In 2016, Balance Point assembled a CPA Advisory Board in an effort to identify current topics and trends that affect our industries and the industries of the clients we serve.
Comprised of thought-leaders in the accounting industry, the Board met for collaborative roundtable discussions. The findings were published and shared with the CPA community.
Based on its success, Balance Point assembled a new group in the Spring of 2018 for a fresh look at the topics that remain top of mind, while exploring some new ones. One topic that resonated with both groups was growth, specifically How Do CPA Firms Grow Their Business?
Expanding Expertise and Service Offerings
That was an easy question for 2018 member Susan Reed, a Partner with Sax and Head of the firm’s Healthcare Practice. Her firm recently merged with Hunter Group to expand their expertise in different industries. “One of our goals is to be a top 100 accounting firm. And we find that the more we bring those synergies in—the different industry groups—the more it helps us grow.”
The firm is also growing from a talent perspective. Susan added “We’re really trying to expand our service offerings because we are concerned about Blockchain and AI and how that will wind up affecting our industry. We’re diversifying into technology and into wealth management. We’re looking for ways to stay relevant and to keep our talent engaged.”
Ingraining it within your Culture
Growth is so important to member Mitchell Sharpe’s firm SKC and Co., that it’s addressed in their Mission Statement: Achieve and maintain a healthy rate of growth that creates new opportunities but does not compromise the quality of the service delivered to all clients.
According to Mitch, a Founding Partner of the firm, growth needs to be very strategic while remaining true to your core values. Relevancy and flexibility are essential too. He stressed the importance that it be a “firm-wide process” that everyone must embrace. It’s “what’s going to make them want to come [to work] every day.”
Steven Weinstein, also a CPA Advisory Board member and a Partner with Weinstein & Weinstein, grows his practice through referrals. “A lot of what we do is go out and meet clients on a monthly basis and speak to them to see what their needs are. You’re ingratiating yourself with them and they continue to keep you on their mind.”
Forming Strategic Alliances
Balance Point is committed to remaining true to our core business competencies: human capital management solutions encompassing payroll, time and labor management, HRIS, and HR consulting. We have chosen not to expand our services, but rather focus on what we do well. We feel it’s in our best interest to partner with experts who can provide the service rather than compete with them.
Dennis Bartlett of Cullari Carrico agrees. As a past Chair for the Professional Ethics Committee in New Jersey, he encountered many CPAs who struggled with the need to please. During our discussion, he said “As much as a CPA is a trusted advisor, they want to be everything to every client. The smart ones…put a circle of service providers around [them], [including] payroll people, insurance brokers, attorneys. When you become a family of trusted advisors, all for the benefit of the client, then you’ll have those clients forever.”