In 2012, Ford Baker, the firm’s managing partner, had a busy season that looked pretty familiar to the industry: he was sleeping on a cot at his office, working 100+ hours a week, and leading an overall unhealthy lifestyle. This same year Ford weighed almost 400 lbs. At this point, he made a life-altering decision that refocused his approach to how he lived his life and how he managed his firm. Ford began valuing himself and his employees’ health and wellness above the unsustainable environment of working hundreds of hours every spring and fall. By 2014, he had lost over 170 pounds, and his focus at the practice became how to become more efficient before taking on more work. He replaced his old “What did we do last year?” mentality with “What can we do better next year?” With actual personal and work boundaries, as well as a “touch-it-once philosophy” inside the firm, his firm achieved its most productive and profitable year in 2020 and now has a 40-hour workweek year-round for employees.
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 switching from putting last year’s balances on the previous 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.
Kaitlyn Kirkhart is a communications professional specializing in client-facing relationships and creating efficiencies in the public accounting industry. Kaitlyn has a proven track record in public speaking, organizational communications, social media, sales, and business administration in public accounting. She's had content published on Yahoo Finance and CPA Practice Advisor and was interviewed by ABC News' Affiliate, WFAA, for BaCo Tech's ability to help small businesses during the COVID-19 shutdown. Additionally, she is an active member in her local Toastmasters club, on the committee for Texas' American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure, and is a member of a CEO peer advisory group of executives who challenge and inspire each other to make better decisions, Vistage International. Kaitlyn holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Texas State University.