New tax year, new you: shaping successful practice resolutions

And breathe… with the busy Self Assessment season now behind us and the new tax year approaching, it’s the perfect time to kick off some resolutions for your practice. Whether you want to streamline processes, upgrade your tech stack or grow your client base, a well-structured plan is key. Here are three steps to create and maintain your new tax year resolutions. 

1. Reflect - what went well?

Start with a positive mindset by looking back at your practice’s successes in the previous tax year. Celebrate every new client onboarded and each one you assisted. 

List your achievements, from running successful training sessions to making valuable connections at events or integrating new software (preferably FreeAgent accounting software!). Whatever you find worth celebrating is likely worth repeating.

2. Evaluate - what can you do better?

It’s also important to consider the challenges you faced during the previous year. Reflect on why certain aspects were difficult, as these can offer insights into areas that may need improvement. 

If you work with a team, ask them for their thoughts on opportunities for the practice. With your colleagues taking part in the resolutions, you’ll all be aligned on a strategic path. 

If you’re a sole practitioner, don’t forget about the communities that you can connect with for ideas and support. This could be a membership group like ACCA or the 6 Figure Bookkeepers’ Club on Facebook -  a supportive group where there are no silly questions. 

As well as your colleagues and professional peers, consider your clients. Are you getting them off to the best start with your practice? Perhaps there’s room for improvement by standardising your onboarding process or grouping your clients into segments

If you invest some time into educating your clients, you might find they’re doing more of the work for you, freeing up time and energy to work on other goals you’ve set for yourself. 

The new tax year could be a good time to review your pricing. And there’s also the option of reviewing your tech stack and assessing whether there are any gaps that could be filled with the right piece of software. Review areas where data entry still feels manual and think about how your various software tools integrate with each other. 

3. Plan - how can you do it?

Now you understand your successes and challenges, you’re ready to set your goals. If you’re committed to achieving these, then crafting a feasible plan could be the difference between leaving a box unchecked or satisfyingly marking it with a tick. 

Using the SMART framework can turn vague targets into defined goals with clear actions.  SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

By ensuring your objectives have these five characteristics, you’re more likely to stay focused and achieve your practice’s goals. For more information, check out our blog on setting SMART goals. 

Remember, just like with new year’s resolutions, it’s easy to become distracted from these goals. It can be helpful to set aside some time throughout the year to track your progress against your practice goals. Then you’ll be on your way to success. 

For more inspiration on achieving your goals, watch the recording of this CPD-accredited webinar - New tax year resolutions: nailing your practice strategy. You’ll hear top tips from Will Farnell (Farnell Clarke) and Nick Heawood-Ferriter (Wright Vigar) on how to develop your practice strategy and vision for 2024.

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