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5 tools to help your firm operate effectively

IStock-173737815Summer is a time for relaxing vacations, outdoor concerts and barbecue gatherings. It’s also a time to hit the recharge button and revisit the goals you planned to achieve by year’s end. Many CPAs set aside time during the summer months to focus on their firm’s operations and growth opportunities. The good news is that there are resources available to AICPA members to help you reach these goals and improve your firm’s overall success. Here are some tools for efficient firm management:

  1. Gain perspective with benchmarking metrics.

Metrics provide you with invaluable information. The PCPS/CPA.com National Management of an Accounting Practice (MAP) Survey is a unique benchmarking resource that provides firms of all sizes with the key performance indicators they need to make many important management decisions such as firm realization, billing rates and compensation, net remaining per owner and more. The 2018 MAP survey has been significantly streamlined to make it even easier and faster to take. If you want to know where you stand compared to other firms in your region or nationally, I’d urge you to take the survey before it closes this month. Firms that participate receive a customized report comparing their responses to those of firms with similar net client fees, firms in the same region, and against top performing firms. PCPS members also get additional tools, including PowerPoint trend reports and the ability to run customized reports utilizing filters.

  1. Plot your future course.

The Firm inMotion e-Toolkit helps you navigate the latest trends and provides customizable tools for firms of all sizes as well as insights into best practices. The toolkit is divided into sections practitioners have identified as key to success in a quickly changing environment. See how insights from other firm owners can help you prepare for what’s next.

  1. Make the most out of your firm size.

Smaller firms have a lot going for them, and the Small Firm webpage can help you benefit from your strengths. Whether you want to enhance your value-added services, keep up with the latest news in tax, audit and accounting or advisory services, or explore strategic planning for firms like yours, you’ll find all the information you need in this centralized resource. 

  1. Enhance your client relationships.

You and your team develop deep bonds with many of your clients. The PCPS Trusted Client Advisor Toolbox supports those strong ties with resources to help you identify and follow through on consulting opportunities. Help your team learn how to define client needs, articulate the value of the services they can offer and get buy-in for additional engagements.

  1. Think outside the box when it comes to client services.

Being your clients’ trusted adviser means playing an active role in their financial big picture. Whether your clients ask for tax planning or need assistance with estate and trust planning, make sure they know you can help them with all their financial needs. This webpage and worksheet have more information on planning and tax advisory services.

Resources at your fingertips

As you review your firm’s operations, remember it’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel when it comes to developing growth strategies and planning for the future. There’s a wealth of resources waiting for you as you work to fine-tune your practice and set it on course for even greater success. Let these tools help guide you as you plan for a smooth and profitable last half of the year.

Mark Koziel, CPA, CGMA, Executive Vice President, Firm Services and Global Alliances, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants


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