This is the first of an interview series, focusing on CPA practices who are successfully growing their business.
I’m kicking off this series by featuring The Sidney, Ohio-based accounting firm of McCrate, DeLaet & Company. They were recently featured in Accounting Today because the firm was selected to join CPAsNET, a prestigious network of exceptional accounting firms. Fewer than 30 firms in the nation have the opportunity to be invited to join this exclusive organization.
From the article:
CPAsNET is a leading consortium of independent accounting firms that represent more than 100 partners, 300 professional associates, and 500 employees. CPAsNET’s global reach represents more than 120 firms in 93 countries all over the world. Member firms have pooled their resources to provide their clients with the local, national and international perspective needed to prosper in challenging markets and times.
McCrate, DeLaet & Company was selected based on a number of criteria, including the expertise and business acumen they provide to their clients in the Sidney, Ohio community. Through their membership in CPASNET, they are able to provide their clients with the multitude of resources available only from the Nation’s largest accounting and business consulting firms for a fraction of the cost.
I reached out to Scott Steineman, CPA, CITP and the Audit Manager and Financial Advisor for McCrate, DeLaet & Company. He and Donald C. Goettemoeller, CPA, PFS, Accounting & Audit Partner, and Financial Advisor were gracious enough to answer my questions.
Accounting firms are facing many challenges. New technology, new regulations, and client expectations are just a few.
Here is how McCrate, DeLaet & Company is moving forward:
Mary Rose Maguire: Congratulations on being invited to join CPAsNET, a prestigious network of exceptional accounting firms. How did this invite happen?
Donald Goettemoeller: We were looking for a network of firms to increase our resources. This was one of several recommendations.
MRM: How have the expectations of your clients changed over the past 15 – 20 years?
DG: From Compliance to being a business partner.
MRM: What were some of the reasons McCrate, DeLaet & Company developed wealth management services in 2001?
DG: Tax expertise combined with understanding client objectives made it a natural fit.
MRM: What are the top 3 – 5 challenges you see accounting firms face for the next ten years?
DG: 1) Staffing – helping staff understand client needs and wants. 2) Technology – stay current. (Scott Steineman): 3) Converting from hourly billing to value-based billing.
With technology taking compliance jobs, clients are looking for more business consultation that adds value to their entity. Also important is finding new revenue streams since jobs are being automated.
MRM: How can an accounting firm combat the increase of automated services and remain viable for the future?
DG: Move from compliance to becoming a business consultant. (SS): Becoming a business partner by talking to clients throughout the year about the situations they are in (not just during tax season).
We also have a valuations practice. This allows our professionals to consult business owners on the best option to add value for a possible sale of their business down the road.
MRM: What do you think are some common mistakes accounting firms make with marketing?
DG: 1) They have no marketing strategy. 2) They’re not willing to pay for professional expertise. 3) There’s a shotgun approach – little effort with no focus.
MRM: What are some of the more successful marketing tactics McCrate, DeLaet & Company has used?
DG: Calling on clients at times other than just to fulfill filing requirements. Also, we gently remind clients and referral sources that we grow our business by referrals.
MRM: If you could look into a crystal ball, what types of changes do you think accounting firms will need to make in order to be successful in the future?
DG: Use technology and embrace Gen Y methods and expectations.
McCrate, DeLaet & Company is making the transition from being seen as a typical accounting firm to being a valuable asset for their client’s financial future.
What about you?
Is your CPA practice poised for success? If not, you may need a few good marketing ideas.
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