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 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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9 Ways to Boost Your Value (and Your Fees)

Red "quality guarantee" stamp with wooden stamperCan you leave behind a toy? A cheat sheet?

By Sandi Smith Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

Want to charge more for your services? One way is to offer clients more value. Your fees and your value to the client should go hand in hand.

Here are nine ideas to increase your value to your clients:

1. Offer a guarantee.

You might feel like offering a guarantee is taking on a lot more risk than you’d like to, but this is a myth. When you offer a guarantee, you help to lower the perceived risk your client feels they might have when deciding to do business with you. This greatly increases the number of clients who will take that chance, even if they don’t know you very well yet. The surprising truth is that very few people will take the time to ask for a refund, making the increased sales far more valuable than the few returns you’ll need to process, if any.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: 3 Ways to Get to ‘Yes’ with Prospects | 5 Cures for the Summertime Blues | Design Your Business Around Your Strengths | Two Daily Rituals: Focus and Measure | 5 Cool Ways to Streamline Data Sharing | 3 Tips for Following Up with Prospects | 5 Ways a Deadline Can Help Close a Deal | 7 Ways to Get New Revenue from Old Clients | 9 Ways to Increase Sales through ‘Power Networking’ | 3 Ways to Test Your Revenue Forecast | Whip Out the Wow Factor for Clients | If You’re a ‘Best-Kept Secret’ Cut It Out! | Take Advantage of 4 Key Marketing Strategies

Set limits, qualifications and perhaps money on your guarantee, such as time frames, restocking fees and requiring products to be mailed back in good condition. That way, you reduce your risk of running into the few people who will take unfair advantage of the system.

2. Offer affinity discounts. READ MORE →

3 Ways to Get to ‘Yes’ with Prospects

Woman staring at watch in waiting areaBonus Checklists: Checking first impressions, reducing risk, putting a face on your practice.

By Sandi Smith Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

Change is hard on all of us, and there’s no exception when it comes to new customers taking a first step to do business with you.

The question is, how can you make it easier for clients to get through that change so that they will do business with you?

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: 5 Cures for the Summertime Blues | Design Your Business Around Your Strengths | Two Daily Rituals: Focus and Measure | 5 Cool Ways to Streamline Data Sharing | How to Calculate Your ‘Opportunity Number’ | 5 Things You Know That Clients Don’t | 8 Must-Haves for a Prospect Kit | 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

The key is to be as approachable as possible, and here are some tips to do that. READ MORE →

5 Cures for the Summertime Blues

Sad businessman sitting at desk outdoors and looking straight aheadShift some of the heavy lifting to your lighter months.

By Sandi Smith Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

For some of you, summer can be a slow time in your business. If you do taxes, all the action is during busy season and in September if you have a lot of extensions. If you’re a bookkeeper, your busiest month is January. And if you do software consulting or training, it slows down in July and August.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Design Your Business Around Your Strengths | Two Daily Rituals: Focus and Measure | 5 Cool Ways to Streamline Data Sharing | How to Calculate Your ‘Opportunity Number’ | 9 Ways Accountants Throw Away Profits | 7 Ways to Get New Revenue from Old Clients | 9 Ways to Increase Sales through ‘Power Networking’ | 3 Ways to Test Your Revenue Forecast | How to Work the Same Hours and Make More Money | If You’re a ‘Best-Kept Secret’ Cut It Out!

If you have a good relationship with your clients, you might be able to move some of your busy season work to off season. And if you have clients who are ready to take advantage of new technologies, there are lots of opportunities in the cloud. Here are five quick ideas to stir up some revenue in the slower summer months. READ MORE →

Design Your Business Around Your Strengths

Young businesswoman painting strategyThe 24 strengths all humans have – and how to make your top strengths work for you.

By Sandi Smith Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

Most of us have an idea about what our character strengths are.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: 5 Cool Ways to Streamline Data Sharing | How to Calculate Your ‘Opportunity Number’ | 3 Tips for Following Up with Prospects | If You Don’t Develop Your Business, Who Will? | Draw New Clients In Like a Magnet | 3 Ways to Test Your Revenue Forecast | How to Work the Same Hours and Make More Money | If You’re a ‘Best-Kept Secret’ Cut It Out! | 5 Ways to Turn a Tough Day Into a Great One | Four Ways to Stop Leaving Money on the Table

A few years back, a scientist named Christopher Peterson developed a global list of 24 strengths that all humans have.

These break down into the following six major categories: READ MORE →