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Case Study

From Providing Free Services to Building a 7 Figure Accounting Firm: One Accountant’s Transformation

Goals Goals

  • Increase profit margins by at least 20%
  • Discover a method to find higher-end clients
  • Create more services to package and sell

Key Benefits Experienced Key Benefits Experienced

  • Increased net profit to nearly 50%
  • Grew team to nine people and delegates all service delivery 
  • Streamlined marketing on Facebook and LinkedIn

“The 7 Figure Firms coaching program has been vital to my success in growing my accounting firm. It’s given me direction, support, confidence, and encouragement…but most importantly the mindset to take my business to the next level.”

ROLANDO LOPEZ, CPA

As a licensed CPA in the state of Florida, Mr. Lopez began his accounting firm CFO Associates in 2014. Today, at just 31 years old, his firm is up 127% year to date in 2020 and is on pace to hit seven-figures for the first time. He’s been working on his business now for six years, but only four years full-time. The first two years were spent as a side hustle as he continued to work for another company. Below is his journey from solopreneur to a seven-figure firm owner. 

Giving Discounts Isn’t a Way to Building an Accounting Firm

Mr. Lopez confessed that in the early days of his accounting firm, he would give in when a client wanted a cheaper price for his services. But worse, in a misguided effort to please his clients, he would even do things like set up an S-Corp for free: 

I would see I could save a client, for example, $20,000, so I’d do a little work for them and let them know I did it after it was done. I’d hand them the piece of paper I completed and they’d give me a ‘thanks’ and assumed it was just part of my job as a bookkeeper. I gave tremendous value, but it wasn’t perceived as anything special.” 

Despite this, Mr. Lopez was getting plenty of work and gaining enough clients to build himself a good income as a self-employed professional. He was able to completely depart from his job and give his own firm 100% of his attention. He then brought on his brother, and the two of them began further building CFO Associates. During this time, they were still frequently giving discounts on their services, oftentimes for the simple reason as the customer was “nice.”

Building an Accounting Firm by Reevaluating Client List

Once joining 7 Figure Firms, Mr. Lopez learned about “the rinse”. This is a slang term used to describe when a tax and accounting firm looks at their list of clients and determines which ones are paying a fair price versus paying too low of a price. The firm will then raise prices for the bottom-tiered clients to either get rid of them or bump them up to additional services that would bring in more revenue for the firm.  

Moving forward, I began looking at each client much more thoroughly. I became more picky as to who I would take on and give tax services to. It was no longer all about if a client wanted to pay me for a service, it was also about if they were a good fit for my firm.”

In this vetting process, Mr. Lopez stopped giving the discounts he formerly would hand out on command. With his team growing and him being responsible for payroll now, the truth was he learned he could no longer afford to give discounts on services that took someone’s time and energy.  

Building an Accounting Firm by Building Out a Team

As he continued the process of “rinsing” clients, Mr. Lopez began to understand what kind of clients best fit his CFO and tax services. He grew quickly by developing a process he learned inside the 7 Figure Firms coaching program that teaches a method for tax and accounting professionals to get leads and appointments on LinkedIn and Facebook

I realize now that it’s not good for me to be working in the business, meaning if I’m doing Quickbooks, that’s bad for the firm. I need to spend time and energy making sales and leading the team.” 

With more delegation in place and the staff taking on most of the service delivery, Mr. Lopez was able to take time to perfect his marketing strategies on social media that he learned inside 7 Figure Firms. With consistent leads coming in, Mr. Lopez used the sales slide decks given in 7 Figure Firms to close services at full price. This process began to quickly add new clients to the firm, so he had to build his team quickly. Since 2019, he’s gone from four employees to nine. 

Building an Accounting Firm Through a Pandemic

While things were going well, once the pandemic hit in March of 2020, it became clear many businesses would be in trouble. That’s when Mr. Lopez was able to pivot thanks to the materials and teachings inside 7 Figure Firms. He was able to help 30 businesses for legislative and loan consulting that led to $60,000 in revenue and 15 new customers. All of this was without advertising and during a time when much of the economy was under a lockdown! 

I knew we had no choice but to help people through this difficult time but when Andrew Argue came out with all the details of the PPP and how to help advise businesses during the crisis, it made it 100% easier for me to start selling the PPP advisory services. It made me feel comfortable that others in the 7 Figure Firms group were out there doing the same thing too.”

As Mr. Lopez has seen consulting work with the PPP loan program have such an impact on his clients, it has awakened his desire to move more out of compliance and continue to move towards advisory services such as cash flow planning

Building an Accounting Firm for 2030

Mr. Lopez has a 10-year plan to break 8-figures. As he continues to delegate and have his team do the service delivery, he will focus on marketing mediums such as Facebook and LinkedIn. “I love being able to be sales-focused. Without working so much on the service delivery, I can be more of a visionary and plan out our firm’s strategies.”

He’s hiring a team of younger people in their twenties who are hungry and ready to grow with the firm as it continues to grow as well, noting that, “I like to mold people and give opportunity with equity in the business.

Building an Accounting Firm Involves Increased Advisory Work

Mr. Lopez was doing just 15-20% advisory work two years ago. Today, that has increased to around 40%. With an increase in advisory level work, his margins and profits have all increased. This has allowed him to increase the number of people on his team and further grow with the firm’s ability to deliver more services in less time.

With a plan to drive new leads via social media advertising, a system in place to replace the lowest paying clients with higher paying businesses, and the ability to come out quickly with new and innovative services, CFO Associates has moved from a one-person firm just getting by to a 7-figure firm with explosive growth potential in the years ahead. 

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