Whether your accounting firm has been successful by acquisition, the efforts of the partners or just through organic growth, you are likely facing a big challenge as the partners mature.
The firm may be undervalued, a worrying issue for senior partners reaching retirement age. Individual partner efforts can be unplanned and do not provide a robust forecasting capability.
Junior members of the firm may have little incentive to develop the practice or buy in.
The backbone of every practice is tax preparation, audit and compliance, and you likely get your “fair share” of this business. However, commoditization, the availability of shrink-wrapped accounting products and a lack of understanding of what is involved by clients lead to lower-than-acceptable realization rates and margins.
There is often no established system in place to manage these clients profitably. In fact, a lot of this business is characterized by frustration, resentment and pain.
In addition, the practice with SME clients typically needs to improve its realization rate. This implies not only encouraging staff to bill additional hours, it means setting up clearer fee expectations with clients to start with; building a practice with clients who are willing to pay more; and creating additional value that clients will happily pay more for.
You need an Orchestrated System you can brand with your firm's name.
?By working in the confines of a system, creating fixed steps, documenting and duplicating each step, you quickly build the essential foundational components. The focus then moves to operating and innovating within the system.
A branded system will attract talent. Your staff will thank you for including them in the marketing process and giving them tools to become successful immediately. The payoff in effectiveness and efficiency can be stunning. And you will be more successful at attracting and keeping good young CPAs and CAs.
When you become the obvious choice for a service, product or market, your customers are not only wiling to pay a premium, they expect to do so. In fact, you will be surprised to learn that the greatest challenge can sometimes be charging enough to align with the perceived value.
Because of the systematic approach to lead generation and lead conversion at the core of the system, you can create and test successful promotions and expect predictable results when you increase the scale of such promotions.
Nothing makes a business more attractive to a potential buyer than documented systems and predictable marketing results. The system allows potential buyers to feel confident that the business can operate without the current owner.
Across North America, we see that the SME segment appreciates and understands systems: inventory, bookkeeping, logistics, manufacturing, process control. If they already invest in systems for these areas, they are more likely to purchase services from a system-oriented firm.
Photo credit: Epicharmus