How Much do CPA Firms Spend on Marketing?

In this industry, you often hear people share that firms spend between 2 and 4 percent of revenue on marketing. Well, what number is it exactly? And what is included in that calculation? These are important factors for a firm to properly benchmark how they stand in relation to the industry.

A few years ago, the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) partnered with the Hinge Research Institute to better figure that out. Firms were asked to submit their spending, as a percentage of revenue, in specific categories that it felt should be included in a budget. And they are conducting this survey again now to be released in 2017.

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Will You Hit Your Growth Goal?

Planning produces better results

Your firm has come up with a growth goal. It may have stemmed from discussions around client attrition, charge hours and changes in your clients’ businesses. Your partners agree that a 7 percent goal sounds reasonable. So you drop that number into your budget without really looking at how that goal will be achieved. Now what? Read more

Creating a Growth Culture Needs Champions & Buy-In

As competition increases, more CPA firms are focusing on firm growth as a way to remain competitive and add revenue to the top line. Typically, a decision to shift direction stems from a strategic planning process or a partner meeting. But what comes next? Deciding to make a change is the first step in a lengthy and challenging process that will change your firm for the better.

Forming a growth culture in an organization requires that you get buy-in from your partners if you have any chance of being successful. And amongst the partners who support your direction, there will be a handful of them who can, and will, help you champion the effort. You need to be able to identify these people early on in the process and use them to help win over those who are still undecided. Read more

Be Consultative to Grow Revenue & Relationships

Clients want many things from their CPA, but at the top of that list is usually proactive advice. While it seems like a simple thing, many accountants drop the ball and leave their clients wanting more.

Whenever you have the chance to sit down with your clients to talk about the business, you need to fully understand the company’s obvious needs, but you should also use the opportunity to uncover the not-so-obvious ones. Every business owner is facing a challenge that needs a solution. That’s where consultants help. Read more

Ready, Set, Move to Action

To motivate is to move to action. Marketing is all about motivating. You motivate clients to use your services. You motivate prospects to buy. You even motivate internally to get partners to sell. Whether you realize it or not, you’re in the motivation business.

While many people believe you need to provide incentives to get people to take action, that’s only part of the solution. In professional services marketing, some of the key motivational tools may be simpler than you think.

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Marketers Should Focus on the Big Picture

As a marketer, if you truly want to make an impact on your firm, you need to think strategically. It is too easy to get caught up in daily marketing tactics and checking items off your to-do list, but if you don’t take time to step back and take in the big picture, you’re shortchanging your firm – and yourself.

What does it mean to think strategically? How does someone actually do it? Start by reading about strategic thinking and planning. Read more about what’s happening in the accounting industry. Talk to seasoned accounting marketers to find out what they do, where they have had success and how they guide the growth of their firms. It’s amazing how much knowledge can be gathered, and this is great foundational information on which to take action.

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Building Niches to Drive Revenue

If obtaining new clients is a top area of focus for your firm, you’re not alone.

According to the 2015 PCPS CPA Firm Top Issues Survey, bringing in new clients is an issue for firms of all sizes. As firms look for sources of new revenue, many consider strategies successfully implemented by other firms. And the formation of niches – industry or service line specialties – is a tactic at the top of the list.

Implementing a niche strategy is one way firms can differentiate themselves from their competition. While it’s difficult for one firm to claim it does better work than the CPA firm down the street, it can say it has an area of expertise the competition doesn’t. Firms with niches bring something extra to the businesses they serve. They can translate sound experience into better advice; hence, specialization demands a higher fee than compliance work.

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