In the past 30 days I have interviewed 61 Accounting firms for my Mastermind program. So far I have accepted 20. The interviews were all about their current size, operational tactics, their 3 year goals and the current issues that are holding them back.

The 61 firms ranged in size from small firms to medium firms – from $200K to $8M and everywhere in between. Some had multiple Partners, some were sole owners. Some had grown by acquisition, some by referral, some by marketing and some not at all.

The common threads were that they all worked BIG hours, did not earn enough for the effort, were not pricing properly and they did not have a clear pathway for the goals they wanted to achieve.

Drawing on 24 years advising firms all over the world (and really listening to the 61) I have come up with 3 headline words that an Accounting firm needs to do to achieve the goals of the owners.

Fix
Minimize
Scale

You must fix what is happening today to get more profit, cash and client happiness, then dramatically minimize time so you can create capacity then scale the business to whatever size you want.

It is pointless trying to scale your business if the current one does not have the capacity to do so.

It is pointless trying to scale a business if the current one doesn’t work so well in the first place.

I see firms grow by acquisition & marketing (typically when they are not ready) and they end up piling on more of what they have already got.

I see firms wanting to grow but they are spending too many hours ‘on the tools’ and not enough time actually growing the firm.

I see firms grow by headcount but the profit hardly grows.

To achieve your goals you need to fix, minimize and then scale.