It’s hunting season, and as every good hunter will tell you, you have to plan ahead. When you’re out in the woods for days at a time, bad planning could literally mean the difference between life and death.
Now, we’re not talking about anything quire that serious, but the truth is that if you are trying to grow your business, especially by taking advantage of partnerships with CPAs, you are on the hunt, even if you didn’t know it until this second.
There is a lot that goes into finding the perfect CPA partner, and this is definitely not a decision to be taken lightly. To help you get started on the right foot, here are 6 things you need to consider when hunting for the perfect CPA partner:
- Personality – You want to make sure your personalities mesh well. If you are an extreme extrovert, who thrives on constant communication and has to run every little decision by another person, you probably want to avoid trying to form partnerships with CPAs who have a strong introvert leaning. Likewise, if you thrive on alone time and the sound of your phone going off constantly makes you want to cry, you probably want to find a CPA partner who is not going to expect you to be available all day everyday.
- Ideal client – Who do you most love working with? Hint: If your answer is “People who have money”, you need to dig deeper. Do you love working with lawyers or do you just tolerate them because they so frequently need your services? What about doctors, CEOs, or international businessmen? What is the work that makes you excited to go into the office in the morning? You’ll want to make sure that any potential CPAs are working with clients that you actually want to work with. Otherwise, you’ll just end up disappointed.
- Work schedule – Are you up with the sun every morning and in bed by 9:00? Or are you more of a “sleep in, start slow, and work until 2 AM” type of person? If you do your best work in the morning, you’ll want to make sure you consider that when looking for a CPA partner. Because trust me, 8 AM meetings don’t work for night owls.
- Communication preferences – Do you prefer to conduct business most by email or do you need to be in person to really dig in and get things done? Do you prefer that communication come via phone, email, or text? These seem like little things but in reality, if you are a person who doesn’t like talking on the phone, and you end up partnering up with a CPA who needs over the phone interaction, you’ll both end up disappointed in the partnership. It’s much better to lay this out ahead of time and find a partner who is on the same page as you.
- Goals – Obviously it’s important that you and your CPA partner get along and enjoy working together. However, no matter how much you enjoy her company, if you’re not on the same page, one or both of you will end up unhappy with the arrangement. Be as specific as possible about what you’re hoping to receive out of a partnership with a CPA, as well as what you bring to the table. Then be sure and lay everything out for a potential partner and be sure that they can deliver on what you’re expecting and that what you’re bringing to the table is in line with their business goals. If your goals don’t match up, it’s ok to move on.
- Time in business – How you interpret this depends a lot on what your goals are. If you are brand new to the Financial Advisor business and your main goal is to expand your network, you may want to consider partnering with someone who is more seasoned than you in the world of finances. But if your goal is to find someone who can grow with you, you would do much better to find a relatively new CPA so that you can work to expand both of your businesses together. If you have been a Financial Advisor for years and feel like you need to breathe new life into your business, you might benefit from working with a newer CPA who can give you a different perspective on the work you do. But if your goal is mutual support and a ton of referrals, a CPA who’s been in business for a while and already has a list of connections is your best bet.
Finding the perfect CPA partner isn’t going to be easy. In fact, it may take a lot of trial and error for you to get there. But if you plan ahead and go into it knowing exactly what you want, you could end up with a partnership that lasts years and helps your business to grow exponentially.