I'm a digital cpa why do my clients care


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Your firm has made great strides adopting innovative technologies, promising
big improvements on efficiency, client service and profitability. But are you
positioning these advancements as a competitive advantage with your clients?
This session will discuss tools and strategies for marketing your firm as a Digital
CPA firm, and how to measure success and deliver a consistent message.

Published in: Marketing, Business, Technology
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  • Ask the audience:
    Who in the audience is responsible for the marketing in the firm?
    How long have you been a Digital CPA?
    What do you want to get out of this class (before I start the intro)
  • We just talked about the level of service, but are there specific characteristics for a Digital CPA that makes you have particular value to clients and staff? At CPA2Biz we broke it down into 3 knowledge areas. You will have specific technical skills, business skills and leadership skills. You may think that isn’t any different than what any successful practitioner has so what is specific to the Digital CPA here?
    Click for competencies to appear: These will be areas you are strong in and be able to foster for your client in this digital world. (talk through some of them. Get the group discussing how it is different when focused on trusted advisor and being digital)
  • We just discussed the Golden Circle in reverse – started w/ what is it – the services you provide. Then went into How you are a Digital CPA w/ the characteristics and internal systems and processes you would have in place. That allowed us to make sure we are all thinking about the same concept and idea. But to work on an effective message to your clients the Why is what you want to focus your communications on.

    Who heard Simon Sinek in the keynote. (ask them to discuss a bit).
    Show the Sinek and Erik video to elaborate on “start w/ why”

    After video this is the core of your messaging and why your client cares. What you do in your office and even the tools you offer don’t matter if it doesn’t match up to what they value and what they believe. This is what you want to make sure is well articulated and formulated before working on your marketing messaging.
  • Show this mission and ask who they think this is? Click to reveal Amazon. Click to underline what is basically their vision. Can you see how they drive to this? Simple and what drives them.

    “Lets take a close look at a business vision.”

    “I am sure that many of you have ordered or worked with Amazon.com and think about the experiences that you have had with Amazon. Does your experience support their vision”
  • There is so much you have heard while here and hopefully what we have started discussing here is getting you thinking. Take a moment to jot down your initial thoughts on your why and what you want to communicate w/ colleagues and clients about being a Digital CPA. This is giving you a jump start when you get back to the office instead of another item on the to do list.
  • We just started the crafting of the message by starting w/ why. Now we are going to dig deeper. To be effective it needs to be consistent, filled w/ value to the listener and effectively communicated through the right channels.
  • When crafting any message you have to start with keeping your audience in mind. We are not looking to promote your services to the mass market. Part of being that Trusted Advisor is a level of expertise you offer and that will be a for a specified client.
  • Go through each bullet one at a time.

    Why is this important?
    Consistency for your staff
    Hone your knowledge and staff
    Create that checklist and every firm member should know exactly the type of client that fits within the model
    Standardized approach with clients
  • Now we know who we are addressing and your Why and Simon talked about the importance of that. That should be incorporated into introductory communications like an elevator statement.
  • The Digital CPA is about sharing knowledge not just data. Data does not always give the true picture if you don’t have the knowledge on how to extrapolate it. This is where the Trusted advisor plays a role. You are sharing insights, consulting w/ the client, using technology to convey the message…. (grab more words from the slide).

  • http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-133154003/stock-photo-work-and-life-balance.html?src=Te6bcE9rn66BF9jmclTVmA-1-9

    Each of you will define your own value points, so we are covering some of the keys that will be applicable to all Digital CPA’s.
    Top 500 firm mentioned they have seen clients respond and perk when “remote access” “realtime access”
  • http://www.forbes.com/sites/ronashkenas/2012/10/19/forget-work-life-balance-its-time-for-work-life-blend/

    With mobile technology people are striving for Work – life blend. This way people have flexible schedules to work, but still get their work done. Being a Digital CPA you can help them accomplish this.

