South-Wales-based accounting firm Mazuma is once again challenging the concept of a traditional accounting firm by opening up its resources for other practices to use.
This latest move, which they have called “ACT”, (standing for Annual Client Transfer), addresses the ever-increasing issue of capacity for accounting firms.
With legislative changes and forced digitisation creating more and more work for small businesses, the strain is being felt by accounting firms as they stretch their resources to provide extended services to their client bases. Increasingly, firms are having to close their books to new clients as they steady the ship, or use offshoring and outsourcing services to plug the skills gap as recruitment remains a constant challenge.
Lucy Cohen, Co-Founder of Mazuma says
“We’ve spent 16 years perfecting our processes to deliver industry-leading efficiency in accounting. And we’ve spent the last 2 years developing technology to underpin everything we have learned on the journey. I want to open this up to allow other firms the experience of that efficiency while ensuring that even their ‘poor-fit’ clients remain profitable for them.”
The ACT scheme encourages firms to routinely assess their client bases for those clients that are ‘poor-fit’. A poor-fit client might be one that insists on using a paper-based system, can’t stick to deadlines for submission because of their working patterns, or who simply doesn’t fit the profile of the sort of client a firm wants to work with in the longer term.
Typically, the relationship with those clients can be hard to navigate, and they end up making the firm a loss.
“We recognise that firms want to keep a relationship with those clients for a multitude of reasons, but doing the day-to-day work for them just doesn’t make commercial sense. The options that previously lay ahead of that firm would be to lose the client completely, sell the client to another firm, or increase the client’s fees to cover the loss.
The ACT scheme works on a revenue-share basis. We take stewardship of the day-to-day compliance and provide a revenue share, keeping the client happy and the introducing firm in the loop, as much or as little as they like.
It’s a neat, accessible alternative to using offshore services to undertake the work and guarantees a profit on the client.”
Leading on the roll-out of the ACT scheme is Martin Bissett, founder of The Bissett Group and newly appointed NED of Mazuma. With over 25 years of experience in the profession, working with over 1800 firms across five different continents and adding over £450m in new fees to those firms, Martin can speak to the need for this “capacity creator.”
“The genius behind ACT is that it provides a proven solution for both the recruitment and capacity issues that have plagued the accounting profession for so many years.
When an accounting firm adopts the ACT solution, it allows them to grow their firms quicker, easier, and cheaper than ever before.”
And what does Cohen say to any detractors that see this as just a way for Mazuma to take over part of their client base for profit?
“Anyone who knows Mazuma, knows that the part of the market we focus on is very specific. We’re not after 6 figure advisory work or high-fee retainers. We do what we do, and only what we do, exceptionally well. Why not share that specific talent with other firms so that they can focus on doing what they do best too?
The accounting space is very different to when we founded Mazuma over 16 years ago. I love that we see collaboration between firms and people adopting a true abundance mindset.
The way that the profession has developed over the last ten years or so is wonderful; I’m excited to bring this to market to see how we can help the profession improve even further. At the end of the day, it’s all about giving our clients the best. I hope that’s what ACT will do.”