Case Study

How to Grow an Accounting Firm: Evolve from Bookkeeper to Tax Planner

Goals Goals

  • Learn and understand how to sell advisory services
  • Increase profits while firing bad clients
  • Receive 1:1 coaching to increase firm growth

Key Benefits Experienced Key Benefits Experienced

  • Firm now able to focus on CFO services and tax planning
  • Less clients, more profit
  • Dream home achieved

“I’d give in when clients wanted to reduce price, I’d get off the phone upset and tell my wife ‘this engagement won’t even be worth my time.”


Joel Sandoval helps small business owners by saving them money in taxes, improving their accounting operations and increasing their cash flow. Based out of Bakersfield, California, Sandoval Tax CPAs was founded in 2016 after Mr. Sandoval resigned from his accounting position at another company. Having invested in the 7 Figure Firms coaching program, his business has taken off and he has his sights set on $1M of revenue a month.

Starting with Bookkeeping and Tax Returns

As an accountant working at some big CPA firms since college, Mr. Sandoval was experienced in both accounting and tax services. His work was always focused on reporting and compliance, and typical with the majority of accounting firms, there was no emphasis on helping business owners leverage their wealth, create more income or increase savings from the IRS. It was all about reconciling month-end closes and filing tax returns.

Mr. Sandoval branched off from a big CPA firm and did accounting for a local oil and gas company, then a real estate developer. Then in 2016, Mr. Sandoval founded his own CPA firm, and was able to make sales by doing cold calling. Still, his numbers were not that impressive and he was only focused on providing the same type of services that he had been doing at his old corporate job: bookkeeping and taxes.

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Mr. Sandoval was able to double his revenue in 2017 and hired his first full-time employee. He increased his sales again in 2018 by 50% by giving great service delivery and asking for referrals. He did bookkeeping for $500 a month and tax preps for $295. He grew his firm between 2017 and 2019 at a steady pace, and by July 2020 Mr. Sandoval had exploded revenue over 7X what he had done during July 2017.

Still, there were pricing problems. “I’d give in when clients wanted to reduce price, I’d get off the phone upset and tell my wife ‘this engagement won’t even be worth my time.’” Mr. Sandoval knew he was pricing services way too low, but didn’t understand how to grow an accounting firm and stop the cycle.

Mr. Sandoval joined 7 Figure Firms with the goals to expand into advisory services, increase his profit margin and find support among tax and accounting professionals for advice on growing his firm. Today, his monthly accounting prices have increased to $1,200, while tax return prices have increased to $1,750. What were the main drivers behind the accounting firm growth?

Expanding into CFO Services and Tax Planning

With the tools, resources, and coaching inside 7 Figure Firms, Mr. Sandoval has pivoted from bookkeeping and tax prep to CFO services and tax planning. He is on pace to double sales year over year in 2020. This big stream of revenue is mostly split 50/50 between tax planning sales and CFO work.

This program has helped me understand pricing and value. The biggest thing for me is just knowing how to properly price my services and being confident in those prices. When I first went into the program, looking back, I realized I needed to learn persuasion and sales.”

As a result of increased pricing, he now has less clients but more profit, which translates into less stress and more room for future growth.

At first I felt bad about increasing prices, and I would ask for only 50% down and 50% in 30 days. Now I’m more comfortable with it because I fully understand the value of the services…and the value is all the customer cares about.” At just 34 years of age, Mr. Sandoval looks to have the hunger and the opportunity for large growth ahead if he wants to continue scaling the business. “I always wanted to have a big business, I just didn’t know how to get there, but now I have the tools and resources to actually do it.”

Benefits Beyond the Tax Firm

Mr. Sandoval has experienced other benefits as a result of being in the 7 Figure Firms coaching program. He’s in the process of buying a new dream house with his wife, something he didn’t think would be possible for another 5-10 years. In addition to the financial rewards, he feels more confident because he knows his business is now providing better value to clients than it used to.

My focus will continue to be on helping clients leverage their businesses to create wealth so they can have the lifestyle they want—just like I’m doing now with my own business.”

The 7 Figure Firms program has assisted Mr. Sandoval with digging into client objections, solving their doubts and closing more deals. He’s so convinced his prospects need his services, he’s now in the mindset of not taking “no” for an answer. He also knows he provides so much value there’s no reason a client would ever want to leave, and if they did, he can easily replace them with new clients.

Mr. Sandoval didn’t need to know everything about how to grow an accounting firm, he just needed to change the way he was running his accounting business. After being inside the 7 Figure Firms coaching program, he now has the accounting mindset and the skills to grow his firm to be however big he wants to make it.

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