20 Ways to Deliver Wow! Every Day

Word "WOW!"Amaze clients with 8 ways to add real value and 12 ways to delight clients.

By Rob Nixon

I have been telling accountants to be proactive and add value ever since I started working with you in May 1994.

MORE ON STRATEGY: Keep a Watchful Eye on Clients | Why Clients Really Stay | 8 Ways to Build Team Engagement | How to Create 4 New Billable Hours per Day | Do You Know What Clients Want? | Is Your Business By Design or Default? | The World Is Flat | The Profession Disrupted: Compliance Commoditized
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If you are going to remain relevant you are going to have to be proactive and add value. That means the level of WOW needs to improve.
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How to Create 4 New Billable Hours per Day

You have more capacity than you think.

By Rob Nixon
Panalitix

I am going to show you how to free up to 4 hours per accountant per day of new capacity – without hiring any more accountants. 

MORE ON STRATEGY:  Don’t Let Technology Make You Dumber  |  Do You Know What Clients Want?  |  What It Means to Be a Real-Time Accountant | 12 Predictions on the Future of Accounting | Will the Internet Replace CPAs? | The Profession Disrupted: Compliance Commoditized
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Catch Rob live and in-person: CPA Trendlines readers can save $50 on Firm of Now events with the discount code “TRENDS” at firmofnow.com.

I’ll use the example of a sole practitioner with accountants. You can multiply the math out for your size firm. You’ll see that by implementing just three strategies you can free up to 4 hours per accountant per day – maybe more. With five accountants that’s 100 hours per week, or 4,500 hours+ per year.

If you have an average hourly rate of just $150 that’s $675,000 of new capacity. You could re-fill the capacity or downsize your team. Have I got your attention yet?

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14 Ways to Leverage Client Data for New Billings

Chart of client interest in KPITop of the list? Cash flow forecasting.

By Rob Nixon

As you become a real-time accountant, one of the key steps is to strongly recommend that your clients migrate across to a cloud accounting solution. That’ll take 12 to 36 months to systematically help your clients change.

MORE ON STRATEGY: Don’t Let Technology Make You Dumber | Do You Know What Clients Want?  | What It Means to Be a Real-Time Accountant | Are Your Goals Big Enough? | Is Your Business By Design or Default? | 12 Predictions on the Future of Accounting | Finding New Opportunity in Compliance Services | The World Is Flat | Will the Internet Replace CPAs? | How Offshoring Is Shaking Up Accounting | The Profession Disrupted: Compliance Commoditized
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Let’s assume you have done that. You have spent the time training them. You have helped them to get good data in, so good data can come out.
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11 Questions to Ask Every Tax Client

Question marksAn easy way to introduce clients to additional services.

By Ed Mendlowitz
How to Build a Stronger Tax Practice

Many times we have important preliminary discussions when we obtain a client’s tax information.

MORE ON MARKETING: Why CPAs Are Suited to Financial Planning | Tax Projections: How and Why | How to Raise Client Awareness of Services
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Skilled interviewing, or effective follow-up techniques, can make these into an additional engagement.

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What’s Lousy, the Client or Your Approach?

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and AInvestigate why problems exist.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: I have a client that is a not-for-profit and they are having a dinner and expect me to attend as well as take an ad.

MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: Too Much Paper, Too Many Drives | Do You Want to Keep This Employee? | How to Know Everything | Checklist for Running a Practice | Hate Meeting People? Try Improv (No Joke) | Help Clients, Increase Revenue: Make Sure Everyone on Staff Knows Your Firm’s Full Menu of Services | How to Sell Your Practice

However, they are a lousy client. They do not give us the requested information until the last minute and then complain we are always late with our report. They pay us months after the bill is sent and then only after quite a few phone calls, and then they complain about the fee being too high when it is half of our time charges – they are on a fixed fee and don’t let us raise it each year. And now they expect a “contribution.” What should I do?
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Marketing vs. Selling: Both Must Serve the Client First

Woman explaining financial brochure to manIt comes down to what will best serve your clients.

By Ed Mendlowitz
How to Build a Stronger Tax Practice

There are differences between marketing and selling.

Selling is a process whose goal is an actual order. Marketing involves the totality of presenting the company to the prospective customer so they want to do business with you.

MORE ON MARKETING: Adopt a Marketing Mindset

Salespeople need immediate gratification. Marketers take a long-term view.

Both are necessary for successful growth.
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How to Implement Strategy, Step by Step

Businessman's shoes toeing words "What's your next step?"Be specific and find ways to “catch” the partner in action.

By Bill Reeb and Dominic Cingoranelli

An Example of the Process

It’s one thing to say “the managing partner implements strategy,” another to put it into action.

MORE ON PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: Make Accountability a Process | Pay Varies When Performance Varies | Accountability Is for Everyone | Who Decides What? | Firms Say What Would Change Retirement Pay | Action Plans for Transitioning Partners | How Retirement Issues Affect Succession Planning | How Partner Ratings Factor Into Equity | Develop Your Employees or Suffer the Consequences

Following is an example of this process, providing more detail to show how it might look in actual practice. Let’s assume that one of the goals of a partner is to increase the Most Trusted Business Advisor Activity for his or her top clients. In the initial goal sheet, for this one goal from the managing partner, that might look like this:
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3 Rules for Asking Great Tax-Return Questions

Preserve your sanity, amaze your clients.Question marks

By Frank Stitely

Asking clients great questions is central to Ruthlessly Efficient Workflow Management (R.E.W.).

More: There Are No Easy Answers  |  The 3 Biggest Tech Failures of Accounting Firms  |  Debunking the Demise of the CPA Firm  | How to Thrive as a 21st-Century Firm   |  7 Steps to Effective Project Management  | How Many Tax Preparers Do You Need?   |  WIP-ing Clients Into Shape

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Great client questions can save hundreds of hours of time during tax season and prevent projects from falling behind schedule. Here’s an example of questions done badly.

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