Are you a control freak, or are you good at delegating? Delegating for accountants - particularly accountants who run their own practice - is often very hard to do. Most small accountancy firm owners are so worried about keeping control of everything going on that their attempts at delegating fall flat. Then they spend more time working, getting frustrated with staff and have a less stable business. And wonder why they are still working 50+ hours a week. That's why in this blog post we look at how to get better at safely and confidently delegating stuff to your team.
Delegating for accountants: This will help you to work fewer hours
Delegating work is a must if you want to get on with building your practice and getting more done in your day, yet very few people do it right! Delegating well is not dumping stuff on your team. Nor is it micro-managing your team to get stuff done.
It's very easy to not delegate to your team. Maybe they are saying they are 'full up'. Or perhaps you don't want to over-burden them. Or maybe you are worried they will muck up, so it's much quicker if you just do it. But remember - and some tough love coming here - you run your practice. It's your responsibility to build the dream team and win the dream client. This means getting delegating right starts with you. Yes, you.
The benefits of delegating effectively
Let's start with some of the benefits of delegating to a member of your team (there are many more):
- Motivation - By showing trust, commitment and some autonomy to your team, they become more motivated and more involved. In fact not delegating tasks to your team may actually cause them to become disengaged and leave your practice.
- Learning - By getting things done by more people in your practice, the whole practice becomes more effective and less reliant on YOU. That then means you can work fewer hours and hopefully have a less stressful life as an owner of a small accountancy practice.
- Development - by allowing the person the space to grow they will develop both themselves and in the role. In the longer term they will be better at their job. A benefit to you and them!
- Time (yours) - By not trying to do everything yourself, you are more able to stand back and manage the business (which surely is your role).
Five tips to get you delegating more effectively
- Clearly articulate the desired outcome to your team members, i.e. all clients called by the end of the week
- Clearly identify constraints and boundaries.
- Where are the lines of authority, responsibility and accountability?
- Should your team member:
- Wait to be told what to do?
- Ask what to do?
- Recommend what should be done, then act?
- Act, then report results immediately?
- Initiate action, then report periodically?
- Where possible, include your team in the delegation process. Empower them to decide what tasks are to be delegated to them and when.
Get delegating right in your practice and you will start to enjoy running your practice again.