Considering the Right Questions to Prepare Your Firm for Its Future

If you are like many of the firms out there, you are working like crazy to get your work out the door by tax deadlines throughout the year and you barely have time to read this because you and your team are covered in returns. That’s your current reality today, right?!

Last year, one of our clients went into spring busy season with intentionality and an understanding of what they wanted out of the tax season. It was more than just revenue doing tax. They had envisioned a new reality prior to January’s kick off. Every tax return that was completed that year was viewed in a new way. Each return led to the following questions –

  • Do we want this client in the future?
  • Does this work represent what we envision the firm doing two to five years from now?
  • Are the professionals who work on this return capable of identifying opportunities and building successes for the client, not just our firm?
  • Are we allowing the talent in our firm to engage with managers, clients, and others so all succeed?
  • Are we building leaders through the work being done for our clients?
  • Are we having the crucial conversations with our clients upon delivering the return? Are we equipping our partners with the skills to have those conversations?
  • Are we building a culture that allows our partners to have crucial conversations with each other?

When tax season ended, this firm was equipped to ask one very simple yet important question of their clients:

Over a lunch, the firm professionals were trained how to properly explore the question, “Hello Mr. /Mrs. Decision Maker, How are things going in your business? What are your current challenges, goals? Here are some observations we have regarding your business.” This kind of attention to detail and proactive behavior positions you to help your clients in a way that you should be helping them.

These questions deserve deliberate, serious and collaborative thought if your firm is going to grow the way it needs to in an ever-increasingly competitive marketplace. All firms need to work through these issues, but only the proactive and committed firms will succeed. Being a little more intentional about asking the right questions can create a lot more opportunity to better serve your clients and better position your firm.

About the Author

Angie Grissom serves as the President of The Rainmaker Companies, a leading provider of alliance, consulting, and training services exclusively for the Accounting Profession.She is passionate about the current and future leadership in the accounting industry and pushes firm leaders to build firms that empower people and have strong future leaders and unmatched client service. She encourages leaders to think outside the box and have a focus on getting results.