With the recent Enron scandal and the industry eager to restore public confidence, big changes are likely ahead for firms that provide financial reporting services to public companies. Just recently, the AICPA Board of Directors approved a resolution to support prohibitions on auditors of public companies from also providing financial systems design, implementation and internal audit outsourcing. While unpopular to the industry, such restrictions provide an excellent opportunity for smaller firms to provide new services.
With restrictions on the additional services they can provide public clients, Big 5 firms will be looking to partner with other firms that can or risk giving up the entire client relationship. And since partnering with other Big 5 firms and allowing them access to their client base will probably not be top choice, partnering with smaller firms might.
Establishing relationships with other firms in your area and talking to them about partnering opportunities is really as easy as picking up the phone. Chances are you probably already know a few contacts worth talking to and the rest are just a phone call away. What's better is that such a simple effort requires no investment but can generate a large amount of revenue if just one firms says yes.
Larry Bildstein is President and CEO of The Whetstone Group, Inc., a consulting enterprise that helps CPA firms develop and implement effective growth plans with marketing and telephone lead generation.