In the next 10 years, I and most of my partners will retire from SCG Chartered Accountants. To prepare for that, we’ve started working on succession. A lot of the work revolves around improving our HR process, identifying and placing people on the path to leadership.

A part of that process also involves sharing our thoughts on building an accounting firm. Reflecting on my journey, as founder of SCG, these are the beliefs that underpinned my journey:

  1. What’s your purpose and why? Think through our purpose. Our purpose is to use our knowledge of accounting to help our clients manage their business.
  2. Think about the future– where do you want to be? Set goals and think through the elements you must have to get to the goal. Develop a strategy to get to your goals. Your purpose and goal are the true north that helps to orient you when you stray.
  3. Aim for high standards, don’t compromise– it is challenging and pushes you, but never compromise. Make it habit.
  4. Never choose the easy road– you’ll always get to a fork in the road and must choose between the easy and the narrow road. Choose the hard and narrow road, and not the wide easy road.  Do things right, no matter how difficult. The hard road builds your muscles.
  5. Keep the customer in mind – it’s all about the customer. Continue to work to make your output relevant and useful to the customer. Put the interest of the customer before yours.
  6. Grow a bigger pie– aim to grow a bigger pie and make sure there is something in for all in the short and long term. We do well together, not alone.
  7. Aim for continuous improvement– you can always do better. Make it a habit to always improve. Have an attitude of “it’s not good enough, we can do better”.
  8. Don’t wait for the silver lining to come to you. Go get it. – You won’t have all the resource and people to do what you must. Take the initiative and start anyway.
  9. Continuous learning– to keep your knowledge fresh you must always learn, reflect on the learning and apply.
  10. Complacency is a deadly enemy– don’t pay attention when they say you’ve done well. Aim to compete with the best in the world. That’s our yardstick, and not the Ghanaian competition.
  11. Feed the goose that lays the golden egg– your business is the goose that lays the golden egg. Feed it. Invest in people and the systems you need. Maintain enough capital. Don’t take all the money for your personal needs.

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