Being a CPA is challenging, there’s no doubt. When I reflect on CPAs’ challenges, and try to simplify the situation as much as possible, I can distill a few key problems: being a generalist, billing instead of pricing, and focusing on the past...
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Being a CPA is challenging, there’s no doubt.
When I reflect on CPAs’ challenges, and try to simplify the situation as much as possible, I can distill a few key problems: being a generalist, billing instead of pricing, and focusing on the past instead of desired client outcomes.
If you can figure out your niche, learn to price, and begin to forecast and focus directly on improving the future, many problems will go away.
My guest today is Geni Whitehouse, CPA, Countess of Communication at BD Co, and author: How to Make a Boring Subject Interesting.
And I invited Geni to come on because she’s on the other side of these challenges and I wanted to tap into her expertise and insights.
Frustrated by her inability to drive outcomes for her clients, she landed in the Napa Valley, where she focusing on helping wineries understand their financials.
Benefits of working in a niche:
Competitors can’t be an expert across all dimensions.
“Where are the edges of your niche? What’s the smallest or largest winery you might take on?”
It’s measured by case size rather than revenue, and then we stay inside Napa Valley. Clients are from start-up to family wineries that have teams, but not as big as publicly traded companies.
We spend a lot of time on the interview meeting to determine if they are a fit.
Work with supporting organizations and ancillary products to make sure their clients are being well-served.
If you are scared to niche, decide what you most enjoy, and draw the line around that. Carve out a niche anywhere there are opportunities. You want to be the most valuable to your clients, and focusing allows you to create more value more easily.
You don’t have to know it all, you just have to know what to ask.
Worthwhile quotes from Geni:
“Fathom gives a high-level overview that the CEO loves, while keeping all the details clear.”
“Until clients have a good forecast, they are often shooting blind, pouring money down a black hole without any sense of when it stops.”
“Forecasting enables me to show clients where they could go if they changed factors.”
“Reports from Fathom facilitate the conversation, and gave me the confidence to have a conversation that takes rows and columns and turn it into a visual that the client understands.”
“I don’t care what you need, I can help you figure out how to find you own answer.”
“CPAs need 3 things: Mindset, Skillset, Toolset: find the right tool and use it!”
Connect with Geni Whitehouse:
Want some help in your CPA firm, but not sure where to start?
Schedule a free discovery call with me:
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