Consulting

The consulting team at 2020 has worked with thousands of firms around the world. Our consulting and coaching services are designed to meet the needs of go-ahead small to mid-sized CPA firms in a wide area of disciplines. From Strategic Planning to on-going coaching, our services are designed to help your firm achieve its strategic objectives.

Our contacts within the CPA profession means that if we, for some reason, cannot help your firm, we’ll be able to put you in contact with experts that can assist.

Focus Groups
A Focus Group is a group of 10-15 accounting firms of similar size that meet twice a year for an intense 1-day workshop. Participants work on strategy and practice issues, share ideas, develop relationships, get new ideas and discover new resources. Attendees set the agenda, but topics have included (to name a few):

  • Staff Compensation Models
  • Key Professional Trends
  • Billing Rate Comparison
  • Marketing Planning
  • New Service Planning

We ask each firm to send 2 representatives to each meeting — these can be the same individuals each time or different ones . . . in fact, it’s a great way to expose young partners to the real issues of running a CPA firm.

Three important features of each meeting are:

  1. Each firm reviews and explains what they have accomplished in the prior 6 months;
  2. At the end of the meeting, each firm details and discusses what they plan to accomplish in the next 6 months;
  3. All the discussions, information, and recommendations from the meeting are summarized and sent out to participants.

We have successful Focus Groups operating in around the country and world, and participants who attend regularly can attest to the importance of the Focus Group being a part of their annual strategy meetings.

 

Mergers & Acquisitions
Merger and acquisition activity among CPA firms is on the rise. Some firms are seeking to expand their practices, increase their profitability, offer greater opportunities to staff and better serve growing clients. Due to the changing demographics of the profession, some are also looking to ‘slow down’ or exit the profession.

We are not brokers, instead offer a much more highly personalized service designed to match you with the best potential firms in your area. We can help you identify potential buyers or sellers, act as consultants throughout the transaction, draft buy/sell agreements and much more.

We have firms in a number of American cities looking to buy and sell. If you are looking to buy, sell or merge an accounting practice, contact 2020 at 905 891 8546 for more information

Partner Retreats/Strategic Planning

2020 regularly facilitates Partner Retreats using a methodology that includes:

  • Identification of key issues through confidential questionnaires
  • Individual interviews
  • Documentation and implementation
  • Building “one-firm” culture
  • A bias towards change, results, and accountability

Many firms have Partnership Agreements in place, however, many are outdated and many remain unsigned. 2020 helps firms develop a comprehensive partnership (or corporate) agreements that effectively deal with the key issues, including:

  • Ownership and compensation
  • Retirement
  • Admission and withdrawal of partners
  • Non-compete agreements
  • Dispute resolution

Performance Coaching
2020′s Coaching services are designed to help practitioners achieve their goals quickly. Monthly and quarterly options are available for practitioners who want someone one to push their firm. 2020 acts as a sounding boarding for new initiatives, provides feedback on current progress and holds practitioners accountable.

The process starts with a questioning process and strategic plan development. We then identify the key steps to achieve your strategic plan and each month (or quarter) discuss your progress and troubleshoot if needed. You’ll learn the best practices from around the world as well as get access to the key partners to keep you moving. Coaching appeals to successful practitioners that want to be even better. Coaching includes unlimited access to your 2020 coach throughout the process.

For real progress to be made there is a 6-month minimum for coaching engagements.

Marketing Strategy
For firms to grow they must be disciplined in their marketing efforts. 2020′s marketing services focus on:

  • Analyzing current marketing strategies
  • Creating a strategic marketing plan
  • Implementing the plan
  • Building a marketing culture within the firm
  • Recruiting and training marketing personnel
  • On-going coaching and support

Operational Reviews
2020′s Operational Reviews focus on making your firm as efficient and as profitable as possible. 2020′s methodology focuses on:

  • Better people management
  • Systems and process design and review
  • Technology implementation
  • Performance-based compensation
  • Chargeable hour management
  • Improving fee structures
  • Better billing practices
  • WIP and debtor controls
  • Identifying strategic partnerships

Team Member Surveys
The Team Member Survey is a great way to harness the many ideas your staff have on how to improve every aspect of your accounting firm. The anonymous nature of the survey gives your people the opportunity to provide constructive feedback in a non-threatening forum. Some of our member firm’s best initiatives have come from the team member survey.

Your team will be surveyed, the data collated and a report with recommendations will be delivered either in person or via webinar.

The Team Member Survey is normally conducted in conjunction with the Partner Retreat however, it can be done as a stand-alone initiative.

Client Satisfaction Surveys
Satisfied clients are the lifeblood of every accounting firm.

Do you know

what your clients care about?
what your clients’ concerns are when dealing with your firm?
how your clients rate your practice?
what other services your clients are interested in receiving?

Do you know? OR (more likely)…..Do you think you know? Have you asked them? Unless you ask the questions, you never really know.

The most successful and profitable practices in the US take the time to listen to their clients to truly add value to their practice. At the 2020 we have developed a proven methodology of surveying your clients.

How does it work?

We will provide you with a standard letter to send to your top 50 clients which have been selected by the partners. The letter indicates the importance of both positive and negative feedback and that if they should be contacted over the phone, would they mind spending a few minutes with a specialist from 2020.

2020 then personally telephones all of the clients and summarizes the results. Typically the telephone interviewing will cover 90% – 100% of the clients listed. After summarizing the results, one of the 2020 consultants will visit your firm to present the findings to all of the partners. You are also provided with recommendations, based on the unique knowledge gained by covering over 15,000 past interviews. Specifically this means that you are provided with recommendations as to how other firms have dealt with areas of weakness and specific client concerns will also be highlighted.

In-House Seminars and Workshop

2020 Group Canada can conduct in-house seminars for your firm on a wide range of topics, including marketing, selling skills and firm management.

In-house seminars and workshops facilitated by outside consultants are a tremendous tool to align partners and staff towards the firm’s vision. They generate significant buy-in from the entire team and increase the sense of commitment and enthusiasm.

The most popular seminars/workshops include:

  • How to Add Value to Your Client Relationships
  • Key Strategies for Successful Cross Selling
  • Pricing Your Services on Value (not Time)
  • How to Build a Winning Culture
  • Yes You do Need Marketing
  • Technology Update
  • State of the Union – The Accounting Union that is
  • The 4-Hour work Week for Accounts

All Hands Day
The All Hands Day is the perfect add-on to a Partner Retreat. Too often those outside of the firm’s leadership are left out of the planning process and often key initiatives fail because of a lack of buy-in from the team.

The All Hands Day is designed to communicate the strategic direction of the firm and the integral role your team will play. It’s also an opportunity for your team to learn about the latest trends in the industry giving them the context to help them understand why certain decisions have been made. We can help you overcome barriers to implementation and help decrease any fears your team may have associated with change.

Our experience shows that firms that get buy-in from their team achieve their strategic goals much more quickly and with less resistance than those that continue to operate in a vacuum.