Five Ways to Improve Operating Margin during COVID

Industrial metal number 5Are you too generous with your write-offs?

By Bill Penczak

The pandemic has placed a damper on new business activities for most CPA firms, with a paucity of events other than Zoom meetings and many clients hunkering down and not making any changes to anything least of which their accounting firm relationships, under some semblance of normal.

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The managing partners to whom I’ve spoken, various articles and social media posts suggest embracing your people and your current clients as the best coping strategy for now, which is a solid approach.

So when it comes to preserving your original 2020 profit goals – or at least salvaging them – firms have an opportunity to seek better processes or staffing options, or both to pivot to the times. As a CFO I once worked with used to say, “You can either raise the bridge or lower the water.”

Here are five options for lowering the water (labor cost) as a short- and long-term strategy for greater firm success: