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September 14, 2008

SMP advice on its way

Examining current and future practice structure models and maximising the benefit of technology are two key themes in a new guide for small- and medium-sized practices (SMPs) being developed by CPA Australia.

The guide, which is being created for International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) members, will cover a range of strategic and operational topics to help firms practise in a safe, profitable and professional manner, the institute said.

An earlier report by CPA Australia, Firm of the Future, revealed that increased compliance and regulation as well as a difficulty in recruiting and retaining professionals were some of the challenges affecting SMPs around the world.

The guide is also designed to assist SMPs in developing nations. CPA Australia has been working with professionals from many developing nations in the Asia-Pacific region through its international partnership programme for the past two years. The key challenges they have found affecting SMPs and professionals in those nations include independence, lack of guidance on standards, too much or too little regulation and a culture of poor internal controls.

Key themes

• Articulate the current and future challenges for SMPs 

• Examine current and future practice structure models

• Examine current and future practice management trends, strategic planning and the development of key performance indicators

• Review issues relating to recruiting, developing, managing and retaining staff, and developing a people strategy

• Focus on building and growing a sustainable practice

• Explore the current and future impacts of technology and mechanisms

• Develop client relationship management systems for SMPs

• Develop knowledge and risk management systems for use within SMPs

• Highlight the need to examine succession planning issues associated with a practice

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