Tag Archives: accountants

CPAs: Manage your firm and fees for more profit

You seldom hear people say, “I wish I hadn’t made so much money last year.” On the other hand, we are often asked by accountants how to increase their net profit.

Unless you want to work longer hours, you will need to make more money per hour to improve your annual take-home pay. Most of us are happiest in our work if we put in about a 40-hour week. So, if you want to double your net profit, you’ll need to increase your fees since you don’t intend to double your hours.

The first element to greater fees is an annual price adjustment – at the very least equal to inflation. Keep in mind, if you don’t increase fees every year, the fee increase, when it does come, will seem just that much larger to your clients.

Maybe you want more than an inflation adjustment. Just how much of an increase will depend on the makeup of your clients and how effective your marketing has been. Your clients are probably the first to realize that you are worth more to them as each year passes. After all, you know more each year than you did the year before. You can complete client engagements more efficiently than in the past. You deserve to be paid accordingly.

Be ready to discuss fee adjustments before your client brings up the topic. If your client wants to know why a certain engagement is “so expensive,” try telling them something like this: “Bob, I understand why you are concerned about the fee; it’s your money and you should be concerned. Let me just say that I need to charge enough to attend tax update seminars, pay for an adequate professional library, and hire qualified staff. In addition, I need to make a reasonable profit, or I won’t be here next year to do anyone’s work.”

The more specific you can be, the better. Most people want to know the benefits they received for the money paid. “Bob, we’ve completed your tax-deferred exchange of the ranch property. The tax savings due to the exchange will amount to a little over $200,000. Our fee of $10,750 represents the time and expertise it takes to complete such an exchange.”

Most people are just looking for a reasonable explanation. Be prepared with your answer before the client asks the question.

“I don’t need marketing.” Are you sure?

We have been told by CPAs that they don’t need to market. “Why should I spend time and money on marketing when I have all the work I can handle?” Or “My clients already know what services I provide.”

You might have all the work you can handle, but do you have all the net profit you would like? Most practitioners lose a small percentage of customers every year for any number of reasons. Some clients move away, some die, some just change accountants.

You need a steady flow of good prospects to replace the lost clients. Wouldn’t it be great to replace the lost client with one that pays you more. That is what proper marketing can do for you. And as always, the greater the number of people who know who you are and what you do, the greater the likelihood that your new client will pay well for more of your services.

As to your clients already knowing what you have to offer, you should tell that to the advertising department at McDonald’s; they could save a fortune in wasted advertising dollars.

CPAs: Get ready for October 15 filing deadlines and beyond

As many of us know, the October 15 filing deadlines have evolved into a second “busy” season. Followed by that is November, when many of us catch up on our continuing education, and then the holidays arrive. There hardly seems time enough to get ready for next year’s primary busy season!

Now is the time to get your marketing ducks in a row so that you can go into the 2017 busy season fully prepared. Here’s a short to-do list to get you started.

  • Solidify your marketing plan. Mark your calendar with important action dates and ensure that someone in your office is assigned specific duties to carry out the plan.
  • Renew your online and printed newsletter subscription(s).
  • Replenish your stock of client information brochures.
  • Upgrade your stationery, business cards, client folio covers, etc.
  • Streamline your website. Make it easy to update and manage year-round.
  • Stock up on tax return covers and tax appointment reminder cards.

For thirty eight years, we’ve created the accounting marketing products you need with the practice-building results you want. Call us! We’ll help your business succeed!

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