3 Reasons Small Firms Stay Small

Woman in home office looking at paperwork in front of computerPlus 5 common situations. Do you see yourself?

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur

When firms want to grow but can’t, the problem is neither economy nor resources.

MORE ON ENTREPRENEURIAL STRATEGY: How Job Titles Can Rebrand Your Firm | Your Clients Hold a Secret Key to Your Practice Growth | Seven Lessons for Accountants from Self-Driving Cars | You Don’t Think Technology Helps Get New Clients? | Tax Season Management: Multi-Tasking Is a Myth
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  1. There are firms that do not want to grow. As long as it is by conscious, purposeful choice, it is a decision well respected.
  2. There are firms that believe that they cannot grow beyond what they have already achieved.
  3. Then there are firms that want to grow but struggle to break the shackles of being where they are now.

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Do You Want to Do Compliance Your Whole Career?

StressIf the answer is no, take these 6 steps.

By Sandi Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

As compliance services become more commoditized and automated, accountants are faced with how this affects their practice and their bottom line.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: 5 Skills to Grow Your Practice | How A Spreadsheet Can Help Stop Leaks | 9 Ways to Boost Your Value (and Your Fees) | 3 Ways to Get to ‘Yes’ with Prospects | Design Your Business Around Your Strengths | 5 Cool Ways to Streamline Data Sharing | How to Calculate Your ‘Opportunity Number’ | 5 Ways a Deadline Can Help Close a Deal | Draw New Clients In Like a Magnet | 5 Things You Know That Clients Don’t | 3 Ways to Test Your Revenue Forecast | Whip Out the Wow Factor for Clients | Take Advantage of 4 Key Marketing Strategies  | Four Ways to Stop Leaving Money on the Table

They can:

  1. Serve a higher level client that requires greater complexity, making themselves fairly immune to these changes
  2. Serve a larger number of clients to offset a drop in revenue per client averages
  3. Add new services to their practice to boost revenue per client

Those are pretty much the options available to keep profits from shrinking. But today I want to focus on the third point above, adding new services, and provide you with some ideas on how you may be able to serve your tax compliance clients in new ways.

Even if you don’t do taxes, you will find some ideas for new related services you can think about offering to your clients. (Remember, it’s easier to sell to existing clients than to acquire new ones.)

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5 Skills to Grow Your Practice

Young businesswoman walking up green line on a graphListen for your clients’ pain points.

By Sandi Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

We’ve worked super-hard on gaining our accounting, tax and auditing skills. Those skills alone will keep us working as employees for someone else, but what if we want to go out on our own or grow our business beyond what we have now?

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Is It Time to Reboot Your Practice? | 5 Ways to Get More Referrals | How A Spreadsheet Can Help Stop Leaks | 9 Ways to Boost Your Value (and Your Fees) | 3 Ways to Get to ‘Yes’ with Prospects | Two Daily Rituals: Focus and Measure | 5 Cool Ways to Streamline Data Sharing | 7 Ways to Get New Revenue from Old Clients | 5 Things You Know That Clients Don’t

Here are five skills to consider adding to your toolbox so you can get ahead faster. How do you rate in each of these areas?
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Is It Time to Reboot Your Practice?

Man in suit pushing a restart button4 steps to turn things around.

By Sandi Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

How does your current business look compared to the one you dreamed about before you started your entrepreneurial journey?

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: 5 Ways to Get More Referrals | 9 Ways to Boost Your Value (and Your Fees) | 3 Ways to Get to ‘Yes’ with Prospects | 5 Cures for the Summertime Blues | Two Daily Rituals: Focus and Measure | How to Calculate Your ‘Opportunity Number’ | 9 Ways Accountants Throw Away Profits | If You Don’t Develop Your Business, Who Will? | Draw New Clients In Like a Magnet | 9 Ways to Increase Sales through ‘Power Networking’ | 3 Ways to Test Your Revenue Forecast | Whip Out the Wow Factor for Clients | How to Work the Same Hours and Make More Money | Take Advantage of 4 Key Marketing Strategies  | Four Ways to Stop Leaving Money on the Table

Do you now have

  • clients you love,
  • a dream team,
  • the financial rewards you are comfortable with and
  • plenty of free time?

If not, don’t give up. You can still get there, and a little business clarity may help you get there even faster.

