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Accounting Firm Strategies from Accounting Firms Doing Over $1M in Revenue

accountants strategizing over their firm strategy

Wouldn’t it be nice to learn accounting firm strategies from some of the most successful CPAs, tax specialists and financial coaches in the world today? We thought so too, that’s why we recently had a roundtable event bringing in $1M+ accounting and tax firm owners from around the country to discuss what has been working well for them. This blog summarizes some of their key successes and how your firm can benefit by implementing the same ideas.

Lessons Learned from Successful Accounting Firms

A Good Accountant’s Time is Extremely Valuable

Our first lesson came from Marty, a highly influential firm owner in Texas. His rolling 12-month production is actually down, but his rolling 12-month collections are up. This means he has less work and more profit. 

“Bill on value, not time.”

– Marty

Lesson: Don’t undercut your profits by doing so much hourly work.

This is a golden rule among all the most successful accounting firms. You can’t expect to grow when you are stuck getting paid hourly because there are only so many billable hours available. To make matters worse, many accountants price their hourly time way too low. A general rule of thumb is if you need to do hourly work, don’t sell your time for less than $250 an hour.

Good Accountants Stay on Top of Current Events

One of the best accounting firm strategies we found at this roundtable was to always keep in mind the things your clients are facing. Nuno, an up and coming, yet extremely successful accountant in New Jersey, noted that while many accounting firms were content to be dormant when the pandemic struck in March of 2020, the top firms took the current events to pivot toward new service offerings. With businesses suddenly in need of PPP and EIDL loan advisory services, Nuno contacted both existing clients and new prospects to help get them through the crisis:

The pandemic situation really helped clients see how on top of our game we are and how quickly we moved as a firm to help them.”

– Nuno

Lesson: Offer timely and relevant services.

You can’t expect to always stay the same as the world changes around you. This is how most businesses fail—when they refuse to adapt to market trends. As an accountant, you need to stay up with not only what your business clients are facing, but how you can serve them as they face their challenges. Many top accountants used the pandemic crisis to come up with new packages to deliver timely value to their clients.

Good Accountants Hire Good Employees

Speaking of accounting firm strategies…you’ve heard the saying that good people like to follow good people, or that “A” players want to play with other “A” players, right? Likewise, the best accountants in the nation attract the top talent. CPA Jonathan, owner of a highly successful firm in Arkansas, explained there is a result in this phenomena:

“The quality of your employees affects the quality of your product.”

– Jonathan

Lesson: Pay more for better people.

The best accountants aren’t afraid to spend a little more to hire and retain higher level talent at their firms. Hiring is vital to the growth of firms and hiring mistakes are not only costly, but they influence customer experience. Good employees are never a cost, but an investment. Also, remember you should be having one full-time employee for every $250,000 in revenue your accounting firm produces.

Good Accountants Sell the Right Products

Ella is a top accountant near New York City who told of an accident she had five years ago. She struggled to keep the business going because she had thousands of clients and was having to pull all-nighters just to get the firm’s work done on time. She realized she needed to reorganize how her business operated.

Systemize your business with the right services in a productized way.”

– Ella

Lesson: Offer better services in better packages.

If you’re selling $300 per month accounting services with no clear scope, you’re going to have low profitability and a headache. If you do endless 1040s and nothing more, you will soon want to change your career. The point is, successful accountants learn to offer and package their services in ways that give the clients more value while allowing enough profit for the business to expand.

Good Accountants Streamline Production

Michelle is another highly successful accountant in New Jersey. One key success she’s had is to get her accounting firm more efficient. It used to be just her, and finding someone who could take some of the work off her plate was difficult. Then, she finally made a commitment to properly training staff, which takes time and energy. However, once done, it’s well worth it.

Develop processes within your firm to streamline production

– Michelle

Lesson: Replace yourself.

All the best accounting firms have streamlined processes. If your firm can’t duplicate what you do when you’re gone, you will never be able to expand your firm or get out of service delivery. None of the top accountants are stuck spending the bulk of their time in service delivery, they are spending time managing and growing their firms.

Good Accountants Invest in Themselves

Liz is a successful accountant in Oxnard, California. She knows how powerful education is, so every year she invests tens of thousands of dollars on motivational seminars and tax and accounting professional development.

You have to keep growing, so invest in yourself.

– Liz

Lesson: Invest in at least one thing this year to improve your knowledge of the accounting industry.

Growth is not something that stops when school ends, otherwise you’d be no more knowledgeable than you were at age 22. As an accounting and tax professional, it’s not only your job, it’s your duty to keep learning and growing just as the best accounting firms in the nation do so. Investments such as 7 Figure Firms have on-going support and education when it comes to pricing, packaging, selling, and delivering tax and accounting services, expanding into CFO and wealth management services, and getting the latest tips on marketing your accounting firm among an array of other strategies and tactics. 

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