Jody Padar’s New Vision for the ‘New Accounting’

Jody Padar

Five ways the new generation of CPAs is changing the profession.

By Gale Crosley
The Radical CPA: New Rules for the Future-Ready Firm

When CPA Jody Padar joined her father in his practice after eight years in a traditional mid-market firm, she assumed that his clients would become theirs. But Jody’s dad had a different idea. He believed his daughter should learn how to build a client base, not just serve an existing one.

The approach may not have been what Jody was expecting, but the experience of seeking out and developing client relationships was formative. In fact, she leveraged it to create New Vision CPA Group in Chicago, which provides complete accounting and tax solutions.

Jody and her firm are part of a movement I’ve dubbed “the New Accounting.”  Although applied differently by individual practitioners, the movement can generally be defined by five characteristics: READ MORE →

Reality Check: Achieving World-Class Growth Requires Real-World Intelligence

Why you can't believe your own press clippings.

By Gale Crosley, CPA

Ever run a race and immediately sense that you got off to an exceptionally fast start? It’s a good feeling, but if your goal is to beat out the competition there’s really only one way to know for sure how you’re doing. And that’s by marking your progress toward the finish line relative to the other racers.

The same can be said of efforts to grow your firm. To gauge your progress you have to get outside your own four walls and see how you measure up to the competition. READ MORE →

Crosley: The Three Elements of Growth Strategy

Developing a growth strategy is easy. Getting it right is not.

Gale Crosley, a growth strategist for CPA firms, explains that successful expansion plans require at least three critical elements: (1) identify the right set of services (2) for a needful target market (3) delivered through the appropriate distribution methods.

Sounds simple, right? No.

But, she says, "When you hook a service to a channel to a target, and you get exactly the three digits right, then all of a sudden you pop open the strategy and that's how you get great growth."


Crosley: Defining the New Business Model

Why you need to ditch your conference table.

Leading-edge CPA firms are developing new growth strategies that are quick to replace slow-growing markets and fading services with new, narrow, fast-growing markets in need of specialized services, according to Gale Crosley, a growth strategy consultant for CPA firms.

"The foundation of the new business model is specialization," she says.


2014 Roundtable: No Shortcuts to Sustainable Growth

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Firms come to understand success must be organized and leader-driven.

See the complete 2014 Roundtable

By Gale Crosley
Crosley Co.


Firms are realizing that growth is a more sophisticated game, and we are never going back to the "hang out your shingle" days. Succession issues are playing a major part in motivating firms to take a hard look at how they are going to grapple with sustainable growth.

When the business world was somewhat predictable, growth could be counted on. But there are too many complexities today to count on the past as a predictor of the future. Globalization, social media, innovation, regulation, competition — these are just some of the dynamics at play. The way business was generated by our seasoned partners will be quite different from our future leaders. This awareness is becoming more acute as sluggish economic conditions continue. READ MORE →

Leveraging Leadership: A New Way of Looking at Growth

Leader-driven growth. Not just a bunch of rainmakers.

By Gale Crosley

I see it all the time.  Well-intentioned accounting firms do what they believe are the right things.  They sponsor events.  They publish articles.  They meet and greet. But they don’t grow.

More on Growth Strategies for Multi-Partner Firms:  Are You Creating a Sustainable Firm?    |     Don’t Confuse Marketing with a True Growth Strategy     |      Overcoming Four Imaginary Barriers that Limit CPA Firm Growth     |     How Firms Unleash the Power of Diamonds, Cash Cows and Fat Cats     |     How Smart Firms Use Market Research   |

At most firms growth is an individual contributor activity.  Lone ranger partners do their own thing, attracting clients here and there and offering services they believe clients need.  But despite the efforts of individual partners, there’s little solid growth to show for the effort.

That’s when they call.  “Gale, we need your help!  Market conditions aren’t great and we’re getting hammered with competitive pricing.  We have to increase our marketing so we can grow!”

Whoa cowboy, sit back in that saddle and let’s talk a while. READ MORE →

Are You Creating a Sustainable Firm?

Many CPA firms may be on the path to extinction.

By Gale Crosley, CPA

The world’s population is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of sustainability. For several decades we’ve developed an understanding of preserving our planet’s resources. The recent sustainability conversation has amped up the focus among corporate executives on their social responsibility to insure our world’s future.

It’s an especially relevant time, therefore, to discuss the sustainability of our firms. And that’s what this book is about. Managing partners spend significant time pondering their firm’s strategy. One of their greatest challenges is engaging their partners to be as committed as they are.

Adapted from the preface to "How to Engage Partners in the Firm's Future: The Secrets Every Leader Needs to Know," by August J. Aquila and Robert J. Lees

There are lots of reasons for the challenge. These include a “nose to the grindstone versus up to the wind” mentality, partners not spending enough time dedicated to the task, abdicating their leadership role, putting their own interests before the firm’s, or just plain apathy. It’s easy for a partner group to sit around a table and discuss their future. But talk is cheap.  After the strategic planning is done, leaders actually have to do something. It takes significant effort to develop as a leader, work as a team, subjugate one’s own interests for the greater good, learn new competencies, solve complex problems, and exhibit leadership behaviors. READ MORE →

Don’t Confuse Marketing with a True Growth Strategy

Practice growth is a delicate balance of art, science, intuition and diligence. One thing it isn’t, however, is marketing.

By Gale Crosley

Marketing can be a powerful lever to fuel business expansion. But alone, it will not take you where you want to go. Marketing helps till the soil of growth. At the end of the day, however, tilled soil with no seeds taking root is pretty much a useless pile of dirt.

Well-intentioned firms often invest a great deal of money in marketing and wonder why it doesn’t result in growth. One reason is that what they’re really spending on is unrelated marketing activities (or tactics) rather than on growth strategies.

It’s an essential distinction that can make all the difference in your efforts.

In this report:

  • The three elements at the foundation of growth strategies
  • Three steps to create a comprehensive strategy

Recommended reading:


Overcoming Four Imaginary Barriers that Limit CPA Firm Growth

Change Your Thinking. Change Your Results.

by Gale Crosley
Crosley & Co.

Sometimes it’s not what we’re thinking, but how we’re thinking that keeps us from the success we deserve.  In this case I’m referring to the limits we impose on ourselves, which I call thought borders.

While not necessarily geographical, they constrain our forward movement much as the absence of a passport prevents us from entering another country.

More Gale Crosley at CPA Trendlines for PRO Members:

How Firms Unleash the Power of Diamonds, Cash Cows and Fat Cats
How Smart Firms Use Market Research
Got Leads? Get Real. Learn How to Qualify Big Opportunities
It’s a New Generation in Lead Generation
At the Best Firms, Growth is No Accident
Four Keys to Success at Seiler CPAs
How Accounting Firms Are Re-Building Their Sales Pipelines
How to Get Started on IFRS in One Easy Step

Learning to identify these artificial limitations and move beyond them is a powerful tool for growth. READ MORE →