5 ways to grow your firm

In today’s accounting firms, achieving high growth targets will require new and better ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Improving operations can help you grow your firm profits and add value to client relationships, both of which will help shore up your firm’s well-being. Here are five ways to make that happen.

1. Grow your referrals

Referrals remain one of the strongest ways accounting firms attract new clients, according to polls.  Sure, social media and other online marketing can help attract new business and grow your firm, but your existing clients are probably your best source of referrals. However, you might need to think beyond word of mouth. Some evidence suggests that younger generations are skeptical of the historical best way to get accounting work done or of the historical best firm. Successful firms will need to embrace and wield new and emerging business development tools to be worthy of referral.

2. Build strategic partnerships

One idea for generating leads comes from Moore Stephens Tiller: “We entered into a strategic partnership with a local wealth advisory firm. One thing we have them ask is, ‘Are you happy with your current CPA?’ That gets us in the door to get the compliance services, and then to grow the account from there,” says Lee Hudson, CPA, associate partner.

3. Incentivize your staff

Want your staff to think about long-term growth? Make it worth their while. Give them a percentage of the first year’s billing, let staff members go to meetings to help close the business, and involve and trust your young staff members. Letting your younger staff be involved in lead prospecting is a key part of a successful business development strategy, especially going forward.

4. Focus on recruitment

You want the best and brightest accountants working for you. That means constantly looking at the up and comers and helping them get to know you. Firms need to get in front of students early. Moore Stephens Tiller does this by inviting college students for a roundtable with the audit and tax staff, team-building exercises, and a baseball game.  “We’re bringing in 10 to 12 freshmen and sophomores to show them a good time with our teams. We want to bring in enough students to meet future staffing needs, but not so many that they feel like a number,” Hudson says.

5. Dive into data analytics

If you’re still manually looking at client files to figure out who might be impacted by regulatory change, you’re ignoring one of the most useful tools out there. Predictive Intelligence technologies, like CCH Axcess™ iQ, help position you as a strategic partner by querying your client data to identify those clients and alert you. That way you’re proactively communicating any changes to clients so they can make decisions earlier.

Build a business development roadmap

Ready to grow your firm? Learn how you can position your firm for success by downloading the new ebook, Embracing Business Development in Accounting Firms. Download Now.

AUTHOR

Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting

Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting is a leading provider of software solutions and local expertise that helps tax, accounting, and audit professionals research and navigate complex regulations, comply with legislation, manage their businesses and advise clients with speed, accuracy and efficiency. Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting is part of Wolters Kluwer N.V. (AEX: WKL), a global leader in information services and solutions for professionals in the health, tax and accounting, risk and compliance, finance and legal sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services. Wolters Kluwer reported 2016 annual revenues of €4.3 billion. The company, headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands, serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries and employs 19,000 people worldwide. Wolters Kluwer shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices. Wolters Kluwer has a sponsored Level 1 American Depositary Receipt program. The ADRs are traded on the over-the-counter market in the U.S. (WTKWY).

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