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.

In the 2015 survey, it was found that firms spend 3.94 percent of revenue—including compensation—on marketing. When compensation is excluded, the amount drops to 2.26 percent of revenue. The number one spending category was in the area of sponsorships, which equated to just shy of 10 percent of the marketing budget. 

While the 2015 amounts did increase by 1 percent over 2014, what is most interesting is how spending differs between high-growth and low-growth firms. Top spending for high-growth firms were in the following categories:

  • Content creation
  • Website and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Networking, tradeshows and conference
  • Outside consultants
  • Internal education and training
  • Marketing technology like marketing automation, CRM and data

In comparison, low-growth firms spend the most on sponsorships, advertising, memberships and dues and internal events and parties.

With the shifts that have happened in the field of marketing over the past two years, driven by an increased emphasis on marketing technology and big data, how have these numbers changed? You can help AAM figure that out.

By participating in the 2017 Accounting Marketing Budget Benchmark Study, you will receive a full research report at no cost; a $600 savings. From this report, you will find out how your firm compares to industry benchmarks like:

  • Overall marketing spend as a percentage of firm revenue
  • Percentage of staff devoted to marketing
  • Which marketing techniques most firms favor
  • What high-growth firms do differently
  • And more!

All responses are completely confidential and will be aggregated for analysis. All data will be used for research purposes only.

Please download the survey now. Responses are needed by Friday, January 27, 2017. Your participation will help AAM paint a better picture of accounting marketing spending, and you’ll receive valuable data that will help you drive marketing resources in your firm. If you have questions, contact us, and we’ll get you in touch with the right people at AAM or Hinge.