Case Study: Growing Your Accounting Practice – Part 11

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It’s no mystery these days how technology has permeated nearly every aspect of business life, accounting firm staff and owners included. But has it really improved what they do or create more challenges?

Whether you are in growth-mode or not, accounting firms struggle with basic productivity issues and simply keeping pace with their colleagues and growing business needs of their clients.

We have found that they tend to benefit from hearing about what their colleagues went through and their shared success. As such, sales tax and compliance service provider Avalara produced a series of case studies of firms they have worked with that, like many, have had to overcome challenges with efficiency and updating technology in the right way.

Below is the next in a series of case studies we are running as part of our partnership with Avalara, as we have a shared belief in seeing the accounting profession move forward and to address today’s business challenges in order to face tomorrow. The most recent interviews were conducted by Julie Lubetkin, Vice President of Marketing, Channels and Partnerships at Avalara.

She recently spoke with Dawn Brolin, owner of Powerful Accounting about what separates her firm from other practices, emerging trends in the profession and how she’s adjusted to better serve her clients.

Lubetkin: What trends do you see shaping the accounting profession?

Brolin: Automation is pushing accountants to become more strategic, which forces us to grow and helps us better support our clients.  It will also continue to drive businesses to outsource non-core accounting services like CFOs.

Dawn Brolin

Lubetkin: Has automation changed your business?

Brolin: Automation has played a huge role in the success of our business. As an entrepreneur, I find automation helps us minimize administrative work and streamline many processes, allowing us to focus on strategic guidance to keep clients competitive. As a CPA, that helps me keep my clients happy and my firm growing.

Lubetkin: Powerful Accounting is a forward-thinking firm. How do you price your services?

Brolin: Our value-priced subscription model has helped us to zero in on the type of clients we want to work with: those willing to invest in technology and are serious about growing their business.  Our strategy has been to make sure our subscription pricing model reflects what we want our client base to look like a year later.

Lubetkin: Do you have tips on how to roll out a new pricing model?

Brolin: Define your strategy and test it out with one of your best clients. You can adjust as you go and find ways to make it easy for the clients to understand and adapt. Always keep in mind that clients are looking to you as the expert, the forward-facing advisor, so testing your theories is important for a smooth transition.

Lubetkin: How do you market your firm and services?

Brolin: We are reliant on client referrals because we focus on high quality work and client satisfaction. Our niche is tax representation and fraud resolution, so we have aligned ourselves with attorneys, CPAs, and certified forensics experts who can refer us to new clients. We have also built relationships with various technology vendors and work with them to co-market services. 

Lubetkin: How do you define success?

Brolin: Success is a process, not a destination.  My firm’s motto is that every person leaves better than we found them. Our firm is about giving the best value to our clients, take on the right clients that fit our core values and the offerings we have. We want to have an environment and culture where we operate with joy when we speak with our clients.

About Seth Fineberg

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