outlook 2023: consolidation brings challenges, opportunities

is your brand living its promise?

by sarah dobek

the profession will continue to see consolidation at all levels as mega firms continue to be created, presenting challenges and opportunities for middle-market firms. to compete, firms of all sizes will see a heavier focus on growth beyond their geographical boundaries. this will also require many more technical challenges and resources.

more:outlook 2023: top five trends|outlook 2023: compensation gets creative|outlook 2023: the office is over|2023 outlook: private equity comes for accounting firms
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labor force challenges will endure, and firms will continue working to augment their staff more deeply. firms will continue to explore roles for those in their firm. while it will take many years for the collegiate institutions to catch up, defining clear paths and roles for client servers, relationship professionals and technical experts must happen as part of this professionwide change. firms will continue to leverage operational support and continue asking questions about what they really must do and how to create new roles to support their firms.
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learn how to let go and let someone else step up

young businesswoman talking to her client and using tabletthree ways for leaders to draw in more.

by sarah johnson dobek

encouraging new leaders and creating smooth transitions are easy goals to identify. honing in on specific tactics to accomplish these broad objectives can be much more difficult. this post offers practical suggestions from current leaders at firms that are finding success at developing the leadership capabilities of younger team members.

more:three strategies to keep emerging leaders energized|marketing: not just for partners anymore|leadership growth is a two-way street|win with an intentional culture
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leadership is one of the top issues facing accounting firms today. we often hear firms say they can’t find or don’t have good leaders in their organization.
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five steps to getting leads from former clients

handle with care.

by sarah johnson dobek
inovautus consulting

i was monitoring linkedin answers the other day and saw a post from a business owner asking if it was appropriate to approach former clients for the purposes of lead generation. someone in the thread recommended that one shouldnotcontact former clients and instead, start from scratch.

more:four tips for cpas replacing clients|five lead generation mistakes to avoid|four ways to propel new cpas into growing your firm|four ways to help young rainmakers build their skills|seven reasons your growth plans are stalled|take the pressure of ‘selling’ out of ‘cross-selling’
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i disagree. it is one thing if you failed miserably with the client, but i can’t understand why you would abandon a relationship if you provided the client with good service and guidance.
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four tips for cpas replacing clients

longevity takes planning.

by sarah johnson dobek
inovautus consulting

do you have a strategy for replacing your aging clients? cpa firms and their clients have the same options when it comes to aging leadership. those who choose to continue their business will do so through internal succession or by merging or selling. then there are those who face unplanned succession or just choose to close up shop.

more:five lead generation mistakes to avoid|five post-tax season growth ideas|five better ways to say no|are you solving your clients’ problems?|five ways to grow new service lines|business development and sales aren’t scary
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every accounting firm will face one of these situations at some point, so here are four things your accounting firm should consider as they look at client replacement.
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five lead generation mistakes to avoid

magnifying-glass-1-150x150who is listening?

by sarah johnson dobek
inovautus consulting

we work with a lot of professional service firms. the one thing they always want is to generate more leads.

more:five post-tax season growth ideas|six tips for winning more proposals|six ways to engage young managers, staff in firm growth|the right dna for growth|how crisis illuminates your biz dev skills|business development and sales aren’t scary
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many of them have more leads than they realize at their disposal, but they are making some common mistakes.
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five post-tax season growth ideas

pull out your notes from client meetings.

by sarah johnson dobek
inovautus consulting

we believe you should be marketing your services during tax season because it’s the very best time to grow your business. we also realize that many professionals experience a lull in their business development and marketing activities simply because seasons overlap.

more:six tips for winning more proposals|four ways to propel new cpas into growing your firm|four ways to help young rainmakers build their skills|seven reasons your growth plans are stalled|take the pressure of ‘selling’ out of ‘cross-selling’
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spring taxes are followed by conference season, which leads into summer vacation – and next thing you know, kids are going back to school and the fall deadline is whispering your name. we want to see you grow in every season so we’ve compiled five ideas to keep your growth momentum going.
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six tips for winning more proposals

hgo beyond the basics.

by sarah johnson dobek
inovautus consulting

the public accounting marketplace has become an increasingly competitive marketplace. you want to easily win more proposals, but decision-makers are savvy purchasers. no longer do they just talk to one firm; they often talk to multiple firms.

more:four ways to propel new cpas into growing your firm|five better ways to say no|are you solving your clients’ problems?|five ways to grow new service lines|don’t confuse marketing with biz dev|business development and sales aren’t scary
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whether you were referred to an opportunity through your network or the prospect found you through the fantastic interweb, we have six tips to help you be more successful with every swing at the plate.
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four ways to propel new cpas into growing your firm

young businesswoman talking to her client and using tabletpractice makes progress.

by sarah johnson dobek
inovautus consulting

it’s no secret most accounting firms are facing partner succession and will continue to do so for years to come. the most common area of concern is how to involve new cpas in your firm’s growth activities.

more:five better ways to say no|six ways to engage young managers, staff in firm growth|the right dna for growth|how crisis illuminates your biz dev skills|business development and sales aren’t scary
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the short solution is young staff members should be involved in anything that will help them learn the business and develop the skills they need to lead one day, whether that means the partner track or some other role. it’s never too early to start. in fact, immersion should be expected from the first day they walk into the firm.