    Americans working from home soared 41% in last decade.”
    Source: “Work from Home 41% in 10 years” www.money.cnn.com
  • Cnn source: http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/04/news/economy/work-from-home/ - Availability of high speed internet and services like Skype making working virtually effective. Also, w/ the economy more people are starting at home businesses. State Gov. workers working at home jumped 133% in 10 years; private compaies grew 67% in same time period.
  • As for the Knowledge Management here is a survey of over 1000 buyers of Professional Services and the number 1 reason they looked for a visible expert was b/c they did not have an expert in house. With all the rapid changes in regulations and technology available and making the process better lends to this need. Hinge did the research specifically on the Visible Expert b/c they saw how important in was in Professional Service decision making in prior research. Hinge, the company that did this research, also found that Accounting and Finance services were the number one types of services purchased.

    Hinge Research Institute
    (The Hinge Research Institute is the part of Hinge that is dedicated to monitoring, analyzing and
    reporting on high-growth professional services firms and their clients. We have identified firms that
    grow 9X faster and are 50% more profitable, yet spend less than average to get new business.
    Our goal at the Hinge Research Institute is to show you how they do it.
    We publish revealing and informative studies on high-growth firms and the people that do
    business with them. We invite you to check out our full library of research reports, books and other
    publications here: www.hingemarketing.com/library)

  • Taking all of these items into account and your personal why what will your elevator statement be?
    Let’s look at how we may answer these questions that a Digital CPA can offer.
    (Give additional examples of benefits, problems, needs – ask the audience for input. Problem: fraud potential. Benefit: peace of mind)

    Your website should answer this too. (show FusePhase)
  • Do we communicate these things internally or externally? We are going to do both! They will not be communicated the same way, but need to share the information w/ both.
  • Link to image: http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-46581946/stock-vector-chat-and-messaging-icons-set.html?src=GxhATGFWeJR1n5Z6blrTJw-1-5

    You can’t have a disconnect from the value you are putting out there and the tools you are using to deliver that message. It will seem contradictory and prospects will have a tough time believing it or you will attract the clients that won’t be open to the digital processes that make up your How, as Simon Sinek would describe it.

    Tools today are not just about getting in front of your audience, but having your audience find you. When it comes to Professional Services studies are showing that finding people w/ expertise is one of the key factors in their decision, and they way they find those experts has evolved. That is what we want to talk about w/ the tools.

    And, How are you putting your voice and knowledge in the community where people can find you?
  • Discussion on traditional tools, some still applicable, but modified.
  • Online is becoming more and more important. How many times has this happened to you? Especially w/ mobile devices how much more do you look up information and the other things you learn along the way. You have a way to really share information w/ cleints.
  • Digital CPA’s offer a level of expertise. You can see here
  • Just as people expected you to be in the Phonebook that same expectation exists for a website and some social media channels

    Slide Share: presentations on areas of expertise. Search engines pull up based on info through your slides. Can be shared. Get exposure.
  • -Older user :Global Web Index Study
    -Everything else Pew Research

  • Matching the language, jargon and the channel will impact effectiveness.
    Share information not all marketing: Hood shared about firm that Tweeted on being a Dental focus and was interviewed by Wall Street Journal from this and ended up on front page
  • A digital firm is now going to have a policies and parameters in place you wouldn’t have had before.

    Assign a business owner: so it isn’t lost in all the due dates and is executed.
  • http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-84854680/stock-photo--businessman-writing-graph-of-stock-market.html?src=Yca68cemim0XKxME9Afd_Q-2-0
  • Reposting are ways of word of mouth recommendations.
  • How many are thinking of this for measuring marketing success?

    Link to image: http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-72615079/stock-photo-high-resolution-black-chalkboard-image-with-search-engine-optimization-tags-illustration-about.html?src=GxhATGFWeJR1n5Z6blrTJw-1-17

    A wiki (i/ˈwɪki/ WIK-ee) is a web application which allows people to add, modify, or delete content in collaboration with others. In a typical wiki, text is written using a simplified markup language or a rich-text editor.[1][2] While a wiki is a type of content management system, it differs from a blog or most other such systems in that the content is created without any defined owner or leader, and wikis have little implicit structure, allowing structure to emerge according to the needs of the users.[2]
  • Picking the right tools for measurement you need to 1st be clear on your objective w/ the marketing. (really cover this) For Professional Services research has indicated you want to convey expertise, build trust, get people recommending you and be an influencer – these things help build your brand as well.

