CPA Growth Partners

Strategy—New Practices & Lagging Existing Units

Audio Transcript

Building Exceptional Practices—Strategy 

Many years ago the late Peter Drucker, the father of business consulting, made an observation that has been lost through time; “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation.” 

You might be thinking, whoa—there is a lot more to business than just that—like providing excellent client service, or that new customer will soon go bye-bye… and I’d concur 100%!  Nevertheless, we’d all probably agree that innovating is a critically-needed (and desired) business ability.

Certain accounting firms, like Crowe Horwath—embrace the importance of innovation—having named its first Chief Innovation Officer in October 2013— responsible for leading the Firm’s New Product Development Team.  Two products created by that unit in the healthcare revenue cycle and nonprofit tax software arenas generated over $100 million in revenue, Crowe reports.

Many professional services firms struggle incubating new services, practices, tools and other initiatives.  Perhaps you’ve seen this movie up-close before:

  • There are one or more “false starts”
  • Practices languish for years—draining both resources and management’s time
  • Professionals recruited for, or assigned to the unit quit in frustration
  • Partners/owners start to grumble about the leadership team’s effectiveness
  • Ultimately, the CEO/Board’s “fear of failure” results in a “loss of appetite to invest”—even though it’s critical for client retention—and arguably, the firm’s future

At other firms—innovation many be on the backburner because there are functional units, such as a “stale and reactive” tax practice, that is causing heartburn—versus fostering growth.  For multi-office firms, it might be an important office that’s “in-the-ditch.” 

Look, successfully launching new units, services, or initiatives—as well as reviving an existing functional unit, niche or office largely is rooted in basic strategy—followed by leadership’s and the team’s action, execution and perseverance.

Each CPA Growth Partners strategy-related project is tailored to your firm’s culture and situation—starting with an analysis of “current state” conditions, and the firm’s goals.  For “new” rollouts, working hand-in-hand with leadership, an approach is crafted involving:

  • The product/service concept—and development
  • Hiring/recruiting people, where needed
  • Training
  • Quality control
  • Work processes
  • What the client “deliverable” should look like
  • Internal/external marketing approaches
  • Selling methods/pricing
  • Administration/KPIs/other timetables
  • Goals/accountability

Ongoing advisory is available—and may be desirable post-launch to help with questions and/or execution matters.   

Our approach with existing functional units, niches, and offices start with the same culture/current state evaluation—along with your firm’s goals.  Options and recommendations are reviewed with leadership—with strategies being crafted collectively. 

We’d love to learn about your innovation objectives—and practice areas you wish to transform!  Please contact us at CPA Growth Partners to schedule a cost-free discussion of your scenario!  Due to the confidential nature of these matters, we are agreeable to signing applicable non-disclosure documents prior to such call.