How we work with Fletcher Thompson
Services provided: One-day Accuracy Skills Sector: Financial Services
Kathryn Preston is the Director of Fletcher Thompson, a firm of Chartered Accountants based in Newmarket. Alongside Kathryn is James – Trainee Accountant, Emma – Client Manager, and Tracie – Bookkeeper. Accountants have to be accurate. Their raison d'être is correct payroll runs, perfect month-end returns and no mistakes on self-assessment tax returns. But people make mistakes, no matter how experienced or conscientious they are. Fletcher Thompson have processes in place to ensure that all accountancy work delivered to clients goes out correctly. However, the checking process every month always picked up items the team had got wrong. The challenge was to fix these errors, so that they got it right first time, every time.
What we did
Scott Bradbury trained the whole team in how to read, check and transfer data accurately. The whole team approach meant the topic of accuracy was addressed at a company-wide cultural level, with the founder and director of the firm leading by example. With some of the team working from home, the virtual workshop delivery was the ideal format and key objectives were agreed with individual team members in the online pre-training briefing.
Alice, the trainer, commented “Equipping Kathryn’s team with practical tips, which they can apply to their real work, had an instant impact.”
The team all agreed that their structured checklists could be improved by adding self-critiquing elements, thereby creating a culture of continuous improvement. To-Do lists already prioritised daily tasks but following the course the team are now reviewing their task lists on a more regular basis to ensure they prioritise the most important tasks and are not just adding to the bottom of the list and ticking them off one-by-one.
“Well managed workloads and more effective co-ordination means we are not so reactionary and make better use of our time”, comments Kathryn. But it’s not just the actual approach to work that is different but also the environment. Following the course Kathryn was keen to implement changes to provide an environment where staff can fully concentrate, “Simple changes have had a big impact. Pro-actively taking ergo-breaks and reserving quiet and ‘do-not-disturb’ time have led to fewer errors needing to be picked up during the checking process”. Ensuring that accuracy is embedded at the heart of this Accountancy firm means the team get it right first time, every time.