'Financial Fitness' and Accounting Firm Improvementby
Jennifer Katrulya, CPA, will kick off her second year of the BMRG Group Advisory Program (GAP) on July 1 with a revised four-tier program structure, new program content, more frequent meetings and communications, and quarterly Financial Fitness Peer Group meetings. In response to the feedback from 2012 GAP members, these changes are designed to increase an accounting firm's revenue stream as well as improve efficiency and productivity.
"Our first year was a very successful start for the program, but along the way, we discovered several important ways to change the program to help our firms get even more value for their membership", says Katrulya. "In order to help them address operations, technology, client retention and recruitment, and internal staff issues on a consistent basis, we realized we needed more frequent meetings and communications with them in order to have a consistent and steady stream of two-way coach/client interaction.
Several of the BMRG GAP initiatives differentiate Katrulya's program from similar providers in the accounting marketplace, which include:
- Quarterly Financial Fitness Peer Group Meetings â Members submit their firm's financial reporting information, and all data is included anonymously in a summarized package for group review. Through this review, members receive critical key performance measurements to highlight strengths and weaknesses and to keep their practice on track.
- Business Plan Preparation Track â In 2012, Katrulya discovered that many firm business plans were not up to date or relevant, or did not exist at all. As a result, she created a way for firms to meet on a monthly basis, as a group, to focus on creating and/or improving their business plans.
- Three GAP Meetings per Month â GAP groups of eight to ten member firms will meet online via a video interface three times each month. During these meetings, a specific system, tool, template, or resource will be reviewed and explained, with content tailored to the sizes and niches of firms who are on each call.
"Jennifer's program is practical, positive, and empowering", says Beth Bockenhauer, CPA, who owns her own firm in Redlands, California. "Prior to participating in the program, we were dealing with a number of operations-related issues that consumed our time. For example, we did not have any standards set on client billing. At our very first meeting, Jennifer gave me a pricing model spreadsheet from BMRG, and at that point, I began to make changes."
Working with firms of all sizes, niches, and proximity, the 2012â2013 program consists of four tiers: GAP, GAP Plus, GAP Premier, and GAP Platinum, with benefits and cost escalating from one program to the next. The GAP Plus, Premier, and Platinum tiers include a customized, one-on-one advisory meeting with a BMRG Best Practice Advisor.
"My goal is to take the experience I have learned in my own practice, and through my work with other growing CPA firms, and transfer that knowledge to other CPAs and accountants who want to have the very best firm possible", says Katrulya. "We have created what I think is a unique and different experience that is unmatched in this industry."
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