The Consulting CPA program is a unique 9 week curriculum designed to help CPA’s add strategic planning, execution and coaching services to their existing accounting and tax practice. Over the last several years I have answered hundreds of questions about the program. Here are the most common. If your question is not covered send an email to jbrannon at axiomstrategic.com and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can.
Do you have to be a CPA to get your money's worth?
In short, the answer is NO!. One of our most successful students is not a CPA. His background is in HR and recruiting. But he followed the process and before he finished the program he had a new consulting client that will generate more than 30x his investment in the program.
So you don't have to be a CPA. I am one, and I think CPA's have some unique advantages that make us well suited for this work. BUT if you commit to the process you can get results whether you have some letters after your name or not.
Is this feasible for a small practice with very few business clients?
Yes. As a general rule the smaller the practice the quicker you can ramp up. While larger firms have more business clients to get started, my experience is that they also require much more discipline to actually spend time on the consulting rather than the constantly pressing tax work.
Also, keep in mind that we are not trying to add scores of clients. A full consulting portfolio can consist of less than a dozen clients. The important thing is to pick the right ones and we spend a lot of time on that
Are you going to help me get clients?
It depends on what you mean by "help." Some people expect me to wave a magic wand and bestow $100,000 worth of business on them. It doesn't work that way. We spend an entire module on business development and getting new clients. If you agree to do the work and follow the process you won't have any trouble getting new clients. If you are looking for a free ride this probably isn’t it.
How much am I going to have to spend on marketing?
Zero, although you can if you want. But it will be less effective than following the interpersonal approach I lay out that costs you nothing more than coffee or lunch with the prospect.
How long will it take to replace my tax revenue?
Some of it you will replace very quickly as your current tax clients sign up for Strategic Assessments (we charge $8,00-$12,000 for these and show you exactly how to do them). Ongoing consulting work after the Strategic Assessment is typically between $3,000 and $6,000 per month, but we have students charging $10,000 and more per month. Some people can replace their tax prep revenue in six months, others take a couple of years. It is a question of how disciplined you are, and how quickly you can hand off the tax work if you don’t want to do it anymore.
Will you show me how to price?
Yes, I'm very transparent with our pricing. That doesn't mean you have to charge what we do or serve the same business market we do. But in general, people find our real life examples very helpful when setting their own prices.
Will you help us differentiate our tax work from our consulting work?
Yes, the value difference between compliance and consulting is enormous and it is not difficult to position your consulting work as premium and separate from your commodity compliance work. I'll show you how. There is one trick in particular that works better than anything else.
Should we (or do we have to) sell our tax clients?
That's up to you. I still think there is a big advantage in having tax compliance and consulting under one roof. But you will need to manage both and some people only want to manage one or the other. I can help you decide what is best in your particular situation and build a road map for the process.
My next nine weeks are really busy. Am I going to miss out?
Potentially. You get nine weeks of unlimited personal coaching while you work your way through the program materials. After nine weeks you can still access everything in the program. There is no expiration date. So, if you are too busy to take advantage of the coaching you would miss that or have to pay for individual coaching sessions. We offer a reduced hourly rate of $250 per hour with a one hour minimum for paid coaching.
This is not a good time. When will the session start?
This is a tough one for me. First, we do these courses because I love helping CPA’s. It’s not our primary source of income by a long shot. It takes a lot of time, but I’m happy to give it. Every year we offer them less and less because Axiom’s business and team are growing.
Second, and most important, if it’s not a good time now it’s never going to be a good time. 99% of the people who ask me this question are looking for a reason that it’s MY FAULT they can’t get started right away.
“I would have been all over it, but I have a 3 week vacation coming up and you’re starting next week.”
Here’s another one I hear often
“This is exactly what I need, but I just took on a new partner/employee/client and your program overlaps with their onboarding.”
At Axiom our core values are Care, Truth and Diligence. They are also my personal values so they bleed over into The Consulting CPA. Let me encourage you to exercise Diligence by taking a time-out to think about what is really causing you to put on the brakes. Why are you hesitate to get started. Is it the money? There’s a 100% guarantee so I hope that’s not the issue. Is it the time? You need to find 2-3 hours a week to change the direction of your professional life. That’s less than 3% of your waking hours so I hope that’s not the issue. Is it the confidence? You practice in one of the most rigorous and technically demanding fields available to white collar professionals. You’re obviously smart enough so I hope that’s not the issue. On top of that you have a work ethic that gets you through a grueling tax season year after year so I know you’re not afraid to work a little. So what is it?
Let me speak Truth to you by saying that you are where you are now because you have been waiting for the right time to show up and there will never be a perfect time. Believe it or not the most successful class of graduates in the last three years was a group of committed individuals that started the first week of February and finished week 9 the week before April 15th. The program doesn’t have an expiration date. If you need to be in it there is no reason you shouldn’t start today (assuming registration is currently open of course).
Finally, let me Care for you by saying that if this is something you need to do for your own health, wellbeing and fulfillment then now is the right time. There will always be obstacles to pursuing change. We can measure the magnitude of our desire for change by the height of the obstacles we overcome to pursue it. When you decide you want it we’ll be waiting.
If you have additional questions reach out to me by sending an email to jbrannon at axiomstrategic.com.