Adding a healthy dose of intentionality to growth plans helps make scaling your accounting practice both more manageable and more profitable. It also helps to build a practice that you will enjoy owning and will likely help make it more salable.
First of all, when we talk about scaling, we’re talking about rapid growth through either major business development efforts or by acquiring another CPA firm. A lot of people don’t have any desire to scale because they are happy with their practices just as they are. That’s an enviable position. But, if you are a CPA practice owner that has made a conscious decision to scale, then you likely fall into one of two major groups:
- Rinse and repeat. You have already created a very successful business model for your particular talents and skills and you want to capitalize on this success. Put simply, people in group one just want to keep doing what they are doing on a larger scale. This way, they will help more clients, help their team develop, and also hopefully make more money.
- Avoid burnout. This is the larger group. The hours and the grind take a toll and so the owner wants to escape the work that they simply no longer have an appetite to do. The nice thing is that scale can absolutely solve this problem. Of course, scaling brings up a host of other challenges, which goes beyond the scope of this post. The first intentional scaling step is sorting out what you like and don’t like about owning a firm.
If you fall into the second category, then the sooner you realize that you need to grow in order to keep the business interesting, fun and successful, the sooner you figure out the right business model for you so you can put yourself into group one. And…if you think you are in group one, but you are really in group two, buckle up, scaling might cause burnout even faster.
For further insights on taking intentional steps to scale your firm, take our free CPA Practice Scorecard.
About Brannon Poe: Brannon is the founder of Poe Group Advisors and has been facilitating successful accounting practice transitions throughout the US and Canada since 2003. Brannon started his career in public accounting as an auditor with Ernst & Young before working for several years in auditing and tax preparation for the regional firm of Elliott, Davis & Company. He is the author of “Accountant’s Flight Plan: Best Practices for Today’s Firms” (published by the AICPA and CPA Canada), “On Your Own: How to Start Your Own CPA Firm,” as well as multiple blogs and the “Accountant’s Flight Plan” podcast.
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