here are four instant and easy ways to get your young people involved in the business:

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five better ways to say no

keep the flow going.

by sarah johnson dobek
inovautus consulting

learning to say no is an important part of growing your business. it helps you stay focused on your strategy and goals and helps you ensure you are using your time most effectively. however, saying no can sometimes also impede your growth.

more:six ways to engage young managers, staff in firm growth|four ways to help young rainmakers build their skills|are you solving your clients’ problems?|the right dna for growth|seven reasons your growth plans are stalled|five ways to grow new service lines
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you get referrals that don’t fit your target market, employees bring you ideas that don’t fit your strategy or you say no because of previously bad experiences or results from a situation. when these situations add up over time with individuals, it can stifle their willingness to refer you more business or share their ideas. the result is stifled innovation, loss of referrals and loss of growth opportunities.
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six ways to engage young managers, staff in firm growth

number 6shareholders have a role, but less hands-on.

by sarah johnson dobek
inovautus consulting

growing your accounting firm takes a lot of time and effort and, because of this, developing the skills of staff and managers takes a backseat. while each shareholder should take responsibility to contribute to growing the firm, that doesn’t mean they need to do it all themselves.

more:four ways to help young rainmakers build their skills|are you solving your clients’ problems?|five ways to grow new service lines|don’t confuse marketing with biz dev
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engaging your managers and staff is beneficial for three reasons:

  • it teaches them growth is important to the firm and helps establish a culture around growth.
  • it empowers them to learn how to market and sell, which should be key for anyone who wants to progress in their career.
  • it allows you to execute on key problems without everything falling on a shareholder’s plate.

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four ways to help young rainmakers build their skills

young busineswoman evaluating a chart with a measuring tape, concept image of successwere you thrown to the wolves? did you appreciate it?

by sarah johnson dobek
inovautus consulting

if you talk to most cpa firms, rainmaker succession is a critical issue. building and developing the next generation of business cultivators is critical to a firm’s success.

we see two common problems that prevent firms from succeeding in this area:

more:are you solving your clients’ problems?|the right dna for growth|how crisis illuminates your biz dev skills|business development and sales aren’t scary
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not transferring knowledge

firms unintentionally bottleneck their progress by hoping that young rainmakers will learn through osmosis. these up-and-comers need to hear from experienced rainmakers on how it all works. encourage rainmakers to spend time with their protégés before and after they go out on calls with clients, prospects and referral sources in order to help them prepare or debrief on meetings.
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are you solving your clients’ problems?

sales_problem solving

have a conversation, not a pitch.

by sarah johnson dobek
inovautus consulting

why focus on solving your clients’ problems? the simple answer is,why wouldn’t you?

more:the right dna for growth|seven reasons your growth plans are stalled|five ways to grow new service lines|how crisis illuminates your biz dev skills|take the pressure of ‘selling’ out of ‘cross-selling’
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most people don’t get into business tonotsolve their clients’ problems. when we go out and present ourselves to potential clients, we tend to forget to focus on the very simple concept of problem-solving. instead of learning how we can help their business, we tend to focus on making sure they knowweare credible or have been in business for xx years.
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the right dna for growth

dreamstime_xs_66975872are you providing training and tools?

by sarah johnson dobek
inovautus consulting

more:seven reasons your growth plans are stalled|five ways to grow new service lines|how crisis illuminates your biz dev skills|take the pressure of ‘selling’ out of ‘cross-selling’|don’t confuse marketing with biz dev|business development and sales aren’t scary
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when i speak with partners about growing their firms, the conversation almost always goes to bringing in more business. and while i don’t disagree that bringing in more business is a key component to growth, i often have to step back and ask why a problem exists in the first place. what i’ve learned is that many times firms hit a wall because they haven’t established aculture of growth.
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grow your prospect lists in 5 steps

dreamstime_xs_75612830are you overlooking an easy source?

by sarah johnson dobek
inovautus consulting

prospects are one of the greatest keys to increasing revenue but unfortunately, many accounting firms are struggling to grow their prospect lists. often, this struggle comes from not knowing how to grow a prospect base in a way that generates results.

more:seven reasons your growth plans are stalled|five ways to grow new service lines|how crisis illuminates your biz dev skills|take the pressure of ‘selling’ out of ‘cross-selling’|don’t confuse marketing with biz dev|business development and sales aren’t scary
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prospect lists must be permission-based, otherwise, you’ll run the risk of poor outcomes. here are three practical and easy ideas for growing your prospect base and making the most out of your communications.
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seven reasons your growth plans are stalled

by sarah johnson dobek
inovautus consulting

growing a cpa firm isn’t easy. there are many dynamics that must align to get a team rowing in the right direction.

more dobek:|five ways to grow new service lines|how crisis illuminates your biz dev skills|how crisis illuminates your biz dev skills|how crisis illuminates your biz dev skills|don’t confuse marketing with biz dev|do you ask the right questions to deepen client relationships?|advisory services: real commitment or just talk?|covid: learning how to operate in the new normal

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with a distinct gap between growth rates of the best-performing firms and the rest of the pack it’s no surprise that high-growth accounting firms have a “secret sauce.”

today we’ll identify seven reasons why low-growth cpa firms struggle a bit more than their high-growth counterparts.read more →