TFYW #016 – Better Decisions and Big Changes

Dec 30, 2022

This week I want to get into how to make better decisions. 

These decisions can be resolutions (heading into 2023) or foundational choices for your firm’s success. 

Decisions are the launch point for all success.

The execution of those decisions carries significant weight to success, but without the correct direction, you can execute all day long without any gains.   

A good decision is about being effective. Good execution is about being efficient. 

A good, informed decision can lead to more success than any other singular action in your firm.    

The decision-making process is different for everyone; however, one thing no one can escape is the limitations of your thoughts and experiences that inform your decisions.  

We don’t know what we don’t know.  

Diversity of thought (opening your view to different options) leads to better results.   

Acknowledging your limitations + biases  

In 2017, when I launched my firm, I had no colleagues or contacts doing what I wanted to do. At that point, my Dad had been running his CPA firm longer than I had been alive. 

Although he had decades of experience, I knew some of his advice would not work for me or what I wanted in my firm. 

My other direct experience was working at a large firm. I saw some of the systems and management tactics that the leadership and management used. I also completed a lot of character-building client work. However, I garnered very little insight in running a firm. 

I only now realized how limited my firm management knowledge and experience were. I don’t know if I fully acknowledged my limitations, but I definitely underplayed their importance.  

I could do most of the technical accounting and tax work required in my firm, but I was limited when it came to:

  • Tech Strategy
  • Marketing and selling
  • Niching 
  • Pricing 
  • Cybersecurity
  • Offer development 
  • Talent acquisition and management
  • Outsourcing
  • Mindset

If you don’t remember anything else from this week’s newsletter, remember this:

 

Technical accounting talent is a bad indicator of firm growth and success.  

Discovering your limitations can only be done by being exposed to diverse thoughts and ideas. 

Diversity of thought

The big question is how to find that diversity of thought. 

Diversity of thought is everywhere. Much of the content I consume now relating to accounting and bookkeeping firms did not exist five years ago. 

It is a great time to find different ways to think about your firm and expose your blind spots. 

Here are a few sources I like: 

Podcasts:

  • Cloud Accounting Podcast
  • Automation Town Podcast
  • Accounting High 

Books:

  • The Firm of The Future – Ron Baker + Paul Dunn
  • Time’s Up – Ron Baker + Paul Dunn (I’m currently reading this)
  • Pricing Creativity – Blair Enns  

 Tradeshows:

  • QB Connect
  • XeroCon 
  • Accountex  

Exposing yourself to different perspectives is the only way to find the best solution. 

I have strong opinions, but I hold them loosely. If new, better information becomes available, I assess its impact and implement it as quickly as possible.

Implementation 

It’s one thing to discover a new idea, but it can be a different thing to implement it. 

The most significant barriers to implementation I have seen with firm owners are:

Ego

Accountants are smart people. It takes intelligence to complete the education, earn the credentials and then build a practice. However, sometimes we are closed off to thoughts that are not ours.

There is no tactic or template to over come your ego. You need resolve to find the best solution. If you had the best solution, you wouldn’t be reading this newsletter. 

Lack Of Time

Firm owners are busy. I get that. 

But different results in your firm come from taking different actions. Keeping your head buried in client work is a surefire way to keep things the same. 

Time needs to be invested in building assets. Those assets, in turn, will free up more time to make larger investments. 

Start small with simple milestones that will move you in the right direction.  

Lack of Know How

Knowing where to get started can be overwhelming. In the TFYW #014 newsletter, I get into finding the true source of issues and bottlenecks in your firm.

We often treat symptoms and leave the true causes unattended.

The value of a framework or proven guidance cannot be overstated. Finding a blueprint to get started is well worth the investment.

Firm Nexus

I am excited to announce the creation of Firm Nexus. 

 

In 2023, I will retire the CPA Firm Accelerator strategy to make way for something better. 

Firm Nexus is an accounting community that offers courses, content + coaching. 

As I worked with firm owners this last year, I’ve seen that each firm deals with similar issues but at different times. Having resources to address those items as they come up is important.

Firm Nexus will have those on-demand courses and templates. And when unique details pop up, there is a community and coaching to get over those hiccups quickly.   

Effecting real change takes time. But that time always gets extended when you are left to work through the steps alone. Change happens faster with a community of similar firms doing what you want to do.

The community will include exclusive courses, content and coaching for:

  • Tech + Automation
  • Pricing Strategy
  • Marketing + Selling 
  • Talent acquisition 
  • Team Management

Firm Nexus is designed to help you make better decisions and to improve the effectiveness + efficiency of what you do. 

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far and profitably, go together. 

Happy New Year. 

Mark

P.S. Email Mark@FirmNexus.com with something that you want me to talk about. I’ll add it to the list. 

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