Delving Deeper into Organisational Sensemaking™ in Accountancy Firms

Delving Deeper into Organisational Sensemaking™ in Accountancy Firms

Recognised social psychologist Karl Weick defines Organisational Sensemaking™ as the process through which people in organisations explore, interpret, and create frameworks to convert unprocessed data into meaningful, actionable, information. It is a constantly evolving process crucial to shaping organisational decisions and strategies. Its practice is of paramount significance in the field of accountancy. 

In today’s finance landscape filled with regulatory changes and evolving client requests, Organisational Sensemaking™ becomes an indispensable process to understand and enhance. Accountancy firms that are unable to capitalise on effective organisational sensemaking would be at risk of falling behind their competition, owing to ineffective strategies that don’t adapt with dynamic business demands. James March, a renowned organisational theorist, emphasises,

Sensemaking isn’t just a one-off event. It’s a dynamic, continuous process that continually shapes and reshapes the direction and decisions of an organisation.  

Forward-thinking accountancy firms capitalise on technological advancements and sophisticated analytical methodologies to gain insights from varied internal and external information sources.  

In this article, we elaborate on how accountancy firms can bolster their Organisational Sensemaking™ capabilities. We will underline key principles and offer best practices that can help firms derive more value from their data. 

Underlining Key Principles of Effective Sensemaking for Accountancy Firms

Organisational Sensemaking™ could be enhanced by considering three main pillars: clarity, consistency, and comprehension. Embracing these principles can help accountancy firms to navigate intricate financial landscapes, enabling them to maintain their competitive edge. 

The essence of clarity lies in impartially scrutinising data, thereby laying the groundwork for a thorough understanding of the business landscape as it stands today. Consistency emphasises the need for uniform translation and comprehension considers the capacity to internalise and derive meaningful understanding from complex or disjointed data. 

Implementing clear and concise protocols can bridge glaring interpretative gaps, thus ensuring that the firm stays clear of misinformation and misinterpretation.  

Creating Strategies for Enhanced Sensemaking in Accountancy Firms 

Organisational sensemaking plays a decisive role in charting an accountancy firm’s reaction to market and regulatory changes.  

Three most effective strategies that firms can employ to improve their sensemaking capabilities: 

  1. Streamline your data analysis to gain a clearer, more holistic picture of market realities. 
  1. Create a learning-orientated culture within your organisation.  
  1. Invest time and capital in procuring and utilising advanced analytics tools.  

To summarise, organisational sensemaking, given its pivotal role, merits attention and effort, particularly within the dynamic environment of the accountancy sector. By implementing a few careful measures and practices around sensemaking, firms are likely to observe better-informed decision-making outcomes and better operational efficiency. 

 “It has become an embedded way in which I run our board meetings. My CTO can’t believe we get such powerful insights from 16 questions, but we do. It has helped me effectively integrate acquisitions, identify high performing areas of the business and provide more management support to others.”

Paul Dickson Chief Executive 
For and on behalf of Armstrong Watson LLP 

Read Paul Dickson’s full testimonial here. Armstrong Watson Testimonial is sponsor of IAPA, the Leading Global Association of independent accounting, audit, tax, legal, advisory, financial, immigration and technology services firms.