Five keys to Building a Million Dollar Accounting Practice

Few small accounting practices break the million-dollar mark. While the size of the firm can help it get to million-dollar revenues, it is rarely the sole deciding factor. To increase your potential for building a widely successful accounting practice, consider these best practices.

  1. Begin with clear branding.

Start with a clear value proposition: who you are, what you do, and who you do it for. Niche specialization can position your firm to build expert reputation and justify significant margins. Once you have made your branding decisions, make sure that your messaging is consistent across all media and collateral that your firm uses, from business cards to the website and LinkedIn profiles.

  1. Set goals and track your progress

Many studies have demonstrated that one of the key differentiators of successful people is that they  set goals for themselves. Reflect on the desired end-state of your practice, map out the way, and break it down into steps.

It helps to have clarity and specific details on how you plan to reach the goal. What kinds of clients and what level of fees would it take? How would that translate into your monthly and weekly actionable steps? Consider your timeline, as well. The shorter the time horizon, the more intense the work.

  1. Keep up your motivation

Significant progress comes as a result of building a disciplined daily practice. Whether your task is to build systems that will support your business or reach out to potential clients, keep up your motivation.

As Victor Frankl reflected in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning”, human beings can endure unimaginable hardship if they can see a meaning in it. Personal clarity on why this goal is important to you now and what success would mean to you, your clients, and your family can keep you going on the toughest days.

  1. Market, market, market!

A key driver for reaching the million-dollar revenue mark is a relentless commitment to marketing. No matter which methods and tools you use, become diligent and disciplined in executing your marketing plan. Track results, experiment, and aim to improve your results.

  1. Manage your time efficiently

Identify and actively focus on high-value activities. This requires you to know what those activities are and to make a commitment to do them, even if they are technically or emotionally difficult. For most accountants, high-value activities include outreach to potential clients, client appointments, and performing or supervising the technical work on client projects. 

Reflect on whether you spend the majority of your work time in proactive or in reactive mode. Reactive activities include responding to emails, doing research, returning phone calls, and dealing with administrative and operational issues in the firm. While some of those tasks will inevitably require your attention at some point, aim to minimize the time you spend in the reactive zone. Instead, focus on proactive activities. Use prioritization, time blocking, and delegation to ensure best and highest use of your time. That approach is only possible when you have a high-performing, exceptionally qualified, and trust-worthy team to support you.