The Requirement to Innovate

 If future CPAs want to be successful in this profession, the time has now come when you are Required to be Innovative.  That's right!  You can't keep doing what you've always done and expect to continue to grow the way you've always grown.  The time is coming when slacker firms may go out of business if they don't Innovate in their space.

You are now required to innovate (something CPAs suck at)!

If you are telling your clients that the latest economic disasters have created a whole new world for all of us to operate in, then it's time for you to live this reality too.  The marketplace has changed.  Your clients are getting younger now, they demand efficient uses of technology and they need you to add more value to their businesses.  They are starting to require that we add value, or they are going away (to another firm).

Here a few things you need to begin working on:

1.  Narrowly define your firm to the marketplace.  Stop being all things to all people, or a "full service firm."  That's dumb.  You're not full service or you could do everything your client needs, including cater their next wedding or clean their drapes or wash their stinky underwear.  Go global and be freakin' bad to the bone to only a small slice of the population.  You'll grow and make more money.

2.  Try new experimental business models.  Try new stuff - your clients will allow you to try new things now.  Some of it won't work, and some of it will, but you'll never know until you try new things.  Examples: we only draft our client fees on the first of each month, we starting making our clients go though some educational courses after becoming a client, and we wears jeans and flip flops to work.  Some people don't like this stuff, but some clients LOVE it (the latter being the only ones we care about).  New experimental models have allowed us to narrowly define who we want to serve, and who we don't want to serve.  You need to know who you DON'T WANT to serve.  Begin learning that by experimenting with new business models.

3.  Get rid of your time sheets.  That sounds scary, and it is.  But until you've made that move, you will not understand how much those stupid time sheets are holding your firm back.  They are directly contradictory to what you client's want; they want you to bill less time while you want to bill more time.  That's dumb.  Stop employing management methods that are in direct contradiction to what your client's want.  That is a hot bed for frustration and dissatisfaction.  Timesheets make you bill your clients based upon your internal firm costs, which your clients don't care about.  Your clients want solutions.  Without timesheets, you will be forced to bill your clients based upon the value that they receive from you.  It's better for the client, and it will force you to be a better firm.  Be brave enough to get rid of your timesheets, go through the bumps and then begin to soar!  {{insert hippy Jonathan Livingston Seagull quote here}}

Want to learn how the CEOs of Bill.com (Rene Lacerte), SmartVault.com (Eric Pulaski), and Freshbooks.com (Mike McDerment) innovate in their businesses?  Join these CEOs live on the next THRIVEal +CPA Network Conference on Tuesday, May 17th, from 3 pm to 5 pm, EST.  It's only $59 bucks to come, and it may change your life!  Register here: http://thriveal.com/conference-signup/ if you ain't scared!  (see the brochure attached for more info!)

This blog

Jason M. Blumer, CPA.CITP, CFE is managing shareholder of Blumer & Associates, CPAs, PC. He wears flip flops and jeans, says "dude" a lot, and often works in coffee shops with headphones blaring the latest Bloomberg podcasts (though he doesn't understand most of it). Jason loves new game-changing cloud technology and plays rock and roll too loud. His daily duties include consulting, process design, blogging, marketing and business development, innovative thinking, coaching, practice management, and acting as a change agent. As the industry has changed, the need for new CPA firm leadership has emerged for the younger generation ready to move into the world of firm ownership.  Jason founded the THRIVEal +CPA Network to accommodate the needs of this new younger generation.  The THRIVEal +CPA Network looks to enhance and change the CPA profession based on the foundational tenets of Community, Collaboration, Technology and Innovation.

More from this blog

Bloggers crew

Steve Knowles has spent 25 years in business and practice in the UK, but he also worked in the states and the years haven't dulled his way of seeing an alternative view to everyone else, and every day is a new adventure.

48708

Joel M. Ungar, CPA is a lifelong resident of the Detroit area and a graduate of The University of Michigan. He is a principal with Silberstein Ungar, PLLC, a Top 15 auditor of SEC public reporting companies.

82004

Allan Boress, CPA, with over 25 years as a practitioner and consultant to the accounting profession. Mr. Boress is the author of 12 published books in 6 different languages, including a best-seller, The "I-Hate-Selling" Book.

