the four phases of service life

chart of a product life cycleplus the effects of a late mature market.

by august j. aquila

there is an important concept in marketing that provides companies with tremendous insight as to what they can expect for their products or services in the marketplace. it’s called the product life cycle and, sooner or later, all products and services will go through the complete cycle. as they do, several external and internal factors change. the accounting industry and the services it provides are no different.

more: what we know about pricing strategies | make the most of your marketing mix | marketing orientation is what firms need | when hourly billing hurts profits
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as this figure shows, the product life cycle is divided into four distinct phrases: introduction, growth, maturity and decline. the most important thing to remember about the product life cycle is that it is intimately tied into the sales of that product or service. it’s important that a firm’s marketing mix change during the life cycle of its various products.
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what we know about pricing strategies

price targetwhere penetration comes in.

by august j. aquila

pricing in the real world is much different than in the accounting profession. usually, wholesalers and retailers set their prices by using markups as the product moves through a distribution channel.

more: make the most of your marketing mix | marketing orientation is what firms need | when hourly billing hurts profits
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producers or manufacturers usually set a list price. think of the manufacturer’s suggested list price on the window of a new car. car dealers will use various methods to price the new vehicle. let’s look at the most common pricing strategies that you may consider.
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make the most of your marketing mix

"target market" illustration with arrow and bull's eyeupdating the five p’s.

by august j. aquila

forty-five years ago, in 1977, the landmark u.s. supreme court decision in bates & o’steen v. state bar of arizona, 433 u.s. 350 (1977) changed the accounting profession forever. that decision prompted accountants to pursue a wide range of marketing activities. and, ever since that eventful day, accountants have been struggling with the meaning of marketing and the impact of marketing on their practices.

more: marketing orientation is what firms need | when hourly billing hurts profits
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some would say that it has been the best thing that ever happened to the profession and others, of course, would voice just the opposite opinion. whichever side of the debate you are on, there is one certainty: marketing is here to stay.
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marketing orientation is what firms need

production orientation is where too many rest.

by august j. aquila

let’s look at the different focuses or orientations that firms can take toward managing and running their practices and see which ones the traditional pricing methods encourage. any organization, whether an accounting firm or not, usually tends to have one of four focuses.

they are either selling-oriented, product-oriented, production-oriented or marketing-oriented.

more: when hourly billing hurts profits
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each focus will have a direct impact on how a firm looks at servicing clients and pricing its services. the predominant focus is often dictated by the value system of the founders of the organization or its current management team. perhaps when the firm was first started, the predominant focus was appropriate. however, a danger exists when the external environment changes and the internal environment of the firm stays the same. in the ’70s and early ’80s firms did quite well by following a production orientation focus. in the late ’80s and the ’90s, this strategy did not work as well. and it certainly does not work today.
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when hourly-billing hurts profits

the rule of three algorithm vs. the new cost-plus worksheet.

by august j. aquila

the time has come for the accounting professional to rethink the paradigm on which pricing has been based.

most now agree that the traditional methods of price setting can have a negative impact on a firm.

more: the morning after the merger | 6 action steps for a smooth retirement transition | the eternal riddle of being an effective leader | 7 pieces of leadership advice | tomorrow’s leader in 9 bullet points | 5 ways to get clients to accept a new pricing philosophy | 11 alternative pricing methods

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somewhere along the line accountants began to believe that an hour of their work had a set value to their clients. as we shall see, this false assumption has led to the current state of affairs and has caused accountants to:

  • produce more chargeable hours by constantly reinventing the wheel
  • hoard work and, consequently, do a poor job of delegating
  • inhibit the creation of more efficient ways of producing accounting services
  • hinder the development of more efficient project management

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seven deadly sins that will destroy your firm

businessman in an umbrella sails in storm in the nightthe pandemic actually brought us a positive.

by august j. aquila

my experience has been that firms suffer not only economically, but also professionally. clients and staff also suffer because the following behaviors hurt client service and staff development.

more: the morning after the merger | 6 action steps for a smooth retirement transition | the eternal riddle of being an effective leader | 7 pieces of leadership advice | tomorrow’s leader in 9 bullet points | 5 ways to get clients to accept a new pricing philosophy | 11 alternative pricing methods

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if you notice any of these in your firm, act today to change the culture.

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the morning after the merger

//www.g005e.com/2020/09/17/the-morning-after-the-merger/the definitive 24-point checklist.

by august j. aquila

you just signed the merger agreement and everyone goes out to celebrate. the work is over and now you think you can relax.

more: 6 action steps for a smooth retirement transition | 7 succession planning best practices | grissom and aquila on partner performance evaluations | gross profit in a professional services firm: opening a dialogue
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what else is there to worry about?

plenty!

you now have to move your eye from the financial to the human side of the merger.

your work in this area has just begun and may last for 12 months or more.
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covid launches a new reality: now what?


