5 Things Your Firm Should Do Differently This Summer

How will you spend your “vacation” time?

By Bill Penczak

In normal times, summer was the respite between tax and audit busy seasons, a pause in marketing activities, the time to take it easy and to catch up on CPE, and to conduct personnel reviews and other administrative duties delayed from the beginning of the year.

MORE: Do You Have the Guts to Beat the Covid Crisis? | How to Inoculate Your Firm against Covid Competition | ‘Found Money’ Delights Clients | Don’t Buy a Rolodex, Buy a Process | The Three R’s for Beating the Corona Crisis | 6 Reasons Why Your Marketing Sucks
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This summer is different, on so many levels. The sunlight filters through your bedroom window a bit earlier, and these days, if you’re even driving to the office, the roads are strangely less crowded.  The general mood is more tenuous, as we all speculate about the new normal.

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Do You Have the Guts to Beat the Covid Crisis?

Male-Lion-at-rest-portrait-Serengeti-2017-Telberg-Photo cropFive tough questions to ask about your firm’s leadership in these tough times.

By Bill Penczak

In times like these, firms should be challenging themselves with the tough question, “What do we want to be, today and into the future?”

MORE: How to Inoculate Your Firm against Covid Competition | ‘Found Money’ Delights Clients | Don’t Buy a Rolodex, Buy a Process | The Three R’s for Beating the Corona Crisis | 6 Reasons Why Your Marketing Sucks
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If maintaining the status quo and “serving clients,” whatever that really means, are the only responses your partner and leadership teams can muster, then perhaps it’s time to evolve from being a lifestyle firm to being one with a vision and the guts to achieve it.

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How to Inoculate Your Firm against Covid Competition

The nine steps to locking in client loyalty when competitors come for your clients.

By Bill Penczak

Client relationships have never been more vulnerable, as other firms, reeling from the COVID crisis, will be knocking on your clients’ door with promises of better service, more services, and lower rates.

MORE by BILL PENCZAK: ‘Found Money’ Delights Clients | Don’t Buy a Rolodex, Buy a Process | The Three R’s for Beating the Corona Crisis | 6 Reasons Why Your Marketing Sucks

More coronavirus crisis strategies: Start here for a guide to all our free coverage.

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Now, more than ever, tax and accounting firms should examine how they can constantly improve the service and relevance to their clients, for today and into the new normal.

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‘Found Money’ Delights Clients

Businessman ogling money over another's shoulderHow to operationalize new services that find or save clients’ money.

By Bill Penczak

Even during normal times, “found money” solutions are great door openers for new clients and a great value-add for your current clients.

MORE: Don’t Buy a Rolodex, Buy a Process | The Three R’s for Beating the Corona Crisis | 6 Reasons Why Your Marketing Sucks
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These solutions are different from traditional audit and tax work in that they are opportunities for companies to retrieve monies they’ve paid in the past, or are ways for companies to lower the cost of a function, process, or service for which they are already paying.

Such solutions include:

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Don’t Buy a Rolodex, Buy a Process 

Bill Penczak
Bill Penczak

How to hire the optimal business developer.

By Bill Penczak

If you’re under 40, you may not be familiar with the Rolodex. Right after stone tablets, we used to keep track of our contacts in a really great contraption that was a rotating spindle on which business cards or handwritten notes of contacts were maintained. The “search” function was you fumbling through trying to remember that prospect’s name from two months ago.

MORE: The Three R’s for Beating the Corona Crisis | 6 Reasons Why Your Marketing Sucks
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When it comes to hiring a professional to build a practice, whether it’s a full-time business developer or a practice partner or principal to grow the business, many firms make the mistake of “buying a Rolodex.” Translated for today’s vernacular, they are hired because “they know everyone” or “have contacts in bigger target companies” or “are members of every organization.”
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The Three R’s for Beating the Corona Crisis

Bill Penczak
Bill Penczak

And 15 things every accountant should consider in these unprecedented times.

By Bill Penczak

My friend Tom Kallman, the president of a trade show company in New Jersey, sent me an email a few weeks ago that I’ll paraphrase:

Few, if any, of us lived through Pearl Harbor. Some of us experienced the Kennedy assassination. We all recall where we were when the planes struck the World Trade Center. The COVID crisis is another lifetime moment. We learned how to survive all those other events, and we’ll do the same again.

RELATED: 6 Reasons Why Your Marketing Sucks

CPA Trendlines is providing FREE access to our latest coronavirus crisis updates: Start here for a guide.

If you examine the economic recoveries after 911, and after the financial collapse in 2007-2008, there were three economic phases that ensued for CPA firms, their clients, and the market in general that will likely occur in the post-COVID economy:

  • Retention – Preserving as much of what we had.
  • Recovery – Stabilizing and moving ahead, as slight as it might be.
  • Rebuild – Coming out better and stronger.

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6 Reasons Why Your Marketing Sucks

Portrait of Bill Penczak
Penczak

Want new business? Avoid these errors.

By Bill Penczak

It’s an understatement to characterize CPAs as process-oriented, with prescribed steps for financial statement audits and tax return preparation that follow a specific regimen. Among the many jokes about accountants, the one that resonates here is:

Why did the auditor cross the road?

Because he looked in the file and that’s what they did last year.

But the “funny” thing is that while CPAs are typically pedantic about the processes for client work, it’s often a case of the cobbler’s shoes when it comes to running their firms in general, and practice development in particular.

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