    Article w/ many tools: http://socialmediatoday.com/pamdyer/1458746/50-top-tools-social-media-monitoring-analytics-and-management-2013

    Backtweets – search by URL and can see what people are saying about you.
    TweetDeck (Free) | Very similar to HootSuite, only without all the bells and whistles, this client enables you to tweet and track mentions, people, and keywords.
  • The purpose of this class is making sure the value you provide as being a Digital CPA is conveyed with the marketing message, strategy and tools you use. In 75 min we can’t go through every option available, but hopefully this helped you establish your strategy by getting the message consistent, communicating it clearly to everyone, selecting the appropriate methods to reach your target audience. Then use tools to measure your effectiveness.

  • Communicate each item to staff!! Critical!!
    Here is a checklist to keep the ball rolling.
  • Here are some resources to give you more information.
  • Digital CPA hashtag and all account manager Twitter handles, cpa2biz handle
  • I'm a digital cpa why do my clients care

    1. 1. Aria Resort and Casino Las Vegas, NV D8 - I’m a Digital CPA: Why should My Clients Care? June 11, 2014; 8-9:15am Samantha Mansfield #PSTECH
    2. 2. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH I’m a Digital CPA: Why should my clients care?
    3. 3. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Samantha Mansfield Sr. Manager, Program Development • 14 years of experience in tax and accounting technology industry • Consultant on workflow and web implementations • Designed and built educational events for practice development
    4. 4. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Agenda What is a digital CPA? Crafting the message Tools to use Measuring success
    5. 5. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH What is a Digital CPA?
    6. 6. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH It’s an evolution... Transactional Using technology to support transaction processing Workflow Build digital workflow and standardization in processing Digital CPA The operating model of the TRUSTED BUSINESS ADVISOR It’s not just about technology! What is your strategy? “Digital Trusted Business Advisor”
    7. 7. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Technical Skill •Risk Management •Financial Analysis •Awareness of Emerging Technology •Client on Boarding •Designing Automated Workflow •Legislation Standards •Software Training Skills •Real-time Collaboration Business Skill •Engagement Management •Building client relationships •Internal Process Management • Value pricing • Mobile Access • Staffing • Communication • Client Process and Systems Analysis •Project Management •Marketing Services •Virtual CFO/ Controller Leadership Skill •Managing a Virtual Office •Decision Making •Establishing Firm Brand •Driving Performance •Change Management •Vertical/Niche Strategy •Facilitation Skills •Communicating Vision Knowledge Areas: Competencies: Characteristics
    8. 8. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH What is your “Why”? 1. “The Why” - Your vision 2. “The How” – Characteristics and internal processes 3. “The What” – Your deliverable and serviceSource: Simon Sinek
    9. 9. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Who is this? “To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices,”
    10. 10. What is your Why? Why are you striving to be a digital CPA? • Beyond profit
    11. 11. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Crafting the Message
    12. 12. Identify Your Target Audience
    13. 13. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Defining your Client Profile  Size of the businesses  Multi Currency  Business Model:  Franchises  Professional Services  Not-for-Profits  Government  Manufacturing Attributes
    14. 14. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Elevator Statement Should answer: • Who you are and what you do • WIFM (What’s in it for me?) - Benefit listener will derive - Problem you can solve - Need you can fill
    15. 15. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Digital CPA Value Proposition
    16. 16. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Digital CPA Value Proposition
    17. 17. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH “Maybe we need to accept the fact that the sharp demarcation between work and home is a thing of the past, and that the new normal is a life that integrates home and work more seamlessly.” - Ron Ashkenas “Forget Work-Life Balance: It’s Time for Work-Life Blend” www.forbes.com Work – Life Blend
    18. 18. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Why Professional Services Buyers Sought Visible Experts Source: Hinge – Finding Experts: Why & How Clients Seek Visible Experts
