Accounting Excellence Awards

Secrets of excellence: Practice growth

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With this year’s Accounting Excellence Awards around the corner, our 2020 award winners reveal the ways in which their firm has flourished in terms of growth and marketing throughout recent years.

2nd Jul 2021
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From securing your first client to the point you start to plateau, growing a practice is always a big challenge. Over the years the Accounting Excellence programme has tracked the tried and tested strategies practitioners have relied on to build their practice.  

Client referrals continue to be the primary source of marketing and growth for accountancy firms, with 23% of entrants in early 2020 attributing this to their success. However, this figure pales in comparison to the heights of 2018 when 76% saw growth through referrals. SEO (20%) and social media (23%) are the next biggest growth drivers. 

Over the past year many firms rushed to set up online Facebook communities and WhatsApp networks and benefitted through this visibile support by winning new clients. In response to guiding desperate clients through the maze of loans, furlough claims and business advice, many firms also saw an increase in client referrals. They have had just as big a challenge with churn and ensuring their clients stayed in business. 

As we look forward to a post-Covid world, there is a fantastic opportunity to thrive and grow your practice. As inspiration, our Accounting Excellence award winners spill all their secrets in targeting successful practice growth. 

Warren Munson, founder and managing director of Inspire - Accounting Excellence Medium Firm of the Year 2020 winner

Warren Munson

Practice growth is really important for the retention and motivation of our team. If you get the client satisfaction and practice culture right, growth occurs. It’s been a challenging time, but if you stick to your beliefs you’re enabled to accentuate your brand and grow, which has been an opportunity that’s come from it.

From a marketing perspective, we’re always conscious of not saying yes to every opportunity. We have a strong leash on making sure they’re the right client for us. Sometimes you've got to say no, which takes strength. You’re mid-pandemic and you’re wondering what's going to happen to the practice? But saying no builds your brand and presence.

Having a strong brand positioning and niche is really important because it sets you out from the crowd. Gone are the days of being a practice to everything and everyone. You’ve got to differentiate yourself from the competition. 

Pamela Phillips, co-founder and managing director of de Jong Phillips - Accounting Excellence Small Firm of the Year 2020 winner

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