Are you running a small or medium sized CPA firm? Consider using one of these four tips to increase your chances of success this year and beyond.
The AICPA’s annual survey is back – with great news. Accountancy firms all over the United States are thriving. Smaller firms especially appear to be on an upswing, reporting an average of 11% growth in 2016. Accountants are innovating and restructuring to meet the changing needs of our clients and communities. How can we continue this trend? Expert analysis points to four behaviors that increase the chances of success for a small CPA firm.
1. Focus on Relationships
Generation X and Millennials will soon be the majority of your clients. These generations care more about relationships than any generation in recent history. They want more than a number-cruncher, but rather someone that will walk them through complex financial tasks such as tax preparation, small business management, and financial planning. Even older generations are beginning to adopt this value, making it imperative for firms to change how they relate to their clients. It is more important than ever that your office be customer-friendly, cultivating loyalty and trust.
2. Switch Up Your Billing
Are you still billing by the hour? This may change in the near future. Although 85% of accounting firms still use this structure, clients increasingly prefer other ways of calculating cost. Fixed fees, per-form fees, and value pricing are the wave of the future. These charge for value rather than time, an important distinction to many modern people seeking financial services. This style of billing also opens up new funding opportunities for accountants. Rather than chaining yourself and your employees to the clock, you can focus on increasing efficiency and value.
3. Use Technology to Your Advantage
The new survey has found that many firms are investing in technology with great results. There are many technologies available such as cloud computing systems and video conferencing software that can increase efficiency while opening up new avenues of collaboration. The new generation of small business owners are comfortable with these systems and eager to use them, so your firm also should be so. In an era of value pricing, technology can increase profits immensely while providing a better client experience.
4. Embrace Change in Your CPA Firm
Most people do not like change. However, CPAs should embrace it. The flat management structure of accountacy firms allows us to respond quickly to changes in the market. Is there a new niche with huge profit potential? Can turnover costs and employee morale be improved with modified schedules or work from home opportunities? The most successful firms have leadership that is open to all change, willing to logically and systematically evaluate every new opportunity for growth.
The next year will bring even more potential for profit and growth. Will your company make the most of each opportunity? Following these tips will help you to set your firm up for any even happier new year.