05 Jan 2021  |  2269

Most owners and partners of Accounting firms are ‘career’ accountants and by ‘default’ business owners. The most common plan for everyone entering into the profession is to be a good Accountant, serve the clients well, earn enough money and then maybe some 40 years later sell the ‘practice’ and retire. Deep down probably you too thought the same in the beginning.

Most owners and partners of Accounting firms are ‘career’ accountants and by ‘default’ business owners. Majority of them start working in an Accounting firm before they decide to join some firm as a partner or maybe branch out and start their own. The most common plan for everyone entering into the profession is to be a good Accountant, serve the clients well, earn enough money and then maybe some 40 years later sell the ‘practice’ and retire. Deep down probably you too thought the same in the beginning.


It’s not incorrect if you have been calling yourself ‘practitioners’ or ‘tax practitioners’. In some sense that’s true, but this ‘practice’ you have been running, is a business and there’s no shying away from the fact that you decided to do it for profit. It’s the vehicle to create wealth for you and your family. So it’s more appropriate to call it a ‘business’ instead of just ‘practice’.


Moreover, now clients expect your role to be more of an advisor or coach than someone who just takes care of their taxes, audits and compliance. You should not be surprised to know that consultation has become huge and holds more prominence than the conventional services. Even a Wall Street Journal report said that the “Big 4” audit firms (Deloitte, PWC, EY and KPMG) now generate more revenue from consulting than from their traditional audit services.


Today the Big 4 are no longer just dependent on traditional revenue of audit/assurance. Their largest revenue streams today are consulting & advisory.


Clearly, the approach of being just an accountant is not going to help you grow any longer. You are expected to be entrepreneurs, coaches and leaders at the same time. This means you are at the centre of every business decision. You need to be out there selling your valued services to clients as if they need it from you, coach them in their financial life. In the process you will be adding tremendous value to your clients and building an amazing Accounting business for yourself.


Look at your clients. What is the number one product they could buy from you that would help them be even more successful? You must go ahead and insist that they buy it from you. If you are not doing it, you are not being the true financial coach and neither are you doing good to your business.


However, to be a coach and to empathize with its plight are two very different things. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and ask yourself, Would you advise your clients something and not implement the same thing in your practice? Would you tell them to bring about certain improvements in their processes and not have them implemented on your own side?

You can always advise them on the methods that have been developed to successfully seek out and act on opportunities to help improve your clients' businesses. It involves operational improvements and develops appropriate strategies for implementation. Its ultimate purpose is to drive business growth through improvement. This includes:

  • Business improvement strategies for you and your clients.
  • Bridging the gap between business operations and business goals.
  • Ways to increase margins, and develop your team to sustain a systematic growth 
  • Analyzing the current market and needs of your existing clients. 

You need to lead by example when it comes to business success. You need to run a better business than your clients that you’re leading. Your clients look up to you in so many ways, they trust you.  If you run a better business then you can advise on how others should do that.


While owning and running a firm your thinking process is just not limited to doing the job at hand, but also towards growth, managing the employees, taking care of the infrastructure, building reputation and reach, structuring offerings, marketing decisions, staffing challenges, and a host of other things. Even after they start off their own firms, not many owners experience the freedom they desire; instead they feel overwhelmed, and are bound in their practice. So, just spare a moment and ask yourself this question, ‘would you want to be your own client?’


And the key to growing the business in the right direction lies in how well you develop your team. To do that, you must have the right people with right roles and responsibilities, proper training and improving capacity. But that’s not the cakewalk as it seems.


Being a business owner your focus is required on the bigger picture, not the mundane everyday tasks. To do that you must find good and capable people to take care of this. Offshoring is one of the hottest trends in the profession right now, as it offers a myriad of benefits. You can get more work done in less time and save a ton of money. You can offshore mundane or repetitive tasks to free more space for your A-team to do the most valuable work. Better still, they might also perform some core business functions if you don’t have enough capable people on site. You’ll be much more efficient and provide a ton of value to your clients.


At the same time it helps you save tons of money at your end.  Being the financial coach to your clients, don’t you always advise them on strategies to save money?  The costs of setting up an offshore team by yourself (with the help of an Offshore Staffing agency like Entigrity) is more than 60% cheaper than doing it on your own and locally. You can delegate all the back end and admin work while letting your local team focus on what they do best.


It's your business and the best person to know what to do to make it grow is you. Like said earlier, your clients will follow your advice when they see you are doing good for yourself. 

As an entrepreneur, your goal is knowing how to deliver value to people. Anyone can come up with a hypothesis and test out a new idea. That doesn't take magic to do.

Entigrity™ is a trusted offshore staffing partner to over 500+ accountants, CPAs and tax firms across the US and Canada. Our flexible and transparent hiring model gives helps firms of all sizes to hire staff for accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation or any other task for 75% less cost. As a firm 'run by accountants, for the accountants', Entigrity captures the hiring needs of accounting firms most precisely, providing staff that works directly under your control and management, still you are left with least to worry about compliance, payroll taxes, overheads or any other benefits. 


About The Author
Senior Vice President

Mike is a CPA and has over 30 years of experience in thought leadership and mentoring. His experience and constant efforts in solving prevalent issues of accounting industry is his biggest stand out point. He has been instrumental in mentoring scores of entrepreneurial accounting and finance professionals to get up on their feet and convert their practices into successful ones. He has authored a book called 'Principles of High Performance Leadership'

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