As small and midsized CPA firms make the turn from the pandemic to the new normal, there will be opportunities to get stronger and better. In Our Opinion, acting quickly and deliberately on these opportunities will determine which firms will prosper and which firms will not and therefore fail or merge-up.
To begin with now is the time for fresh, critical thinking with regards to some tough questions:
The above questions address some basic issues that probably should have been addressed before the pandemic but since it is not business as usual, now is the time to swiftly deal with them so that your firm can move to important strategic issues and answer the question:
Should your firm shift or amend your strategic plan and reevaluate your views regarding two possible paths:
If you believe that now is the time for your firm to re-evaluate its strategy, there are seven steps that you need to tackle. These are briefly summarized below:
– Ask clients what they want from their relationship with you – then exceed their expectations. A Client Service Plan sets standards established by your clients that will serve as precise indicators of your value-add. – Owners want to increase their business valuation and their working capital. You can demonstrate that your firm can help by delivering a memorandum identifying EBITDA/working capital improvements. Communicate your observations not only to senior management but also to investors. They’ll be blown away by your firm’s distinctiveness.
– Family-owned businesses can truly benefit from a process that allows the owners to define their strategy, direction, and priorities. A Client Situation Review will help your firm to focus on client challenges and how your firm can provide solutions.
These certainly are challenging times and hopefully, we will begin to make the turn to healthy and financially successful times soon. It will take some time for leaders of small and mid-sized CPA firms to ramp back up. While there is time to reflect and tweak strategies, make the tough decisions that are in front of you. What better time to deal with them? In the words of Rahm Emanuel, “you never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
Dom Esposito, CPA, is the CEO of ESPOSITO CEO2CEO, LLC — a boutique advisory firm consulting to leading CPA and other professional services firms on strategy, succession planning and mergers, acquisitions and integration. Dom, voted as one of the most influential people in the profession for two consecutive years by Accounting Today, authored a book, published by www.CPATrendlines.com., entitled “8 Steps to Great” which is a primer for CEOs, managing partners and other senior partners. In Our Opinion, is a continuing series of perspectives for leading CPA firms where Dom and his colleagues share insights, experiences and wisdom with firm leaders who want to “run with the big dogs” and develop their firms into sustainable brands. Dom welcomes questions and can be contacted at either email@example.com or 203.292.3277.