Why Virtual Accounting is the Growth Engine for CPA Firms

June 10, 2022 Sarah Dameron

CPA firm c-suite reviewing growth strategies

Accounting leaders have a myriad of responsibilities such as the day-to-day operations of the company, supporting team members, putting out fires and more. Building a CPA firm growth strategy/strategies might be high on that to-do list, but it’s often overlooked in favor of short-term wins. Overseeing your accounting business requires time and money – commodities that seems scarce in today’s global market. And if you run a CPA firm, you understand the gravity of addressing accounting needs effectively.

The truth is, the public accounting profession is going through an unprecedented shift, triggered by changing market conditions, a talent scarcity, technological advancements and other factors that have a played a large part in this change. Today’s accounting sector is highly competitive and requires firm leaders to take a different approach.

The major goal of adopting a CPA firm growth strategy is not to just expand (although that’s vital); it’s to be the best in your sector. And the only way to yield results is by devising a game plan that’ll help get you there.

How Do CPA Firms Scale

CPA firm executives discussing growth strategies

Meet Your Client Wants and Needs with New Offerings

A decade ago, when a client (or a business) needed accounting assistance, they knew their CPA would take care of it.

And they did.

It was purely transactional and benefited both parties. But what about in today’s market?

When someone asks you about your business model, you’re probably like “I offer X type of services” and it feels pretty cookie-cutter

In a world full of competing firms, it’s easy to be a wallflower. Sarah Johnson Dobek, founder and president of Inovatus Consulting, said it best: “Many accounting firms don’t really know what their clients want and need. They don’t know what’s on their minds, what their priorities are, or what’s challenging them. They don’t understand how they’re making decisions.”

The logic is simple: if you’re able to offer one set of services, offering several more is even better. If you’re in the position where a client is relying on you, you better be a one-stop shop to them.

Reengineer Your Hiring Process

After spotting emerging opportunities, you’ll need a plan in place to staff for the work they’ll provide. Firms in this phase will need people who are ready to hit the ground running and who can adapt to evolving circumstances. Sadly, many accounting executives start the hiring process with only a job title in mind without thinking about the actual need. Here’s how to position your business for success:

  • Evaluate the needs of the company. Get in the mindset of filling needs, not desks. It’s essential to take the time to look into the real hiring needs and examine them before flippantly posting a job. Make sure you consider both short-term and long-term organizational goals.

  • Focus on talent, not geography. Where someone lives should not be a limiting factor for hiring the best talent. Nicole Sahin, founder and CEO of Globalization Partners, touches on this subject: “This not only hinders employers from finding the talent their company needs, but denies opportunities to those who could truly be game-changers for some of these companies.”

  • Build a strong company brand. Top talent is not hard to find, but it is hard to motivate people to jump ship from their current employer when your brand is lacking. In fact, a LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends for SMB report found that 72 percent of recruiting leaders worldwide agreed that employer brand has a significant impact on hiring.

Ensure Your CPA Firm Can Adjust to New Demands

How can you provide the most value to your clients? Your clients and their businesses are constantly looking forward, anticipating their next move as the economy sways each day. Are you going to walk beside them during this time or take a step back because you can’t keep up? The role of a CPA is no longer to check in a couple of times a year during busy seasons. Instead, the role is shifting to serving as an around-the-clock consultant. And thanks to the pandemic, these needs have become front and center.

Suggested Reading: Accounting Industry Outlook: How to Navigate Finance Post-Covid

The Best CPA Firm Growth Strategy: Do What You Do Best – Outsource the Rest

outsourced accounting team working for CPA firm

Many CPA firms have turned to outsourcing to offload their excessive workload burdens that prevent them from moving the organization forward. In fact, partnering with a virtual accounting support provider enables CPA firms to strengthen their business by improving operational efficiency and employee productivity. Likewise, there are certain benefits that you can garner by outsourcing some portion of you accounting services, which are outlined below.

Improve Operational Efficiency & Reallocate Resources in Your CPA Firm Growth Strategies

Performing accounting tasks is vital, but the time it takes to complete this work can be a stumbling block to company growth. What’s more, the financial year-end is usually the most chaotic time of the year for all CPA firms. Once you outsource certain low-impact tasks, you get enough time to focus on other aspects of your business that are exceptionally important for its development – like marketing, sales, product and more.

Gain a Competitive Edge & Level the Playing Field for CPA Firm Growth

Picture this: your firm provides tax services for one of its clients and now that client is looking forward to getting bookkeeping services as well, but you don’t offer it. So they shop around for a new firm who offers both services. In this scenario, you don’t just lose out on the potential for a new revenue stream, you lose your client altogether. On the contrary, outsourcing helps you supply the services you don’t offer, but your clients expect (a win-win situation).

It should also come as no surprise that small to medium-sized firms can’t vie with the in-house quality of low-impact tasks that big firms can uphold. This changes when CPA firms get access to the same resources that in the past was only available to larger organizations.

If you’re looking to expand your CPA firm or implement a variety of CPA firm growth strategies, virtual accounting might be the fix. Here at Personiv, we know a thing or two about steering firms in the right direction. Our company has aided business (like yours) with financial planning, taxation and auditing – and we can help you too. Get in touch with one our experts to discover how virtual accounting can power your CPA firm.

For more on how to scale your firm, check out our latest article from The Weekly Ledger, No. 52: CPA Firm Growth Outlook.

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