Every January, millions of people set ambitious goals for personal or professional improvement. But, millions of people will also fail to achieve their resolutions — not because of a lack of trying but because the goals are simply unrealistic.
At INAA, we want to set future-thinking CPAs up for a year of success. We’ve therefore put together six new year work goals that are both attainable and realistic. From professional development to new technologies, continue reading to learn how you can build a more efficient accounting firm in 2022.
Like any industry, if you want to stay relevant you need to keep up to date with the latest discussions, software, products and people. The accounting industry in particular is changing rapidly, adapting to new technological developments and a digital-first customer. Investing in the firm’s overall professional development can ensure that the business stays relevant to continue attracting and retaining clientele.
Professional development doesn’t need to mean learning a skill within the industry. In 2022, don’t be afraid to branch out. The key to successful professional development is aligning the courses with your goals. For example, perhaps you need to take a course on social media management to boost engagement and attract new clients.
Narrowing the focus of your services or clientele can help you fortify your income stream. Competitors offering generic accounting services to a broad group of people will fail to stand out in the crowd. However, by determining a particular industry, area or business type to focus on, you can, for instance:
- Take a more strategic approach to marketing
- Justify premium pricing
- Stand out online and among competitors
- Attain more clients through word of mouth
Technology will remain a key trend in the accounting industry going into 2022 and beyond. Although it can be overwhelming to think about implementing new technologies to streamline workflows in the firm, it will become a must to stay competitive in a digitally-driven world.
Start by writing down the current pain points plaguing the business — consider bottlenecks, aspects that drive down employee productivity or customer satisfaction. Then, research software that could help.
As an example, some firms may find that relying too heavily on manual data entry is hampering the team’s productivity. Moving to automated systems can resolve the issue. Other firms may spend significant time dealing with client phone calls and emails. An online client portal could help teams manage clients’ requests more efficiently.
The global pandemic showed us that some things are more important than work — our health and wellbeing included. We mustn’t lose sight of that in 2022.
Accounting is a high-pressure, demanding profession, which means CPAs are no stranger to work-related stress. And with many teams continuing to work remotely (at least part-time), it can be difficult to switch off in the evenings. However, failing to disconnect can lead to burnout, stress-related illnesses, exhaustion and an array of personal relationship problems.
In 2022, a key new year work goal must be to strike a healthy work-life balance. It can be as simple as setting firm boundaries as to when you can (and cannot) be contacted, or going for walks at lunchtime to look after your mental wellbeing.
Remember, attracting new clients isn’t always the best way of ensuring business success. By continuously chasing new clients and failing to focus on those you already serve, you risk increasing client churn and letting profitable clients slip through the net to another competitor.
In contrast, keeping in regular contact with high-value clients, nurturing email campaigns and providing helpful content for them will transform your firm into an indispensable business resource. Clients who feel valued will be more likely to entrust you with larger projects and become a long-term asset to your firm.
Networking more should be a new year work goal every year, as you can never have too many conversations with the right people.
Networking has two primary objectives: attracting new clients and building strategic alliances with other professionals. And both of these are intrinsically linked. Building stronger relationships with other business owners in the accounting industry who can be a source of referrals will widen your potential client pool.
By connecting with other professionals, CPAs can also offer and receive support. Running a firm can be challenging, and you won’t have the answer to everything that crops up. Having a larger network of people you can turn to will help make your business a success.
Professional networking sites such as LinkedIn have made networking simple — you make a profile, join relevant groups and start contributing to meaningful conversations. You can also join accounting associations like INAA if you want to leverage more tailored support and gain access to professional events to stay on the pulse of the industry.
Achieve Your New Year Work Goals with INAA
Here at INAA, we connect accounting firms who aim to deliver quality professional services around a shared vision to make global business personal, and take personal business global.
With every industry change, our collaborative association of international businesses is committed to driving the conversation around auditing and accounting.
Join today to start building powerful business relationships.