Great Ideas Advisory
Great Ideas Advisory

Reassess your success 2022: 6 steps to make a powerSHIFT to advisory services in your practice

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It’s a new year, we’re back to work, and now is the time to take a serious look at how to leverage what’s ahead of us. It’s a year full of possibility, and perhaps some trepidation, too, if this time of year means prepping for tax season in your firm.

Before your attention gets completely diverted by all of the must-dos on your list, take some time to reassess where you are in your career, your practice, and your life. By taking the next few minutes to read this article and make your own notes about what shifts you would like to see in these key areas, you’ll be setting yourself up to survive and thrive.

Strategy always tops tactics: What moves does your firm need to make in 2022?

While it’s great to look tactically at your firm’s tech, tax workflow, team, and other fundamentals, we encourage you to take a broader, higher-level view of what you truly want to accomplish this year. What we are talking about is making key powerSHIFTs in your practice. We define these as fundamental strategy shifts that will take you from where you are to where you want to be this year, next year, and in the years to come.  

We offer you two examples of a powerSHIFT from our own firms:

  1. Dawn transformed her practice, Powerful Accounting, LLC, from a bookkeeping business to a full-fledged, comprehensive tax and accounting practice generating significant profits, productivity, and more work-life balance.
  2. At SMD Consulting & Accounting, LLC, Sean developed his own client advisory practice model that has allowed him to shift his practice from a predominately tax firm to a comprehensive advisory practice. Now, he spend smore time devoted to his family and the things he loves to do.

We are only touching on the obvious benefits, but we’re sure you can appreciate how these shifts that took our firms from transactional to proactive have helped us do less actual transactional work, while enabling us to serve our clients on a higher level and enjoy the time we do spend working more.

PowerSHIFTing in practice: 6 steps to take your firm from transactional to proactive with advisory services

Two key shifts in services are expanding your bookkeeping practice into tax services and/or your tax services further into an advisory role. Both of these enable you to expand your service offerings, increase profits, and scale your firm. If these are shifts you want to explore, or there are other strategic changes you want to make this year, the following steps will help you make a plan for achieving them: 

  1. Pinpoint your passion. The first step is to identify and own what you are passionate about, and may include detailing what you don’t like, too. In short, think outside of the tax and accounting boxes you’re in. Understanding what you actually love and putting everything on a list will help you get clear on what the right shift is for your practice. You can also use the process of elimination to define what it is you dislike, so you can do less of that and more of what you love in your practice.
  2. Identify all your strengths and weaknesses. You likely know some of these right off the bat, but be sure to ask for objective feedback, too, from your team and your friends and family. The two key questions are based on the feedback and self-evaluation:
    • Which areas should you not participate in?
    • How can you complement what you are good at?
  1. Determine who you can help with the services you want to provide – and who you can serve well. Get very specific about your ideal clients. What industry are they in? Where are they located? What are they like? Are they part of a group or are they an individual? What is their financial and socioeconomic status?
  2. Determine the right product and pricing mix. Once you know whom you’re going to serve, determine what products they’ll need and fill the needs they have for what your firm offers. 
  3. Create the vision of success. Now that you have reassessed your success, you can define what success looks like in one year, five years, and 20 years with this new model as the foundation. Write it out as your personal and firm vision, so you have the end in mind as you put the tactics in place to support it.
  4. Build out the business plan. Once you have the vision, create a one-page business plan. You can make it more in depth, but start with the higher level overview so you have something written down. This should include deciding what current clients do and don’t fit into your new service model, along with the tech and talent you need to support your reimagined firm. Once you have the infrastructure in place, you can begin the transition plan to find new clients and off board those who no longer fit. 

It’s easy to start the new year with the best intentions to make changes in your firm that will help you achieve your personal and professional goals, and then get so busy you can’t actually put them into action. Being intentional about making a powerSHIFT in your practice demands a different mindset. It’s about the long-term health and happiness of you, your family, your team, and ultimately, your ideal clients. It’s a decision that transcends your current identity as an accounting or tax services provider, and can help you get to the next level of success.

Use these steps above as the framework to identify where you want to go, and put in place the framework you need to support the steps to get there.

Dawn Brolin, CPA, CFE

Dawn has in-depth accounting expertise, coupled with a personal understanding of the challenges of running a business. Through her experiences as a business owner, she has discovered the importance of the relationship between good accounting records, good business processes and running a successful business. If you are looking for an ethical, professional and qualified accountant, look no further. Dawn's passion is working with companies who are interested in being successful. One of the most important value-add areas that Dawn is able to bring to the table is her connections and relationships with individuals at Intuit®. Yes, individuals, not the corporation. Through these experiences, Dawn is able to get real-time, real access to answers to YOUR questions. Find Dawn on Twitter @dawnbrolin. More from Dawn Brolin, CPA, CFE

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