Monthly Archives: December 2012
As many small accounting firms are using various online SaaS applications ranging from online payroll to QuickBooks in the Cloud to online portals, many accountants have been looking for a universal tool to connect their business clients directly to the online application, regardless of who the provider is. Our Client Center tool, which is free to Build Your Firm website subscribers, enables accountants to facilitate the online connection problem by placing all of these applications into one simple location, your accounting firm website.
For example, Build Your Firm’s Client Center tool enables your business clients to log into their account to process payroll, pull their online accounting information, and check their accounts payables on Bill.com. We simply don’t care if you use who you use for payroll, online accounting software, and online banking. We totally understand that Intuit and Thomson Reuters and other proprietary software providers don’t like to play together in the same sandbox. Of course, you do have to subscribe to the third party applications (online Saas services) and create an account for each business owner.
Here is an example of what our Client Center tool looks like on your website. It’s essentially a secure gateway so your clients can access their information online without calling your office. And yes, the online vendors run the gammit from Thomson Reuters to Intuit to ADP to Paychex to Intaact to various secure drop boxes/vaults.
As many accountants are preparing for the upcoming busy season and have completed tax planning for their business clients, many overlook one easy tactic to grow their accounting practice. And it costs you nothing. That is asking your clients to post reviews about your accounting and tax services online.
If you stop and think about it, now is a wonderful time of the year to ask 10-20 of your business clients to kindly complete a review of your services on Google+, Intuit’s QuickBooks Find-a-ProAdvisor, and Yelp. Right now, you are a hero to most of your business clients because you’ve provided them with guidance on the steps necessary to avoid tax surprises in March. In return, you now should ask them to kindly help you too by providing a review or two.
I suggest 10-20 because you will want a few fresh, favorable reviews going into busy season. And, some of your clients will do nothing, which is par for the course.
Online reviews give prospective clients the confidence to choose your practice over competitive firms. And, they can improve your visibility on the internet. Now is the ideal time to ask your loyal clients to post 1-2 reviews about your accounting firm so others can learn about it in the months ahead. Just do it.
Below is an article that was just published by CPA Practice Advisor about a young CPA and how he has successfully grown his practice from scratch.
To give you some background on his journey, the accountant is Luke Gheen in Colorado Springs, CO. He approached us in the fourth quarter of 2010 and wanted to start his own CPA practice. At the time, he was working as a Controller and did not yet have his CPA certification. He attended the Build Your Firm Accounting Marketing Program in November 2010, then sat for the CPA exam during tax season, and enrolled in the Outsourced Marketing Program in the spring of 2011 and his progress has been impressive.
After 1.5 years into running his own practice, Luke is acquiring nearly $100k per year in new business, operating very efficiently, and remains very energized about his practice. The niche that he chose to start off year two was QuickBooks Accounting.
As part of Luke practice management strategy, he operates his practice in the cloud using Thomson Reuters SaaS service. During the summer of 2012, the forest fires nearly engulfed both his office and residence so he packed up and went on vacation. His tech savvy practice management strategy enables him to operate virtually in the event he ever needs to relocate, which was very close. The inferno came within 50 yards.
Check out Luke’s story at CPA Practice Advisor.
I have had the opportunity to work with Mark for nearly four years now. The CPA Trendlines article titled Got a Niche? You Need a Niche highlights how he decided upon his niche and the evolutionary process for growing his practice. However, I’d like to share some additional insight into how far Mark has come with the practice. It truly has been a pleasure working with Mark and see his practice evolve.
As background, Mark’s initial practice was on the ropes. He made a practice acquisition to get started and he was under-financed, to put it mildly. The practice that he acquired was a handholding practice consisting of traditional write-up, payroll and 1040s. Shortly after buying the practice using a loan, the attrition rate was dramatically higher than anticipated but the debt financing was fixed. Mark did not know how to use marketing for lead generation or how to close business so he attended Build Your Firm’s Accounting Marketing Program to gain an understanding and practically begged to enter the Outsourced Marketing Program, which he could not afford. He was turned down for the Outsourced Marketing Program due to financing concerns but refused to accept no for an answer and was tenacious about requesting Build Your Firm’s help and get into the program.
Mark’s practice has grown four fold and his profit margins have more than doubled in four years. Had he been adequately financed to invest into marketing, his practice would be at least $200k larger than it is today. Regardless, he now operates as an effective rain maker for the practice, oversees the practice as a business owner and does not work process the work. His hours are manageable and he is enrolled to acquire another degree, totally separate from accounting.
Learn more about how thisaccountant in San Diego went about growing his accounting practice.
Go To: Article on CPA Trendlines