The year 2020 has been a challenging one for everyone, CPAs included. For one CPA firm, however, it was the most productive, profitable, and efficient year ever. This firm experienced its highest realization of 140% across all clients, despite not charging extra for PPP loans and loan forgiveness. They did more work for more clients in less time—all while using fewer people and providing better client service. There was higher client satisfaction with no last-minute filings or surprises.
All this efficiency was possible because this firm adopted a “touch-it-once philosophy.” This philosophy begins with efficiently gathering client data and then integrating it into a standard workflow that combines engagement letters and billing into one task once a year. Streamlining tasks has allowed this firm to focus on client service and be more efficient in filing tax returns. They’ve been more productive and profitable, navigating COVID-19 and PPP service obstacles with ease.
Ford Baker, CPA, has over 35 years of experience in the public accounting industry, with over 20 of experience running a firm, BaCo Group, PLLC. In that role, Ford always sought to improve the efficiency of his firm through technology and forward-thinking. His passion was built out of a unique backstory; in 2012, he weighed almost 400 pounds, but by 2014 he had changed his life and rode a bicycle from Canada to Mexico down the Pacific Coast Highway. He had a passion and focus on eliminating the clutter in his practice that created the 400-pound version of himself that he did not want to see return. Ultimately, Ford developed an in-house transaction-based workflow using Excel and various other off-the-shelf utilities that gather data and work with data more real-time. This workflow concept can change the industry from a reactive service from putting last year’s balances on last year’s returns to proactive services, teaching clients the impact of this year’s numbers on their business, its exit value, and next year’s tax bill, today.
Joe Abesamis is a redemptive CPA who exists to fix what is wrong in the public accounting profession. Since 2007, he has worked in various firms where billable hours were valued over outcomes, profits came before people, and men became machines. He wants to reverse the curse and provide hope for a brighter future to the profession. Joe aims to inspire the next generation by example through BaCo Group, PLLC, a boutique tax and accounting firm, and BaCo Tech, an accounting tech company that will eliminate “busy” season from our vocabulary. Joe enjoys writing thought leadership articles for Intuit and Sage and is an active member of the innovative accountant's group, Thriveal. Additionally, he is an active member of a CEO peer advisory group of executives who challenge and inspire each other to make better decisions, Vistage International.