The year 2020 was a challenging one for everyone, CPAs included. However, for one CPA firm, it was the most productive, profitable, and efficient year ever. The firm experienced its highest realization of an estimated 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.
What can you learn from this firm’s 2020 experience to make 2021 your most productive and profitable year?
All this efficiency was possible because this firm adopted a "touch-it-once philosophy." This philosophy begins with efficiently gathering client data and 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 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.
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.