CPA firm growth has remained relatively stable over the last few years, leading many firms to look for ways to jump start their growth to exceed industry averages. Having a strategy for growth is essential. If your firm chooses to focus on organic growth, you’ll need solid plans for developing new client relationships or expanding services offered. If you plan to grow through M&A activity, you’ll need to focus on building the value of your firm, in addition to finding potential business partners. Of course, a combination of both approaches is usually the best bet for the highest growth.
Whatever your strategy, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to get started. In a whitepaper for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, Boomer Consulting President Sandra Wiley presents a plan for Unlocking the secret to high growth through technology. She asks these questions:
Question 1: Can you find your firm’s critical data?
Strategy development is the key to sustainability. But you can’t develop a growth strategy without knowing where your revenue is coming from. Do you know where your profitability is greatest? Wiley writes “Cloud based solutions will continue to provide more robust analytical tools, social and mobile computing opportunities to reshape how we do our jobs, and how, when and where we can analyze the numbers.”
Question 2: How will your business development initiatives address your clients’ critical needs?
As the demographics of your clients change, your firm needs to be sure you are addressing their unique needs. Aging clients, younger clients, and less traditional clients all have different expectations of their trusted advisers. Firms need to develop their strategies with these varied audiences in mind. According to Wiley, “Timeliness and accessibility will be high expectations in the future.”
Question 3: Are you ready for the talent war?
In addition to looking for flexible work options, the new wave of workers values challenging work. It won’t be enough to keep your staff busy. You’ll need to keep them working on the right types of projects to keep them engaged. “Flexible, highly trained, tech-savvy and highly leveraged are all words that will describe our future workforce,” writes Wiley. “Allowing our teams to work when, where and how it fits into a well-balanced life of a strong professional is at the top of the list.”
Growing your firm is never easy, and exceeding industry averages for CPA firm growth is even harder. In order to succeed, your firm will need to have a strategy in place. Your technology infrastructure has to do more than just adjust to your changing firm – it can actually help bring about the changes your firm needs to achieve exponential growth.