In November 2023, Harness Tax hosted a webinar that we called “Learn to Love Accounting Again – Redesign Your Practice for 2024.” This session, featuring Kirk Chisholm of Innovative Advisory Group, Harness Founder and CEO David Snider, and Harness’s Head of Business Development, Nick Hampson, provided a deep dive into the strategic thinking necessary for effectively revitalizing your tax advisory practice for the new year and beyond
- Focus on finding the right clients for you and your firm, not just any client
- Implement pricing strategies and service offerings that can scale over time
- Leverage your peers and community groups to stay knowledgeable and engaged
- Boost productivity with effective practice management tools
The Evolving Landscape of Tax Advisory
At Harness Tax, we’ve engaged with hundreds of tax advisors across the nation, delving into the industry’s evolution and the needs of professionals to stay engaged and avoid burnout. We’ve discovered that—more than ever—CPAs are grappling with increased workload and complexity. These conversations shed light on the necessity for adaptive strategies in an ever-evolving field. Nick Hampson shared that today’s tax advisors are “overwhelmed by an insurmountable amount of review work,” client servicing needs, workflow fluctuations during busy seasons, and a feeling of there not being an end in sight.
At Harness, we believe we can fix this problem for tax advisors by building an accounting practice management platform that offers in-house support staff to help manage administrative and client servicing needs and a marketplace to help accountants find the right clients for them and their business goals.
Choosing the right clients, not just all clients
To jump into the discussion of choosing the right clients for your business, Kirk Chisholm shared some anecdotes from his business journey. “The key to a thriving practice is aligning with clients who need your specific expertise,” he shared. Kirk shared the importance of being selective with the clients you bring on and the importance of not overextending yourself with more clients than you can reasonably handle. By carefully vetting clients and having a willingness to let go of clients that are not the best match for you, you can start to build a better work-life balance.
Pricing strategies for growth
Next, David Snider spoke about the essential role of effective pricing strategies, value proposition, and the importance of building systems early on to filter out clients that won’t be the right fit. “Out of the gate, it’s about framing your value proposition to the clients you’re serving”. He stressed the importance of presenting your value to clients as more than just a utility, but rather as a strategic partner where the value you bring extends beyond the hours you work. You can show this by sharing the “sophistication and resources that you are utilizing” in your client work and offering a level of transparency in your service delivery.
Additionally, David shared the importance of consistently growing your revenue per client in order to keep moving your firm forward. He shared that every new client should be an opportunity to moderately increase your rates and explore new strategies for pricing and services. He also stressed the importance of exploring automation and processes like online forms to help filter through clients that might not be the best mutual fit. By sharing your value and expertise, you can de-commoditize your work and build more fruitful, longer client relationships.
Maximizing productivity in tax practices
For the next topic, Nick Hampson shifted the discussion to focus on productivity tools and software that can help advisory and accounting firms manage their client operations. Kirk Chisholm’s advice on the matter was clear: running a business requires knowledge of so many different areas, from sales and marketing to compliance, technology, and more, and it can be easy for a business owner to get distracted and overwhelmed by these many different pieces.
At Harness, we’ve designed an accounting practice management platform that can enable independent advisors and CPAs to focus on providing their services, not on the backend business. Our in-house support staff assists with operational and client servicing needs, and our Marketplace and Concierge allow you to get matched with the right clients to fit your needs. Lastly, the software and tools we provide access to make it easy to serve your clients to the best of your ability.
Finding your community of peers
Finally, David Snider underscored the importance of a robust professional network and an expert community of peers to lean on for networking, continued learning, and more. “What Harness can deliver is community as a strategic asset for your clients and for the practice.” For example, if your particular expertise is in equity compensation, and your client has nuanced questions about real estate investments or other areas outside your expertise, the Harness community can serve as that resource you need for peer guidance and perhaps even client referrals for specific needs.
Harness Tax: Empowering Your Tax Advisory Practice
At Harness Tax, we’re committed to supporting entrepreneurial tax advisors to effectively scale their tax practices and reach their professional goals. Discover how Harness Tax can transform your practice and set you on a successful path in the dynamic world of tax advisory. Schedule your free demo today.