Top 5 Accounting Business Strategies That Work And Do Not Work

5-minute read


Having the right accounting business strategies is crucial to your firm’s success. You can read hundreds of books and guides on how to build better and more profitable businesses. But, you need to know what works and what doesn’t. You need how-to methodologies from an expert with decades of experience in helping accountants build thriving businesses. 

Look no further than Rob Nixon. For about a quarter of a century, he has coached accounting firms and built businesses that serve the accounting profession. Rob has interacted with over 175,000 Accountants across the globe and directly coached 400+ firms, adding over $850M in new profit to those firms. 


“Getting so intimate with the profession means I’ve seen a lot of what does work and a lot of what doesn’t work.”

Rob says that, in the context of building a firm, there are hundreds of accounting business strategies and ideas to implement that work. Of course, on the opposite side of the spectrum, there are those that fail. Rob narrows it down to the top five for each end of the success scale. 

Top 5 Accounting Business Strategies That Work

1 – Understanding what your clients need. Rob believes that you being the trusted advisor should mean that ‘all your clients are buying every service that gives them what they need to achieve their goals. Meeting with clients periodically will allow you to understand their needs. Then, if you don’t have what they need in your portfolio, you can go back and create services to match those needs.

2 – Leveraging the right technology. By finding the right technology that suits your firm’s workflow and your team will drive efficiency and thus enhance your capacity to take on more new clients and do more work for existing ones. 

3 – Hiring more non-chargeable team members. Majority of firms have 15% of staff on the administration side of the business. Rob has seen that the most successful firms have up to 40%. Start hiring executive assistants, client service coordinators, business managers, marketing & sales staff to do what they are good at. Let your accountants focus on accounting. 

4 – Getting into niche markets. Look at what you and your team are good at and explore sectors of the market that you know you can provide the best services for. Rob says that it is much easier to target clients if you know exactly who you are going for. 

5 – Pricing on the value you provide. Stop pricing projects based on time. For the years of experience and the skills that you and your team have, you should be pricing them based on your value contribution. Rob says that a 10:1 return is a good return on investment for your client.

Top 5 Accounting Business Strategies That Do Not Work

1 – Being inflexibleAt the rate by which technology, social behavior, client knowledge, and teams are changing the industry landscape, you cannot remain static. You have to adapt to the times. Rob says that believing that the strategies that got you here today will serve you well in the future is so wrong. 

2 – Pricing the old way. You are not giving value to your intellect by pricing by the hour and in arrears because you are not selling time, you are selling what you know. Rob believes that time-based billing is actually an unethical method because you are incentivized to go slow. You and your team are rewarded for being inefficient which is bad for your clients now and your business in the long run. 

3 – Having a scarcity mindset. Don’t lose sleep if clients or team members go. Always looking on the bright side of things is the right attitude to have. There are always more clients and team members out there waiting for you. Do what you need to do and they will come knocking. 

4 – Hiring B or C-players for your team. The industry has hundreds of thousands of amazing people that you can hire. So, you should only have A-players on your team. If your marketing is good enough, you will find them. Rob advises to never say ‘we can’t find enough good people’ unless every marketing angle available has been exhausted. 

5 – Working on projects that do not drive your numbers. Your accounting firm is a business, so your numbers should continuously be growing. Rob says that most Accountants he has met spend too much time ‘sweating the small stuff’, procrastinating, or doing ‘nice’ things. The right activities (projects) drive the results. 


Of course, you need to focus on what works. But, if you are still doing the things that Rob says do not work, you have to stop now. With the little time that you have and with the pace by which the industry is changing, you cannot afford to keep doing the wrong things. 

If you don’t know where to start, focus on your team first. Get the right people to work with to make it easier to develop and implement the right accounting business strategies.

More than 300 accounting firms have over 1000 accountants, bookkeepers, financial analysts as well as marketing, sales, and administration support staff with us. Let us show you how we can help you build a high-performing team that delivers results. 

You can schedule a FREE online consultation with one of our global team specialists.