Vertical Selection for your Accounting Services


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The hows and whys of selecting a vertical market.

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  • Ask audience familiarity w/ Sinek and Golden Circle. If not familiar click “It starts w/ Why” to go to Ted talk video. Roughly 4.5 minutes in (Stop at "this is the best part.")

    Graphic links to Sinek video about electricity being a commodity – need to decide where to cut it off.

    Discussion: 3-5 questions: “So often you hear from practitioners what they deliver to clients, but its not as often that you hear WHY” When my colleagues have done this exercise in the past, they have said that their why is to make a profit, but that is the result.”

    “How often is that “WHY” being communicated to your staff, to your clients?”

    Leah and Tom: Share the personal why,
  • Vertical Selection for your Accounting Services

    1. 1. Aria Resort and Casino Las Vegas, NV D3 – Selecting Vertical Markets for a Digital Practice – A Panel Discussion Monday June 9th 4:40 PM – 5:55 PM Thomas R. Gawne, CPA #PSTECH
    2. 2. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Thomas R. Gawne, CPA Director of Professional Services • 28 years in the tax and accounting sector • 14 in public practice, 14 in technology sector • Workshop and on-site leader for • Key passion is to lead the profession in leveraging emerging technologies
    3. 3. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Thought Leader Panelists Nicole M. Ksiazek, CPA Cloud Accounting Practice Leader Fesnak Outsourcing, LLC Dixie McCurley Partner, Trusted CFO Solutions
    4. 4. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Vertical focus
    5. 5. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Agenda Vertical Selection Right Tools in the Toolbox Vertical Expansion Putting it in Action
    6. 6. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Wikipedia vertical market (plural vertical markets) 1. (marketing) A market made up of similar businesses and customers with particular specialized needs. 2. A vertical market is a market in which vendors (Accounting Professionals) offer goods and services specific to an industry, trade, profession, or other group of customers with specialized needs.
    7. 7. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Digital CPA Client Accounting Services… Virtual Controllership Collaborative Advisory Services – Virtual CFO Write-Up Business Process Outsourcing Advisory Transactional Specialize in Client Industry Verticals  Healthcare  Not-For-Profit  Technology  Professional Services  Property Management  Government Contractors  Retail  Franchises
    8. 8. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Selection
    9. 9. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH It Starts with Why Golden Circle: “Start with Why” Critical to Firm Success Source: Simon Sinek
    10. 10. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Vertical Selection – The “Why” Fit Passion, Mission – the “why” What is your firm most passionate about? Tie in to Firm or Personal “Mission”
    11. 11. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Thought Leader Insights What is your “why” in relationship to your vertical selection? Thoughts and experiences on developing the “why”
    12. 12. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Existing Expertise Fit Is there already expertise in this vertical? Do you have existing clients in this vertical? Untapped expertise within your firm?
    13. 13. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Market Assessment Fit Too small to succeed well? Too large to matter? Marketplace penetration Is their room for growth? Can we make money at it?
    14. 14. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Vertical Needs Assessment What is the key information they need for success? Develop “core” then expand down to key KPI’s
    15. 15. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Thought Leader Insights Did existing expertise play a role in your vertical selection for your firm? How? What steps did you take to assess the market that your vertical resides in? Speak to how you determined the needs of your vertical(s) initially? How has that changed over time? How important are vertical KPI’s to the decision?
    16. 16. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Vertical Selection – Culture Fit Does the firm culture fit the vertical?
    17. 17. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Getting Vertical through the Cloud Business Intelligence Reporting Real-Time Client Collaboration Standardized Workflows Client Accounting Capabilities driven through cloud computing • Professional Services – 90% • Construction – 76% • Retail – 75% • Not-for-Profit – 73% • Manufacturing – 65% • Wholesale Distribution – 61% • Technology Companies – 59% • Transportation – 48% • Hospitality – 45% • Franchises – 40% • Government – 29% Most Popular Client Verticals for Outsourced Accounting Services
    18. 18. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Thought Leader Insights Speak to your process of selecting a vertical market Looking back – what would you change? What other factors should drive the decision vertical decision? Questions from the audience
    19. 19. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Tools
    20. 20. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Tools Key Principles • All Digital, all in the cloud • Designed for timely “prospective” insight • Collaborative
    21. 21. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH A/P – Bill Pay A/R – POS Payroll Inventory Control Accounting – G/L Document Management Tax System Other Industry Specific Industry Specific Paychex Industry Specific Intacct Sharefile, Box, etc. CCH, Thomson, Etc. As needed Tools – Core Elements Signature Functions Applications
    22. 22. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Tools – Workflow Effects Digital Core Transaction Capture Information & Insight Delivered Prospectively Intelligent, Timely Business Decisions Made
    23. 23. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Tools - Collaboration Video Conferencing – Skype, Zoom, etc. Web Conferencing – WebEx, GoTo Meeting, etc. Social Media – Linked In groups, Twitter feeds
    24. 24. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Tools – Management Tracking Workflow Management – XCM Contact Management – CRM Internal KPI trackers
    25. 25. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Thought Leader Insights What does your tool box look like? Can you speak to the sequence of implementing key tools? Questions from the audience
    26. 26. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Expansion
    27. 27. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Expansion – Within Existing Vertical On going services Additional Need Identified Services scope expanded
    28. 28. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Expansion - like parallel verticals Review “like” parallel verticals for need & process • Dentists vs. Optometrists • Differing types of Restaurants • Auto Repair vs. Body Shops
    29. 29. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Expansion – New Start Ups Create new start-ups among different verticals Template appropriate process steps
    30. 30. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Thought Leader Insights What has been your vertical expansion strategy? What role does your staff play in your expansion strategy? What comes first, second, etc.? Questions from the audience
    31. 31. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Concluding Thoughts Selection key concepts Tools of the vertical trade Expansion past that first vertical Make it happen!
    32. 32. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Resources
    33. 33. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Reference Material “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek • Ted talk “The Golden Circle” video “The Power of Real Time Financial Data & Analytics to Penetrate the Restaurant Niche Market” • A case study whitepaper by Dixie McCurley of Trusted CFO Solutions available at “Making the “shared services” Vision a Reality!” • A case study whitepaper with Nicole M. Ksiazek, CPA, Senior Manager, Cloud Accounting Practice Leader, Financial Management Outsourcing at Fesnak and Associates, LLP “Leveraging the Cloud to Start or Grow a Vertical Niche Practice” • A Whitepaper by C. Keith Willis CPA.CITP, Cohen & Company available at
    34. 34. Copyright © 2014 American Institute of CPAs. All rights reserved. Thank You Enjoy the remainder of the Conference!