How to build a high performance accounting firm

Anyone can start a business, but this article will guide you through creating your high-performance accounting firm. What qualifies as high performance? What do we measure and how do we track it? High performance means you’re operating on another level. High performance doesn’t have competition; they dominate. Do you know what the difference of stroke is in the top golfers in the world? The difference between the number one ranked golfer, and the tenth-ranked golfer is an average of only 1.9 strokes. The difference in prize money is $10 million vs. $2 Million.

High performance businesses have clear goals and they measure their progress relentlessly. If you’re building a high performance firm, you must build the proper skills, Learning is the ultimate skill.

If you’re building a business, specifically a high performance business, you need a great team.

High performance needs a great team

A great team does raise our chances of success, but the difference between a great team and a good team is not what they are doing for their customers but what they’re doing for themselves.

A good team seeks to be better than it’s competition, whereas a great team aims to be better than themselves. When we better ourselves, we are continually improving our team. You can become great if you’re good, good if you’re bad, and if you think you have nothing to offer, you’re wrong. We have so much utility in who we are, yet we only tap into a small amount of it, think about the previous jobs you’ve had. I bet those jobs were different. Even if they were similar, they require various duties.

There is more to us than what meets the eye, an ability to adapt, train, and grow. It starts with identifying what you want to grow and stepping into it. Training a team is easier when you know where to start but getting off the starting line is the hard part.

Growth requires change, and in order to change, we must give up what we previously were, increase in uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be. Training with your team can be fun, but it requires someone that can communicate a clear vision, something that involves your great team.

High performance needs great leaders

Everyone has something they excel in; that’s what great leaders are for, a leader sparks the potential in each of us and uncovers it to ourselves. To build a great team, you don’t need talent. You need belief. There are millions of talented people who never accomplish anything, for the simple fact that they lack confidence. If you have people who believe in what you’re doing, you can train them to become great, we all have that power in us, but we need a leader to show us that vision.

Leading starts with a few necessary skills, I say basic because we learn them very young in youth, that’s right you already have these skills.

Responsibility is the first skill an impactful leader needs, and leaders take 100 percent responsibility. Accountability doesn’t mean taking charge of everyone around you. You don’t need to look far if we want to make a change, start with yourself. What responsibilities do we need to own that we’ve given to the world? Where can we take back our power?

“The day you graduate from childhood
to adulthood is the day you take full
responsibility for your life.” Jim Rohn

Leaders need to lead by example, stepping into an unknown future is like stepping into the fire. As a leader, you have to take the first step. Leadership is a gift given to an individual by someone else. Earned through trust and consistency. When a leader no longer embodies what they sought to become, those who follow will notice.

Leaders are like glue, and leaders don’t create a divide, they close it. All leaders share the unique ability to bring people together, from different backgrounds and different generations.

In accounting, you also need a team, our motto is:

Determined to Succeed as One.

High performance needs order and chaos

High performance needs order and chaos, too much law and we’ve created a tyranny, too much confusion its anarchy. I have to wonder if that’s why most people don’t act at all. Balancing order and chaos requires you to hold conflicting ideas in your mind at the same time.

The order needs to be present in goal setting, concentration, habits, and decisions.

Chaos needs to be present in creativity, relaxation, and imagination.

Without goals, we would have no aim. With no concentration, we would accomplish nothing. Our habits create our personality, and our decisions support our habits.

Creativity exists when it’s allowed to grow freely, relaxation gives us the ability to tap into our instincts, and our imagination will help guide us into the unknown.

Learning exists in the unknown when you couple it with what you do know, you grow past your limits.

What stops high performance

Interference exists all around us, and high performance is no exception. What stops high performance is fear, worry, and guilt. Successful people also meet obstacles, they have moments of failure, and they experience the dread of feedback. The only difference is in their reaction towards these monsters.

Fear is a never-ending battle, but courage is not the absence of fear, it is the respect and recognition of fear. Sometimes we anticipate events before they happen; we analyze different outcomes and create fear in us before we begin. Fear is the sickness that stops action, that creates indecision, and that has faltered so many dreams. You will experience anxiety, step through it.

“What’s on the other side of fear? Nothing” Jamie Foxx

Excessive worrying can lead to poor sleep, bad habits, and exhaustion. When physical problems ail us, our overall performance suffers. Worrying has a direct impact on high performance. Worrying can become harmful for a person that they began worrying about worry; the solution for anxiety is to practice being present. When you’re present in the moment you will strike through fear, although it may rear its ugly head, continue to build your presence.

If your vision is to become a high performer, nothing will stop you.

The best strategies for high performance

The difference between high performers and the rest of us are their strategies. These are the best strategies for high performance.

This list was created to avoid unnecessary advice such as “look on the bright side or keep your head up.” A strategy is designed for you to dominate your battles, not to continue fighting them, that’s what these are.

