Capturing and building on the right metrics is a valuable part of creating an ultra-successful firm. The good news? Metrics and data are a comfort zone for so many CPAs. However, it’s important to be able to focus on the metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that can truly make a difference to your firm.
Here are five important metric areas for CPA firm to focus on.
Dissect your practice by range of fees. Knowing where the largest concentration of fees lies allows you to understand your sweet spot and then determine whether your realization and efficiency are optimized given how much of the firm's fees are concentrated in a range of fees. Depending on firm size, you may look at bandwidths of 10,000 or choose wider ones. The range should be meaningful and suitable for determining best practices to share internally.
Tracking and mining your referral community is important to perpetuating your fee base. Results will ebb and flow, but the trend and cumulative impact is very important. You will want to set targets for the capacity of your referral sources to refer and monitor the results. Stay on top of surprises, both good and bad, and research the cause. You will absolutely want your team to know the top 10 referral sources so they can be appreciated and potentially enhanced.
Engagement Budgeting/Estimating Success
The effectiveness of budgeting engagements impacts utilization of personnel, staff satisfaction, scheduling and firm profit. The more the budget aligns with the actual effort, the better for all concerned. Keeping track of the percentage of budgetary accuracy will allow you to optimize bids and isolate the kind of work and conditions at which you are better (and worse). Further, it will allow you to determine whether you have good budgeters and managers or whether you need to upgrade. Compliance practices especially need to pay attention to budgetary accuracy.
Growing the relationship with current clients makes more loyal clients, more money for the firm, and easier managerial stress. Setting targets for services to generate and measuring the fees in dollars created and the percentage of clients that increase their work with the firm is telling. The more you do for a client, the more satisfied they are — and the more likely they will continue and potentially refer clients. Compliance is the foot in the door to deliver deeper service, but you have to ask and perform. Measure your results and inspire other clients to grow with you, too. Learn who does a better job of growing the relationship and emulate their method.
The impressions and satisfaction of the firm’s top clients should be transparent and of high priority. Goals should be set for the upper tier of clients ahead of commencing the project. Confirmation of achievement and attitude of the client should be secured and monitored. Whether you look at top 50, top 100 or top 10 per owner, knowing that you have happy and loyal clients at the upper tier is meaningful to the security and perpetuity of the firm. Tracking the results and learning how you can keep these clients happy will allow you to keep them happy and learn what it may take to make others like them happy and loyal, as well.