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7 Steps to Boost Firm Performance

Even if your firm is performing well, every business can do better. As you try to take a breath after the October 15th deadlines, here are some ideas to take your firm to the next level.

  1. Optimize Client Attention. Increased automation and heightened reliance on administrative and management personnel will allow more focus on clients—and, hence, more revenues and profits.

  2. Incentivize Through Compensation. Motivating desired behavior and performance is often most assured with a bonus and goals program. Apply criteria for a particular time period or tasks (e.g., during tax season) even if you don’t rely on incentives for the full year.

  3. Grade Clients. Making time for your top clients leads to longer term relationships and often more lucrative results. Knowing which are your top clients is crucial. Develop a grading system and prune the lower ones out.

  4. Budget. The more firms speak the language of numbers internally, the more likely the strong financial outcome. Set targets for production by person, utilization, new business, engagement requirements, total revenue and gross profit. Make sure team members know the budget and the variances.

  5. Gather Intelligence. Knowledge is power! Find out what drives your staff, what potential hires see as important, what keeps clients up at night and what provokes clients to change. Use that knowledge to be proactive.

  6. Build Entrepreneurs. Define what the word “entrepreneur” means for your firm with no more than five defined core attributes. From the first day someone joins the firm, start building your entrepreneurs—and keep building them through their careers.

  7. Prioritize. Stay focused to be effective and efficient. Find ways for everyone to use a prioritization process and make it a live part of your culture.

Successful CPA firms thrive by seizing the strategic opportunity to be better. It’s a 365-day process, but well worth the commitment. Take time every day to boost your firm’s performance.

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