Here are four steps:

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The 5 Most Common Marketing Blunders Accountants Make

How many are you making?

By Hitendra Patil

Proactive marketing is as rare as a marketing plan or a marketing budget at many firms. Getting new clients is one of the top 5 challenges for firms of all sizes. Accountants seem to be not doing enough of the right things.

MORE on THE ENTREPRENEURIAL ACCOUNTANT:  LinkedIn Adds Messaging. Finally!  |   Re-Learning the Lingo of the Accounting Business  |  How the “1099 Economy” Will Transform Accounting  |  What CPA Firms Could Learn from Google’s Alphabet  |  Summer Reading List: Five Great Books for the Five Lives of a Busy Accountant  |  Four Signs the Uberization of Accounting Has Already Begun  |  Management Guru Chester Elton on Success  |  Savvy CPAS Focus on the Constants  |  More

1. Not Doing Enough to Get Found by Prospects

It is estimated there are about 660,000 CPAs in the U.S., 80% of which are believed to be in the corporate world. That leaves 132,000 CPAs in practice. And there about 53,000 LinkedIn profiles that include the word “CPA” in the profile headline. In other words, 1 out of 2 CPAs is either not on LinkedIn or don’t use the profile headline to reflect that they are CPAs.

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The Emerging Cuba Opportunity for CPA Firms

Cuba special report logo vFAfter 50 years of practice in international trade and finance, Cuba accountants welcome U.S. ties.

By CPA Trendlines

HAVANA, Cuba – The United States is ending its 55-year trade embargo on Cuba. An embassy has been opened in Havana, and Cuba is opening its doors to American business.

The blockade isn’t down yet, but it is being dismantled as fast as Washington politics allows. It isn’t too soon to start looking for opportunities for international growth just 90 miles off the coast of the United States.

Lidya Esther Rodríguez González
Lidya González

Among the opportunities for both American and Cuban accountants are:

  • American and Cuban CPA firms serving Cuban-American enterprises and ventures.
  • Americans wishing to learn more about business in Cuba.
  • Cubans wishing to learn more about American accountancy and business
  • American companies wishing to open branches, subsidiaries, and other entities in Cuba
  • Other non-accounting services that accountants often offer, from IT to payroll to valuation

Do not underestimate the professional capacity of Cuban accountants.

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Need More Business? Focus on Referrals

Sandi Leyva and Michelle Long
Leyva and Long

A quick spreadsheet can show you where your money comes from now – and the best next targets.

By Sandi Leyva and Michelle Long
The Ultimate Accounting Virtual Conference

For those who need more business, boosting referrals is the cheapest way. So when we start to look at our marketing from a strategic standpoint, referrals is the channel we want to maximize.

If you’re thinking, “Okay, how do I lower mymarketing cost? Is that even an option? We spend a lot of time lowering our other expenses so why not lower our marketing costs?

There is an order on how to use marketing based on what is the most effective for professional services, and referrals is one of the cheapest ways we can add additional new clients without spending a lot of money on marketing.

Start with a spreadsheet

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LinkedIn Adds Messaging. Finally!

Picture11New chat app accelerates business networking, client communications.

By Hitendra Patil
Pransform Inc.

LinkedIn, undoubtedly the “go-to” social media platform for prospects to check out CPAs, is rolling out a messaging feature to allow real-time chat conversations. And it’s about time.

Until now, LinkedIn supported only email-like communication. But with messaging, you can actually have a conversation.

But now, with “messaging,” LinkedIn makes it possible for CPAs to have “conversations” with their connections. Everyone knows how “chats” and “text messages” help in short-form, need-based conversations build relationships. With LinkedIn as the real business-connections platform, messaging on LinkedIn will now help CPAs have conversations that build stronger relationships with their connections.

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Re-Learning the Lingo of the Accounting Business

New tech solutions require new thinking.

By Hitendra Patil
Pransform Inc.

It’s tough enough to keep up with the new technical developments in taxes and accounting, but practitioners are also grappling with a whole new vocabulary in technology.

If you’re not speaking the new lingo, you risk losing the millennials you work with and mystifying some of your clients and prospects.

For instance: In the distant past, you “bought” a “software license,” “received” a CD and then “installed” the software on your “desktop.” But now, you go to the “cloud” to “activate” your “subscriptions” to the “software as a service.”

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