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The Normal Accounting Sales Model No Longer Works

Nov 27th 2017
staying busy

Once upon a time, I sent snail mail to prospective clients. I would download the free list provided by the state of Florida and send solicitation letters to people that formed a corporation or LLC.

There was this CPA in my community who did the same thing, and we always got his postcards. Lo and behold, you will never guess what I got in my mailbox the other day. One of these postcards came from the same CPA.

The problem is that it’s 2017, and mailers, as I figured out about ten years ago, don’t work anymore.

Traditionally, accounting firms are set up pretty much the same way. You have a receptionist, staff accountants, and then the accountants, who are usually the owners or partners of the business. A potential client meets with the main accountant, and when the account is sold, the client is then passed off to a staff accountant who does the bookkeeping and possibly the tax returns under the watchful eye of the main accountant. That account is basically managed by the staff accountant, with the main accountant stepping in to assist when needed.

This sales model has been turned upside down in the last few years by accountants leaving their brick-and-mortar offices, obtaining a virtual office for an address, and spending time in one of the virtual office’s meeting rooms. Most work is now done at home.

Clients will get a virtual phone service that will ring to any phone programmed to it, and the illusion is that you are sitting in your office when that important client calls. They might think you’re in a suit, when you could very well be working at home in your PJs. If additional help is needed, then work is outsourced by companies that will handle most of the tasks of an accounting firm, either in the U.S. or offshore.

If you Google, “How to start an accounting practice,” you will get all kinds of tips on offices, staffing help, etc.

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Will Keller
By Will Keller
Dec 7th 2017 20:24

Hi Craig- I just wanted to say thanks for the terrific article! I too am trying to ditch the crusty old marketing tactics that don't work and focus on digital strategies and giving away my expertise. I like your no-BS writing style, this article was very fun to read:)

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