Top three issues facing accounting firms today (podcast)


Check out our latest podcast episode with Rita Keller!

Rita is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker and author. She has been repeatedly named to Accounting Today’s list of Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting. CPA Practice Advisor has also named Keller one of The Most Powerful Women in Accounting. Keller confers with some of the most respected consultants to the CPA profession. These relationships allow her to maintain a keen sense of what CPA firms are facing nationwide.

Rita is a trailblazer within the accounting community and her original regional firm was one of the first to go digital back in the nineties where she helped grow the firm from nine people to over one-hundred and thirty throughout the course of her 35 years with the firm. Now she focuses on coaching, helping CPA firms grow and modernize all over the country.

Rita discusses at length with Brannon the top three issues she sees facing accounting firms today:

  1. Talent
  2. Failure to implement
  3. Technology

Rita says one of the biggest issues she sees in firms today is an inability to find and retain good talent. In her coaching business, she’s adamant that focusing on office moral and valuing the whole team is crucial. Asking the right questions during the hiring process is also key.

“Failure to implement” is another big issue facing firms. Both Brannon and Rita agreed during their discussion that a major downfall in firms achieving the changes they want to see is a failure to implement. Rita says that a lot of firms lack manageable goals, clear communication between partners and a lack of accountability that causes huge setbacks when it comes to implementing new procedures.

Last but not least, Rita gives us a good overview of how and why technology can be a big hurdle for some firms. Going digital is necessary for the changing industry and many traditional firms are finding it difficult to modernize. She gives some great advice on how to change perspective and implement important technological advances within your CPA firm.

Rita also discusses with Brannon at great length the growth stages of a firm and how she helps her clients break through those difficult stages. There are a lot of growing pains when it comes to selecting a niche and growing not only your client base, but also your team. She gives insight into what the most successful firms she works with are doing well. We were thrilled to sit down with Rita and pick her brain about how she helps her clients achieve their growth goals.



A breakdown of some important talking points:

1:17 – Rita’s background, and why she’s so qualified!

12:08 – The importance of finding a mentor

14:34 – The average client profile Rita helps

21:45 – The top three issues facing firms today

23:00 – Unique reasons to go digital

32:30 – Hurdles that face CPAs and how Rita advises you overcome them

44:00 – Practice success stories and what they did well

56:00 – Growth stages and how you can break through

59:20 – Rapid fire advice on starting a practice from scratch and opportunities within the field

1:04:56 – Rita’s book recommendation

1:07:45 – One life lesson Rita shares

1:09:41 – How you can reach Rita


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