7 Secrets to Scaling an Accounting Practice

5-Feb 2016

Whether you’re a team of one or slowly growing, you’ve thought about scaling your accounting practice at some point—right? You’re great at crunching numbers, but what about optimizing your workflow? Are the processes you have in place now scalable for later?

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If the idea of growing your practice has ever crossed your mind, here are the seven secrets you need to know to scale effectively:

1. Build and automate repeatable processes

Automate recurring tasks for ongoing client work that shouldn’t be recreated every month (like payroll, bookkeeping tasks, and financial year end account tasks). With automatic notifications, you can tell your team or even your clients when a contract is nearing its limit so you can proactively manage expectations.

2. Control your workflow

Automating timesheets and populating them with ongoing work is a surefire way to stay on top of everything. Also, being one click away from converting any quote to a project will completely streamline your workflow and save you time—and money.

3. Streamline finances

Using customer retainers that allow you to flexibly set up allowance types and roll overs will be key. Plus, with usage tracking you can also track tasks done on retainers by budget or by the hour, allowing you to streamline your finances—and workflow.

4. Maximize billable time

By seeing the time worked in any given contract—be it through emails, tasks, or projects, you can figure out how to optimize your output. Time tracking with mobile timers, email timing, task-based time and automated time sheets make time-tracking painless so you can get back to doing the work you love.

5. Give ownership (and hold people accountable)

Make assigning work easy with simple project planning tools like drag and drop Gantt charts. With team scheduling you can know how to staff pre-kickoff and who can help when client work changes.

6. Reward your team

With leadership, sales, utilization, and profitability dashboards you can easily see who’s working the most, closing the most sales, and generating the most profit. Give credit where it’s due and keep momentum high.

7. Delight your clients

Rita Keller had a point when she tweeted, “I find that #CPA partners shy away from discussing fees and how they bill with clients upfront. Opens the door for sticker shock later”. Be upfront with your clients about your services and their cost so that there are no surprises. That way, you can build long term relationships based on trust. Having a platform in place with a client portal that allows you to do just that is crucial for your practice’s health.

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