How To Start a Successful Accounting Firm in 2022
If you are a CPA, you might consider opening your accounting firm this year.
It all depends on how you want to move through your career. Some people are happy working in a team and being directed. Others want to work for themselves, lead that team, and be responsible for all aspects of the company.
Opening an accounting firm, much like any other business, requires hard work and dedication. Luckily, as a CPA, you have the financial acumen many entrepreneurs lack when they first start. However, launching and growing a business takes more than financial and numeric expertise. Here’s how to start a successful accounting firm in 2022.
Create a Business Plan
As an entrepreneur, you should be excited about the prospect of having your own accounting practice. However, don’t move forward too quickly in your rush. You should always have a business plan for where you want to be when you launch, within six months, and in the years to come. A plan will outline all of your projected expenses and revenues and keep you on a sustainable path as you grow your business. You should also have a marketing plan that includes your target audience, ideal customer, and strategy for bringing in clients.
Get Your Licenses and Permits
Every state has different requirements for opening an accounting firm. For example, you may need a special license from the state, and you might have to get a permit to operate a business in your local area. Make sure that you do all of the necessary paperwork well in advance of launching your business. That will ensure you don’t get shut down before you can get going.
You should register your business with the IRS for tax purposes. You can get an employer identification number (EIN). This will make it legal for you to hire employees. Even if you don’t plan on having any staff to start, you don’t want to be left rushing if the time comes that you do need a more hands-on deck. It’s free to do, and will make sure that you are prepared.
Get Accounting Practice Management Software
Running a business is a lot of work. You need to be on top of things, and you need to be organized. The good thing is that many software solutions are out there to help entrepreneurs and managers alike. There is also accounting practice management software designed specifically for your type of business. It allows you to track clients, delegate work, collaborate, and schedule meetings in one place. Once you have all of your employees connected, it can be the hub for everything your business does and everything you schedule. It will make your life and your employees’ lives much simpler. You save your time for doing other things, like growing your business and working billable hours.
Figure Out Your Working Situation
One of the great things about running an accounting firm, especially if you have a good software solution, is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home. Everyone can work remotely and connect through any number of communication tools designed for remote work. However, you can also work from an office where everyone can meet and collaborate in person. It’s truly up to you, but you will have to make a choice. Expect higher expenses if you choose to rent an office and pay for utilities, but if you think that is best for your business, that’s what you need to do.
Get the Word Out
Of course, you can’t have a successful business if you don’t have any clients to work with. You will need to market yourself effectively to do that. Most new accounting firms work with local clients, so you should target businesses and residents in your area. You can do this in several ways. For one, digital and social media are incredibly important. Target social media ads to people who live near where you operate. These will get a smaller audience than broadcast marketing, but they will be more likely to sign on as customers. Plus, local search engine optimization will get your website on the first search engine rankings page to gain more local traffic.
As an accounting firm, people will only work with you if they can trust you. That’s why networking is very powerful. Get out to events and meet-ups and talk to other businesses. Make connections and build relationships. This will get you out in the minds of the business community and lead to business down the road. Plus, when you get the business of someone you’ve connected with, you are more likely to keep it long-term.
As you can see, a lot goes into starting an accounting firm. However, the payoff will be worth it since it is a lucrative field that will always be needed by individuals and businesses alike.