The ideal team structure for your practice depends on the fee volume you manage. If you’re looking at $1m in fees, this is the ideal team structure that should work for you:
The ideal team structure is to have one client manager (possibly supported by an assistant client manager) and then 5 grinders (one of which is the senior production manager) manage $1m in fees.
You start with the client manager handling all communication traffic, but sooner or later they will hit capacity as you edge towards the $1m in fees.
So then you sort your clients into four classes – A, B, C, and D – and hire an assistant client manager. Think of the assistant client manager as a trainee. So then the assistant takes over looking after the C and D class clients, while the client manager takes care of A and B clients.
How to sort your clients is a science in itself. Do you do it by fee size as most accountants do? Or do you use different criteria, for example, industry, future potential, client size? Every practice will do this differently.
The client manager is not just a minder but also a finder. The client manager is like a GP. They understand the general concept and know when to call in which expert. Their job is to manage the client and be their trusted contact and adviser.
If your client manager sits down to grind away, then they don’t have time to grow the business. There is an opportunity cost to doing grinding work. It requires leadership from a partner to make sure client managers don’t slip back into a grinding role.
The senior production manager leads the production team. Their skillset needs to be very different from the one of a client manager. The production manager is in charge of the other grinders in production.
Their role is to make sure that the Ts are crossed and are dotted. They liaise with the client manager and assistant manager to get to the final product. They don’t see the clients. The client manager or assistant does.
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