
Essentially the interim accountant will be employed by us and contracted out to you at an hourly rate. This means that we are responsible for all holiday payments accrued, payroll and of course any NI/Tax obligations. We will get you to complete a timesheet each week, then invoice you the agreed hourly rate multiplied by the number of hours worked.
We would be happy to talk through your requirements and design a solution which fits your needs at any time, so call us on 0333 577 7787 or email via email@example.com to arrange a discussion.