If you’ve dreamed of starting your own CPA firm and you are now finally serious enough to give it a try, then this article is for you.
First things first, let me congratulate you on this decision. There are over 76,000 CPA graduates each year in the United States alone since 2018. With only 42,000 available accounting firms in the country, competing with other CPAs to get hired, is obviously not for everybody.
I’m not saying it will be easy, though. So even if you are still preparing to take your CPA exam or you’re already a seasoned professional, read on to find seven tips that will help you start your own CPA firm.
1- Find the Right Market for You
By now, you must be completely aware that the world of accounting is a pretty big industry. Hence, it would greatly help if you have a specialization in the services you’re offering. Will you become a tx firm? Will you specialize in auditing? Will you be offering bookkeeping services? It’s up to you.
Play with your strengths and look for a niche market. Also, make sure that you are confident with your skills in this specific area and try not to spread yourself too thin by offering too many services from the get-go. Just take the time to start slowly, and once you’ve established yourself, you can then branch out.
2- Study Possible Competitors
It’s crucial to research your possible competitors once you’ve decided on your specialization. To stay relevant, you need to know what services they are offering, observe their best practices, and take note of what could be improved.
You can learn a lot from just looking at their website and seeing possible client reviews… you just have to be discreet about it. It’s not a crime to take a peek, but it would be wrong to lurk around somebody else’s office!
3- Hire Competent Employees
Good employees are the backbone of any good business. But finding the right team will always be a challenge, unless you already know some people.
There are two categories of employees that you will encounter: fresh graduates and experienced personnel. New graduates are diligent and eager to learn, but lack real-world experience. On the other hand, veteran accountants are almost always great in the field. However, more often than not, you have to deal with their egos, and it’s going to be hard to teach them new tricks.
A healthy mix of the two would be great for a startup CPA firm. The experienced employee will help establish credibility and may work more efficiently. The fresh graduates will have the drive to prove themselves. Hence they will work agreeably with you. Just be sure you find the right talent or look to someone who can find them for you.
4- Don’t Skimp on Technology
Startup CPA firms have the advantage of investing in up-to-date technology from the start. You can even open a shop purely in the digital space and get rid of all the paper trail. However, it is essential to know what digital tools are available for you and what digital innovations you should actually use to help your business succeed.
5- Keep Your Finances in Check
It’s not going to look good if a CPA firm can’t have their finances in check. You are your first client. Keep your books updated all the time. Strike the right balance between investing in great tools and staying on budget. This will ensure that your startup will not crash and burn. If you can’t keep your finances in check, who will hire you?
6- Engage and Keep a Healthy Relationship with Prospects
Find clients that will fit into your niche and keep them engaged for the long term. Deliver above and beyond service so that they will not think twice about retaining your company…
You’ll find that satisfied clients can often be the best marketing tool to grow your startup.
7- Have the Right Mindset
No matter how excellent your services are and how perfect your team can be, you will encounter drawbacks. There will be times that you have to burn the midnight oil just to finish that big job to meet the deadline. There will also be times that you have nothing to do.
It’s okay to be scared and to worry. Just don’t give up. If you know you’re doing something right, just keep at it until you succeed.
After reading these tips, do you think you have what it takes? To start a successful CPA firm? Everything from the right tools and a love of numbers to the right mindset and the ability to foster positive relationships with prospects, you have all the makings to start your very own successful CPA firm… you just have to set your mind to do it.