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 plan to run as part of our partnership with Avalara, as we have a shared belief in seeing the accounting profession move forward and address today’s business challenges in order to face tomorrow. These interviews were conducted by Jeremy Korst, CMO of Avalara.
He recently spoke with Peter Cullen, CEO at Core Performance Consulting serves clients in Newport Beach, CA with their accounting, bookkeeping, taxes, QuickBooks system solutions, QuickBooks Enterprise solutions and Xero Cloud Accounting needs.
As part of this discussion, Cullen shares his firm’s challenges with moving from a more traditional bookkeeping practice to one that can suit more current and evolving needs of small businesses.
Korst: How has your firm evolved?
Cullen: When I started we were very traditional, responding to clients’ requests to do bookkeeping and touching the clients only when they needed attention. Now we can engage with clients on all financial areas through the lever of technology. Most of our services are online with fixed fees, and we also provide additional advisory services.
Korst: How do you find new clients?
Cullen: I don’t rely on referrals anymore. Now I actively search out clients by attending networking meetings with business leaders and asking pointed questions about how they are going to start and run their business. I have benefited just from being among these entrepreneurs as they discuss their needs.
Korst: What about reaching a broader audience?
Cullen: I am a strong advocate of using social media to communicate with others that have big ideas and who can imagine a future bigger and better than what we have today. People are thinking differently about how to start businesses now – how to engage, how to market, how to work with an accountant, etc.
Korst: Are you able to find the right talent for your needs?
Cullen: Even though there’s an abundance of people with basic bookkeeping skills right now, I need more than that. It’s difficult to find staff who can fill the demand for specialized services.
Korst: What advice do you have for other firms?
Cullen: Be ever more vigilant for your clients by being a partner that covers all the bases.
About Jeremy Korst
Jeremy Korst is Chief Marketing Officer at Avalara.