One of my favorite strategies I explained in an accounting and bookkeeping article. The OODA loop is a continuous process designed to help you learn about your environment and make decisions based on what you learn. In a world where we favor speed, this strategy is the best one to practice, the art of making decisions. Not only is this strategy simple, but it carries utility in any situation.

“I am not the product of my circumstances.
I am a product of my decisions.” Stephen R. Covey

Each decision you make or don’t make compounds over time, those decisions build our habits, and those habits help us create a life. My first strategy is to help improve those decisions.

My next strategy is physical training. Your body is connected to your brain. If you’re expecting your mind to think at it’s best, you need to focus on your health. We know what we need to do when it comes to our health, but we don’t usually do it. Consistently eating foods that are good for us, and continuously working out is the key to physical training, consistency.

Diets are created to sell you something else. The real problem is that we don’t have physical exercise. Just one ten minute walk every day can change our mood, the more active we are, the more benefits we reap. Physical activity demands immediate sacrifice, but it gives outstanding results, we gain confidence, strength, mobility, and health. Physical training is eighty percent what you eat and 20 percent of what you do, it’s what we put into our body and what comes out of it that affects our health the most.

Diets work because we are forced to change our eating behavior. The problem is that if we stop the diet, our behavior reverts our original habits. Choose a diet that you enjoy, and that fits what you want to do, food is fuel, and if you need more energy, you should look at what you eat.

By portioning, eating the right foods, and avoiding processed foods, we can get our gut back to prime health. Your gut affects your whole body. Taking back your health starts with being mindful of what you’re eating, and if a portion of food causes you discomfort, you should probably avoid it. 

My third strategy is the compound effect. Small daily decisions add up over time; the compound effect is exponential. By taking 30 minutes out of every day to learn a high-performance habit or refine a skill, you will reap the benefits of the compound effect. If you only get one percent better every day, how much better will you be in a year? Three hundred and sixty-five percent better, but that’s not it, you reap the benefits of those skills as they progress.

As the days go on these skills will cause you to increase the one percent just a little, but you’ll reap the benefits of small decisions. 

Standard operating procedure

Successful high performers have standards and habits; businesses have standards and procedures, which is commonly known as your standard operating procedures. A standard operating procedure establishes a way of doing things. It’s essential to have a base foundation for procedures and policies within your company.

The foundation allows you to improve, expand, and evolve what you’re currently doing to improve it. Without foundation, we can’t tap into our creative power later because we are too busy focusing on getting the basics right. The reason for a standard operating procedure is to show you exactly how you’re doing things today, to master and improve upon them tomorrow.

If the standard operating procedure never evolves, it becomes outdated and useless information. In this age, it’s important to stay adaptable and simplify our processes internally, if the system is too complicated, we’re wasting human resources.

Experts don’t have an abundance of knowledge. Experts and high performers know what knowledge to ignore, mastery is the same. It’s how Henry Ford discovered the assembly line. Ford realized how much effort was being wasted and sought to maximize it.

High performers need focus

If you’ve made it this far then, you’re apart of the few strong-willed who can focus. Concentration can impact your work and effectiveness. It is not something we actively develop; in our culture, there are too many distractions to build strong focus.

We say the people who can concentrate on have “Laser focus.” If they can do it, why can’t we? The truth is we can. Meditation is a practical tool for building concentration. The ability to focus on a task for an extended period when combined with work is how we accomplish things. High performers know when that focus is concentrated awareness and building that takes time.

High performers can concentrate on tasks for a more extended period than the rest of us, that’s what makes them more skillful, they can sharpen the saw longer than us. Learning is the ultimate skill, and high performers spend more time learning.

High performers have clarity

Whether it’s a vision or a goal, high performers have clarity in their future. They may not know how to get there, but they see the work that needs done and can clearly see a vision of where they’re going. Clarity is necessary for us to make any decision; without clarity, we may never act, most of the time we choose what’s available to us because we lack clarity.

Clarity requires that we identify or define our goal/vision. Goals and visions can be set through a mission statement, using S.M.A.R.T. goals, and by writing a simple sentence. The question you’re answering is, where do you want your ultimate destination to be?

High performers aren’t focusing on the obstacles, that’s why they train; they’re focused on how to start the business of their dreams.

Take Action

Creating a high performance team starts with you if you’re waiting, you need to take action. Start working on the habits you want from your organization and how you’re going to embody them. High performers are attracted to top performers. They speak the same language.

The difference between the ones that change the world and the ones who desire to is action, your decisions add up over time, and high performers consistently make better decisions.

If you’re interested in building a firm of any kind, you should strive to create the best. Manufacturing the best starts internally and shows in your work. Anyone can get there, but not everyone strives for it, if you’re serious about it, we can help you build a high-performance accounting firm.


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