2 Powerful Strategic Planning Ideas for Your Accounting Firm Going Into Tax Season.

Happy belated Thanksgiving! After the food coma passes, it will be time to start thinking about the upcoming tax season.

In order to help you to start thinking about your 2024 strategic plans, we have a couple of ideas to run by you that can have a significant impact on your firm.  We also have several free tools you can use to help you think through the implementation of these ideas.  Here are our top 2 strategic planning ideas going into 2024:

  1. Analyze your client list and consider letting some clients go.

We want you to take an inventory of your client list and create a list of folks who you just don’t enjoy working with. Have some fun and solicit the ideas of your team too. In our own company, we have a “no jerks” policy and we refuse to put our team through the pain of working with disrespectful people. Those should be the first people you decide to let go of. Then look at any return not associated with a business. Those personal returns can often increase tax season hours without generating the revenue that’s possible with other services.  A lot of accounting firm owners underestimate the overall impact that these returns have on the long-term health of their practices.  In our opinion, these returns are fine to do as long as they are well-priced.  Unfortunately, a lot of owners are leaving money on the table when it comes to personal tax returns.  This is low hanging fruit!  Get serious and either put them in your “fire pile” or your dramatic fee increase pile to make it worth your time. If you free up your team’s capacity, you’d be surprised at how you can refocus that capacity on more lucrative engagements.

For those clients you decide are no longer a fit for your firm, we have a sample “Template for letting go of clients”. 

  1. Send out engagement letters with fee increases.

With staff shortages in the industry, accountants have more pricing power than ever. Have you given much thought as to if or how you will increase your fees? In our recent experience, most accounting firm owners are not being nearly aggressive enough with their pricing.  A lot of our Accounting Practice Academy™ members are experiencing very low attrition rates with fairly strong price increases.  Many of our members have increased prices in the 20 and 30 per cent range with only 1 or 2 per cent attrition rates.  Make this tax season more profitable and less time-consuming for you and your team.

For the clients you want to increase fees on, (could it be everyone?) send out your client engagement letters notifying them of the increase. Fees are very market dependent but if you are not at least  charging market go up! Yes, you may lose some clients, but you will have less work and and more revenue.  We have been a bit of a broken record on this blog about this topic, but a fee increase will not decrease your client list in the way you would assume. 

Most accountants are not taking on new clients who might be a wonderful addition because they do not have the capacity. Fire those clients and lose some clients to fee increases and you can take on new work that lights you up and pays you well. With a couple of big strategic moves, this could be a very enjoyable tax season. 

Check out our Accounting Practice Academy™ resource page for several complementary resources to improve your firm. 

P.S. – Whenever you’re ready, here are 4 other ways we can help:

  1. Seller FAQ: Answers to the questions sellers are asking. From practice value, to timing, we’ve got you covered.
  2. Strategic Guide to Selling your CPA Practice Video: The how-to of selling a CPA firm.
  3. Accounting Practice Academy: If you’re looking for benchmarks, our 8-week workshop has a community of established firm owners that will help you get perspective, reduce your owner hours, and raise your bottom line. email ibrennan@poegroupadvisors.com with “APA” and we will fill you in on the details.
  4. If you want to chat about your exit strategy, email bball@poegroupadvisors.com with “strategy call” or request a call here.

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