53881

Larry Perry, CPA, CPA Firm Support Services, LLC, is the author of accounting and auditing manuals, author and presenter of live staff training seminars, and author of webcast and self-study CPE programs. He blogs about small audits, reviews, and compilations.

97421
Sandra Wiley, COO and Shareholder, is ranked by Accounting Today as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting as a result of her prominent role as an industry expert on HR and training as well as influence as a management and planning consultant. She is also a founding member of The CPA Consultant's Alliance. Sandra is a certified Kolbe™ trainer who advises firms on building balanced teams, managing employee conflict and hiring staff.
24575

Maria Calabrese, CIR, Human Resources manager for Fazio, Mannuzza, Roche, Tankel, LaPilusa, LLC in Cranford, New Jersey, Maria's topics revolve around the world of: Mentoring, Performance management, and The "Y Generation," a.k.a. "The whY generation".

61271

William Brighenti is a CPA, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified [Business] Valuation Analyst, operating an accounting, tax, and QuickBooks consulting firm in Hartford, Connecticut, Accountants CPA Hartford.

87109

Ken Garen, CPA, is the co-founder and President of Universal Business Computing Company (www.ubcc.com), a software development firm of high-volume, high-productivity accounting and payroll technology.

28504

Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, is the publisher of TaxMama.com, and author of the weekly syndicated Ask TaxMama column. She provides answers to tax questions from taxpayers and tax professionals worldwide.

70039

Amy Vetter, CPA, CITP is the CPA Programs Leader for Intacct Corporation responsible for leading the CPA/BPO Partners nationally.

38222
Brian Strahle is the owner of LEVERAGE SALT, LLC where he provides state and local tax technical services to accounting firms, law firms and tax research organizations across the United States. He also writes a weekly column in Tax Analysts State tax Notes entitled, "The SALT Effect." For more info, visit his website: www.leveragestateandlocaltax.com
110170
Scott H. Cytron, ABC, is president of Cytron and Company, known for helping companies and organizations improve their bottom line through a hybrid of strategic public relations, communications, marketing programs and top-notch client service. An accredited consultant, Scott works with companies, organizations and individuals in professional services (accounting, finance, medical, legal, engineering), high-tech and B2B/B2C product/service sales.
29994

Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, mentor and blogger. She has over 30 years hands-on experience in CPA firm management, marketing, technology and administrative operations.

58251
Stacy Kildal is the mom of two fantastic kids, an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified Enterprise Solutions ProAdvisor, Sleeter Group Certified Consultant, a nationally recognized member of the Intuit Trainer and Writer Network, and co-host of RadioFree QuickBooks.
32004
Michael Alter's blog specializes in providing practical advice to those who seek greater profitability and practice management tactics that enhance deeper client relationships.
36633

Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, leads a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.

109039

The IMA Young Professionals Blog features the insights of IMA’s Young Professionals Committee. Committee members share advice and experiences on careers, continuing education, work/life balance, and other issues affecting young accounting and finance professionals.

37891

FEI Financial Reporting Blog provides highlights from SEC, PCAOB, FASB, IASB, and other regulatory news, including reporting under Sarbanes-Oxley Sect 404. It is written by Edith Orenstein, Director of Technical Policy Analysis at FEI.

120214

Sue Anderson has 30 years of experience in continuing education for accountants. Currently she is the program director for online CPE provider CPE Link.

67426

Jim Fahey is COO of Apple Growth Partners, a regional CPA firm in Ohio. His focus is on the effective and efficient use of technology within the firm by all team members.

43689
Caleb Newquist is the Editor-in-Chief of Sift Media US, overseeing content for both AccountingWEB and Going Concern.
71423

Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, CGFM, and CGAP is the author of "The Yellow Book Interpreted" and owner of Yellowbook-CPE.com a website devoted to training for governmental auditors.

98399

AccountingWEB is more than just a U.S. team of journalists and financial and technology experts - we have an international side, too! Members of our British team who publish AccountingWEB.co.uk share their ideas, insights, and perspectives from across the pond.

58963