more-arw search

Running a More Efficient Accounting Firm

Improving billing practices can drive positive change across the CPA firm.

The rising popularity of chain tax-preparation firms and do-it-yourself technologies may threaten some in the accounting community, but by achieving greater efficiencies in CPA firms, accountants can ensure their cash flow remains steady and grows.


According to the Journal of Accountancy, making a few changes can help build a more effective business model. Problems in the billing department can create widespread issues and seriously damage a firm's profitability, the source notes.

In order to turn this trend around, CPA firms should make it a hard-and-fast policy to agree on the fee when they first start working with the client. The key to this strategy's success is following up on the contract with the greatest possible service. Immediately contact the customer if the job requires more work than was initially expected, JoA advises, and deliver the invoice at the same time you deliver the final product.

CPA consultant Steve Erickson noted in a February 2011 post for the CPA Success Strategies blog that having a formal policy and procedure for recruiting and keeping the best employees can also help a firm's profitability. The process of hiring and training someone can be time-consuming and expensive, and constant turnover can be demoralizing for workers and clients alike. Having and retaining top-quality employees is a major factor in a firm's long-term sustainability and revenue.