Why This Firm Owner Doesn’t Hire Full Time Employees
- About James Scott
- What do they do?
- The First Home Office
- The Economics
- JD Scott & Co. LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/jdscott/
- James Scott LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-scott-7bb12418
- James’s Email Address – email@example.com
About James Scott
James has experience in all things accounting. He has 20 professional years of experience working within firms including serving as a director of Ernst & Young in Sydney, Australia. He has 5 years of senior finances roles under his belt as well.
Prior to COVID, James started his own firm, JD Scott & Co. Here, lies the interesting part of James’ story. His firm focuses on hiring part-time employees, does not utilize administrative personnel, and doesn’t own a printer.
Wait a minute, James… How does he do it? We’ll cover more below.
What do they do?
During the pandemic, James had the opportunity to think about what he wanted to do with life. This, mixed with staying at home and having nothing to lose led him to create one of the most unique accounting firms in the business today.
James’ prior experience in the corporate world gave him the edge to serve smaller firms with an increased level of advice. He recognized that the smaller businesses didn’t get the quality of service that the larger firms did, so James decided to do something about it.
Essentially his firm has two areas of focus:
- Typical SME Accounting and Tax
To James, this means the traditional full suite of services from bookkeeping and payroll, to tax compliance, planning, and CFO advisory services. Currently, this provides a little over half of their revenue.
- Small Corporate Advisory
The second area of focus is helping small businesses and startups with meeting compliance, financial reporting, and consulting.
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The First Home Office
James tells us that he launched the firm at the end of March 2020, sitting in his daughters bedroom at the time, waving at his 96 year old neighbor, and thinking ‘what do I have to lose?’
With no revenue, no clients, and nothing holding him back, he started the marketing journey for his firm.
James used Google Ads and his network at the beginning in order to generate revenue, trying all things to discover what may work best. After using sites early on like bark.com (possibly similar to Fiverr.com), James realized that the competition was pretty competitive. Here he relied on his network and referral systems to keep clients coming.
Obviously, this has worked for James as his team has grown to 5 professional staff, that are all part time. Hang on.. Did we say PTE?
Yes, we did.
This, being one of the founding philosophies of the firm has led JD Scott & Co. to double their revenue year over year.
Year 1: 250k
Year 2: 500k
Year 3: On pace for 1M
Clearly, whatever it is, is working for James and his firm.
With this philosophy comes questions. Dave askes James about the Part-Timer scenario.
Do PTEs produce the same quality of work as FTEs?
Do you constantly have to build systems and rehire to replace Part time staff?
How do you build a pipeline that keeps employees staffed, even if they are working part time?
All good questions posed by Dave.
The answers come back to James’ philosophy. He started the firm with a dream (and still a dream today). With the idea of wanting work to be flexible and the ability to take a holiday for a month if he and his family desired, James shares this culture when it comes to hiring.
He mentions that his staff need to be technologically skilled in order to be successful. At the same time, he understands that there are plenty of mothers out there, especially with young children who are looking for high value work at a less than full time commitment.
For James and his team – this just works.
The economics of JD Scott & Co. may look skewed on paper, simply due to a smaller staff ratio and how this plays against standard expenses (rent, licenses, etc.)
Just because they use the building less than a typical business, doesn’t mean the rent is any cheaper. All of James’ staff are paid on a part-time basis. There are no gimmicks with his firm as it is understood why professionals choose to work there.
He has built quite the unique firm, as his philosophy drives a large part in it.
Dave mentions, James doesn’t own a printer … Well, how does this work?
James began his firm without the use of a printer in his home office and that was the standard going forward. Because of this, he discovered ways to run the business without it and they stuck.
The standard that has been set forth by the firm does need to ensure that all things are aligned in order for it to be successful. For example, all naming conventions are standard so all staff understand what piece of the process they are in. Also, for compliance they do take measures to print something given a document needs to be wet signed.
The beauty of it all is that James and his firm have the ability to work wherever and whenever is necessary, just as he initially dreamed.
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