    19. 19. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Example Elevator Statement Who you are and what you provide? • CPA’s that serve as trusted business advisors to our clients. Benefit? • More timely and informed decision making knowledge Problem? • Don’t have the expertise on staff Need? • Access when and where I want it
    20. 20. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH For Consistency 1. Communicate your Why 2. Clarify your target client 3. Articulate your value proposition 4. Formalize your elevator statement
    21. 21. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Tools to Use
    22. 22. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Traditional Tools
    23. 23. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH "I find that a great part of the information I have was acquired by looking up something and finding something else on the way.“ - Franklin P. Adams, American columnist
    24. 24. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Source: Hinge – Finding Experts: Why & How Clients Seek Visible Experts
    25. 25. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Traditional • Letters • Phone Book • Chamber of Commerce • Ads • Word of Mouth • Email, Website Digital CPA • Website • Shorter, focused emails • Ads • Social Media - LinkedIn - Twitter - YouTube - Blogging - Facebook - Pinterest - Google+ - Instagram - SlideShare Evolution of Tools
    26. 26. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH  73% of online adults use social networking site of some kind  42% use multiple social networking sites  Highest engagement: Facebook and Instagram  Older User adoption  Twitter 55-64 year age bracket fastest growing demographic with 79% growth rate since 2012  Facebook 45-54 year age bracket 46% Social Media Stats Source: Last bullet Global Web Index Study and Pew Research Center
    27. 27. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH  YouTube channel  LinkedIn profile and groups  Facebook page  Twitter  Visual Social Media Instagram Pinterest
    28. 28. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Language and Channel Use the jargon for your targeted clients • Example Share information not all marketing language • Earns trust • Demonstrates your expertise Identify which channels your target clients will use Don’t lose the personal touch
    29. 29. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Firm Policies Social media policy • A template available through PCPS Schedule for… • Timing of postings & delivery • Content • Keep it reasonable, but frequent • Assign a business owner
    30. 30. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Measuring Success
    31. 31. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH What we are Measuring Followers Repostings Comments to blogs and posting Listen to what others are saying about you Website traffic • This is not clients and prospects only source of information about you, so website traffic is not the only measurement
    32. 32. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH
    33. 33. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Measurement Tools Klout (free) • Shows influencers • Monitor your Klout score as well HootSuite (free and enterprise versions) • Report and collaborate on campaigns through various social media channels • Helps identify your audience Hear what others are saying: • Backtweets.com (free) • TweetDeck (free)
    34. 34. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH To Do List  Finalize the “Why”- Vision  Designing your client profile  Review your marketing language  Pick your value phrases for what you are delivering  Select your channels to focus in on  Create a schedule for posting  Start delivering information
    35. 35. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH AICPA Resources Social Media Users Guide • http://www.aicpa.org/Career/Marketing/Pages/SocialMediaMark eting.aspx PCPS Social Media Policy and Guidelines
    36. 36. Available Resources  “Roadmap to Profitability…” Workshops  Planning Summit in Maryland  Geoffrey Moore Whitepaper  Case Studies on Firms  Webinars  Client Onboarding Training  Technology Awareness Webinars Learn more at:
    37. 37. Continuing the Digital Journey…
    38. 38. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Copyright © 2013 American Institute of CPAs. All rights reserved. Keep moving toward your digital destination with Digital CPA Conference Register Early and Save $100! Visit DigitalCPA.com 40
    39. 39. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH Staying Connected @CPAcom @ThomasGawneCPA @ErikAsgeirsson @SnMansfield #DigitalCPA #PSTech
    40. 40. American Institute of CPAs® #PSTECH http://www.slideshare.net/CPAcom Find a copy of this presentation at:
    41. 41. Copyright © 2014 American Institute of CPAs. All rights reserved. Thank You