^click to play: aquila addresses covid crisis response strategies.

eight new trends you can’t ignore in the new normal.

by august aquila

every day we get a clearer picture of what the future holds for the accounting profession, business in general and the overall population. while the future may look daunting, we will do our best to make the most of it and come out stronger. it’s what we have always done.

more: 6 action steps for a smooth retirement transition | 7 succession planning best practices | grissom and aquila on partner performance evaluations | gross profit in a professional services firm: opening a dialogue | checklist: 18 essential steps to effective billing | how to get partners to accept a new pricing philosophy
goprocpa.comexclusively for pro members. log in here or 2022世界杯足球排名 today.

nevertheless, don’t plan on the old ways coming back. i just read that more than 60,000 accountants have already lost their jobs. perhaps, the war for talent will be over. there will be further reductions in the professional service workforce and firms will be able to pick and choose from the talent pool.
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10 things you can start doing immediately

telberg photo barcelona blur 183-20160206okay, so we’re not invincible.

by august aquila

the pandemic has hit us fast and furious. the current crisis is forcing us to change the way to live and work. if you are reading this, you’re probably in an accounting firm. but these suggestions apply to many other sections of the economy.

the coronavirus crisis: three ways to step up in uncertain times | accountants battle coronavirus chaos | smartphone thermometers predict coronavirus hot spots | go remote with this app you already own [#wfh] | the top portable monitors for working from home | why process is key to remote work | in these turbulent times, leaders must lead! | the tax effects of coronavirus [live 1-hour webinar] | how to think straight through the coronavirus crisis | coronavirus culture-shift hits accounting firms | how to sanitize electronics against covid-19 with uv light

more: 卡塔尔世界杯常规比赛时间 is providing free access to our latest crisis update. start here for a guide to all our coverage.

here is a list of 10 items that you can start doing immediately:

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2020 outlook: talent shortage drags on

what it takes to prosper.

by august j. aquila

the last of the baby boomers are retiring in large numbers this year. they had a long run at managing firms, but their time is now up.

more: 6 action steps for a smooth retirement transition | 7 succession planning best practices | grissom and aquila on partner performance evaluations | gross profit in a professional services firm: opening a dialogue | checklist: 18 essential steps to effective billing
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i’m still seeing a lot of them trying to hold on and control things well into their 70s. i advise them to transfer equity while they are on the top of their game and not when they and the firm are declining. while many take this advice, those who don’t aren’t sure what they will do once they retire. i usually work out a retirement game plan for them.
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6 action steps for a smooth retirement transition

older businessman with jacket over shoulderplus 8 questions the retiree should ponder.

by august j. aquila

firms today are facing succession planning issues at an unheard-of pace. blame it on the baby boomers and the overall demographics of the accounting profession and population in general.

more: 7 succession planning best practices | 8 steps to make cross-selling work for your firm | what marketers need to know about pricing | client centricity leads to profitability | 6 steps to making your new pricing happen | preparing to change pricing philosophy
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over the past year i have worked with several managing partners in helping them transition from one set of leaders to another. the question i often get is, when is the time right?
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7 succession planning best practices

woman winking and holding thumb upnone of it works without the managing partner’s backing.

by august j. aquila

succession planning today is more complex for professional services firms than it was 15 years ago. practices have become more complex, the traditional business model that served firms so well in the 20th century no longer works today and clients have become more sophisticated.

more: 8 steps to make cross-selling work for your firm | the eternal riddle of being an effective leader | 7 pieces of leadership advice | tomorrow’s leader in 9 bullet points | 5 ways to get clients to accept a new pricing philosophy | 11 alternative pricing methods
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fifteen years ago, it seemed that succession planning was nothing more than having the current firm leader announce who was going to take over the firm. and for the most part that process seemed to work. today the process is more complex.
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8 steps to make cross-selling work for your firm

businesswoman sitting on table while talking with four coworkerstwo keys: education and incentives.

by august j. aquila

cross selling in most firms just doesn’t work as well as it could. it is probably the most talked about process in accounting firms and, undoubtedly, one of the most frustrating.

more: the eternal riddle of being an effective leader | grissom and aquila on partner performance evaluations | gross profit in a professional services firm: opening a dialogue | how to get partners to accept a new pricing philosophy | 12 pricing factors beyond cost
goprocpa.comexclusively for pro members. log in here or 2022世界杯足球排名 today.

firms constantly give referrals to attorneys, bankers, brokers and financial advisers, but giving a referral to a fellow partner or associate just doesn’t seem to happen. either firms don’t know how to do cross selling, or there are some other hidden reasons for the reluctance to give a referral to someone else in the firm. there is, of course, no miracle cure for this problem, but you can make cross selling more effective for your firm. here’s how.
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the eternal riddle of being an effective leader

businesswoman holding green folder4 characteristics. also: leading vs. managing.

by august j. aquila

some form of leadership probably has been around since the dawn of time. the early cave man with the largest club became the leader of the clan.

more: grissom and aquila on partner performance evaluations | august aquila: what marketers need to know about pricing | client centricity leads to profitability | 6 steps to making your new pricing happen | applying cobb’s value curve to your firm
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sometimes this type of leadership can still be found in businesses today – accountants and lawyers have just replaced the club with a book of business or rainmaking skills.
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