How To Grow Your Small To Mid-Size Accounting Firm In Any Economy
By Matt Solomon, CEO
Center For Enlightened Business
For the past quarter century, we’ve been working with firm owners from across the country. The overriding theme of our conversations are similar. Accountants, in cities big and small, feel overwhelmed, over-worked. They also feel under-appreciated and, most certainly, underpaid.
Very few have a strategy for changing their intolerable situation. They guzzled the industry “Kool-Aid” that says to get a firm going and growing you have to:
(1) take on low-fee tax preparation and compliance clients…
(2) work on volume basis by charging less to attract more clients, and…
(3) adopt a workaholic attitude – especially during tax season – because that’s the way things have always been done.
Well, that’s not a very good reason, and those are terrible strategies for taking a firm to the next level and beyond. I propose that there is a better way.
AVOIDING THE TRAP
Let’s work backwards. Over-working is NOT a sane strategy. It can not be sustained… and… what’s more… it is responsible for ruined relationships, ruined health, and practices left in ruins.
A much better approach is to ask the right questions like: How can I make maximum revenue for minimum time invested… while… providing clients with the highest level of service? The answer to this question has liberated thousands of our accountant clients from the shackles of the industry status quo.
What about working on a volume basis? There is only one reason a firm owner would adopt such an approach. Because they have not run their numbers. Which is curious considering we run the numbers for our clients. Don’t you think?
In any case, consider this: If your primary business comes from taxes, as an example, you might charge around $300 per return. If your income goal for the year is $100,000… that means… you need 334 clients. Which, incidentally, equates to 334 headaches.
On the other hand, you could reach the $100,000 a year goal with only 3 (yes… THREE) clients. If they paid you just $3,000 per month each. So, the issue isn’t how many clients you need, but rather, working with clients who pay higher fees for premium services.
Which segues smoothly into the first issue. Tax and compliance clients pay low fees. There’s nothing wrong with offering those services. But they should not be the foundation upon which you build your firm. Otherwise, you’ll work like a dog and get paid little for the privilege.
DOING WHAT WORKS
The solution? It’s really rather simple. It’s what we’ve taught accountants to embrace for nearly three decades now. Offer premium services based around helping clients grow their businesses. And offer those high-profit services to clients who will cheerfully pay for them. Because they will get back many times the investment, they made in their most trusted advisor… YOU!
When you choose the right clients and offer the right services, growing your firm without sacrificing your life becomes rather simple and easy.
After all, it’s a lot easier to make an extra hundred grand by getting just three clients than it is by getting 334 of them.
STOP THE MADNESS
Discover the 5-Step Process Used by the Top 1% of Small and Mid-Size Firms to Earn High-Profit Engagements, WATCH THIS FREE MASTERCLASSFREE MASTERCLASS
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