So, what’s your next move that will drive your business forward?
It is estimated that 60% of accountants who make it through a tax season will leave their place of employment and move to another accounting firm just to do it all over again.
Break the cycle and take control of your career and your clients. Become an Advisor - not just for your clients but for yourself and your own goals.
How can you break the tax season cycle?
Don’t want to be known as the “typical accountant” who just does the books and seems to wait around for the next tax season to bring in some new clients? It’s simple, really. You need to break the cycle.
Maybe you started with a career in public accounting, or maybe you went straight to the private sector. Either way, you’ve probably had experience at a “Big Firm” and some small/medium firms in between. If you can’t seem to find the right fit without becoming “burnt out” every year, you need to change the game itself.
Ditch the endless audits and work directly with clients in an advisory capacity. You have the skills, and you absolutely have the tools, thanks to the Dryrun partner program. You don’t need to be a “partner” at a firm to make a difference or to make real money, it’s just about adding value for your current clients and your services will be worth their weight in gold.
You don’t need to attend fancy networking events with lawyers or bankers to find clients. When you offer such advisory services and get results for your clients, word of mouth will travel and you’ll suddenly have more work than you know what to do with. Soon you’ll even need your own staff if you choose to take it that far. Maybe you’ll even sell the firm you worked so hard to build someday… but don’t look too far ahead just yet ;)
Here’s how you can branch out and start providing Client Advisory Services as a CPA:
- Never stop learning
- Put on your business hat
- Choose a niche (or niches)
- Pursue some marketing
- Use cutting edge technology
We’ll explore each of these strategies a little further, but it’s worth noting that they work best when combined.
Never stop learning
The CPA must spend time investigating business, what’s important to business owners, and what drives the businesses. Auditors can gain valuable insight into a wide variety of companies, industries, and environments provided the audit is more than just a list of procedures and checklists. Learn as much about the business as possible, including the operations. Learn from mentors. Get advice from friends. Take advantage of professional education programs. Whatever you do just never stop learning!
Put on your business hat
The CPA's skills go beyond merely knowing the rules and regulations. The modern CPA must now also know how to build a team of employees, earn a profit, manage cash flow, grow the business, and handle challenges. Accountants should consider how business owners might behave differently. Think of ways to pinpoint their current issues and need for resources. If you can find these issues and help owners get ahead of potential hurdles, they will come to value your services and see you as far more than a tax jockey.
Choose a niche (or niches)
Do you have experience in a specific area of accounting or know the ins and outs of a particular industry? Become the go-to resource for business owners in that industry! Maybe you’ll be the car sales accountant or the real estate accountant! Do not be afraid to explore new areas, choose a specialization, or think of innovative ways to deliver what you do. When one sector seems to fizzle out just pivot and try something else.
Pursue some marketing
The only way to build your client base is by bringing in business. Don't wait for your boss or business advisor to give you that message. Start early. Get in touch with your contacts, network, and take advantage of the rich social media tools available today. Last we checked, there are no accountants on TikTok… yet!
Use cutting edge technology
Don’t be afraid of everything technology has to offer. There are many tools and integrations available that take a bit of time to get used to, but what will quickly happen is that new accountants will overtake the “old” ones because they are open to using this tech with their clients.
Sure, there are some nuances to the profession. And networking definitely does help. But if you are resistant to technology, you will surely fall behind your peers.
A CPA has so much more knowledge about accounting and taxes than the average businessperson. CPAs must utilize that knowledge and should not be afraid to ask owners why they are doing something, or provide suggestions based on the financial profiles of their clients’ businesses.
You will only become a trusted advisor if you challenge and advise clients from an objective viewpoint while providing valuable information for their business.
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