Future Firms

Do You Know How Your Firm Ranks?

05_13Firms that are successful know that they have to think like a “future firm.” In other words, what does my firm need to look like moving into the future?

As advisors who help firms grow and thrive, we needed to know what drives growth and longevity? What drives wallet share?

To find out, we surveyed 5,500 clients of CPA firms and 550 partners in those firms. We discovered some interesting findings.One of the most notable was the difference between how partners perceive the client relationship and how the clients see it.

 LHarris-Infographic-1How Vulnerable Are You?

This infographic (click image to enlarge) includes most of the factors we use for assessing how vulnerable a client is to the advances of a firm’s competitors — or, how loyal the client is their CPA firm.  Specifically, how likely are they to recommend the firm onto to others, are the firm’s services a good value, and is the firm easy to do business with.  Related to these are if the fees paid are fair and reasonable and how many CPA firms clients use.  We see that the value of the services trumps the fees paid, which is how it should be, and that one out of three clients use more than one CPA firm.  The range for the latter is 18% to 52%.


LHarris-Infographic-2How Do You Rank on “The Givens”?

This infographic includes some of the factors that are considered “the givens.”  A firm has to be delivering on these before it can begin to effectively build relationship capital, loyalty and Wallet Share (the percentage of a client’s total annual spend on accounting and tax services that it spends with particular CPA firm).  To move beyond “the givens” towards more “Wallet Share,” a CPA firm needs to out behave and out focus its competitor because attributes such as expertise, accuracy, and competence are assumed to be there.

LHarris-Infographic-3This group includes a few more of the factors are key to  building relationship capital and loyalty.  Being collaborative, innovative, and proactive distinguish can one firm from another.  When these are missing, clients look for seek advice from other providers.  Many clients also use other firms because they are simply unaware of all the services their CPA firm offers (but so are many of a firm’s partners).  Just how competitive the industry is can be seen by how few clients consider the firm they use to be unique or different from others.  This also helps explains the commoditization of compliance services that’s taken place over the past 5-7 years.




Finding Out How Your Firm Ranks

Quick description of the process for an assessment and what reader’s next step would be.

Want to know more?


 Additional Resources

White paper – Client Loyalty & Satisfaction: The Power in Understanding the Difference by Lee Eisenstaedt, MBA

Videos: Moving from Insights to Implementation

Wallet Share: Grow Your Practice without Adding Clients  $29.95


From YEO & YEO

“There is SO MUCH excitement around the results of the survey here at Yeo & Yeo.  Many of the principals have commented on the value of the reports and our Tax Department had a Visioning meeting this morning to reorganize for the future and used the results of the survey as the one big push they needed to get the reorganization efforts underway.  They’ve not had this kind of valuable data until now.”

-Christine Nietzke, Director of Business Development, YEO & YEO