All Fields Required

Dos and Dont's of CPA Firm Strategic Planning

Posted On
February 4
By
SurePayroll
Why do some accounting firms move forward while others stand still or even fall back? The answer often has to do with strategic planning: the process of envisioning a firm’s future and taking steps to realize it.

But it’s not necessarily a lack of a strategic plan that holds firms back. Instead, it’s having a plan that’s neither well designed nor well implemented.

The Dos

To have an effective strategic plan, your partners must share a common vision and mission, as well as goals and core values. But a growth-generating strategic plan requires more than that. It must consider:

To have an effective strategic plan, your partners must share a common vision and mission, as well as goals and core values. But a growth-generating strategic plan requires more than that. It must consider:

Accountability. To get the commitment required to make your strategic plan work, tie individual and team goals, performance reviews and compensation to it. For example, if your firm wants to build brand awareness in a new market area, a partner must commit to becoming involved in a business organization there — and be rewarded appropriately for success.

Executability. If your plan consists merely of broad strategies, such as starting an M&A support practice or expanding into a neighboring town, chances are it will remain just a plan. To implement it, you must translate the strategies into executable tactics.

Let’s say you choose “starting a litigation support practice” as a strategy to help achieve your goal of a 15% growth in revenue. Implementing this strategy may involve tactics like these:

  • Conduct a quarterly marketing campaign to build awareness of your services in this niche.
  • Hire a Certified Fraud Examiner.
  • Join organizations and network at events attended by lawyers.
  • Identify and cultivate 25 law firm prospects.
  • Develop a social media referral program.

Metrics. To measure progress toward your goals — and to see where adjustments or more effort may be required — build objectives, milestones and benchmarks into your plan. For example, you may aim to attend 10 law-firm-related networking events by Dec. 1 and identify 12 prospects by July 1.

The Don’ts

Even when firms include the plan elements mentioned above, they can fail to benefit fully from the strategic planning process. Why? Because they make these mistakes and for the full list of mistakes that you don’t want to make, read the full article in the Dec/Jan Practice Management Newsletter and don't forget to visit Practice Management Insights to sign up for the Newsletter and get great Accountant related content each month.

Leave a comment