What's Next For Accounting? - Issue #131

🧠 Join A Mastermind Group

It’s happening! 4 times a year I matchmake folks into mastermind groups of folks running similar firms. I do this inside my community, and we’ll be finalizing those groups on 4/30.

We’re down to the final 100 slots in the community before we cap it at 500 members forever.

🫠 Building The World’s Firm 1 Person, $10M Accounting Firm

Sam Altman recently made headlines saying AI would soon lead to the first single person, billion dollar company.

Does this mean a single person could build a $10M accounting firm? Somebody’s going to do it in the next 5 years, and on the pod this week we explored how.

It’s a fun exercise to consider which of your service are truly scalable, which aren’t, and what new services could complement what you already do in a more scalable way.

3 concepts discussed on the pod:

  1. Service revenue won’t get you there
    The answer won’t be more of the same. Don’t get me wrong the promise of AI agents could make us wildly higher output, but we’re better than productized solutions because of our humanity. A solo operator can only wrangle so many human relationships.

  2. Your perception as THE authority in a domain is the unlock
    There are business coaches who charge over $100k per session because the customer thinks it’s worth it. Your authority drives premium pricing, a must to reach this absurd level of leverage.

  3. It looks a lot like a modern creator business
    A combination of digital products, membership communities, cohort-based courses, and affiliates/brand deals could get you there, on the back of an absurd level of brand value and awareness.

A hypothetical path to $10M:

  • Client Work - $1 million
    Otherwise it isn’t an accounting firm… right? 🤔

  • Membership Community - $3 million
    500 members in a $500/mo community where value is gleaned primarily from their peers, not from the community-runner.

  • Digital Products - $2 million
    2,000 people buy a $1k evergreen self-service course, on the back of your online reach. Less than 100/mo.

  • Cohort-Based Courses - $4 million
    The big ticket item, and the only way to see you live besides being on the client list. Run 4x annually, 400 people sign up for each cohort at $2,500.

Doesn’t seem too unreasonable, does it? Now, unpack all the reasons why you can’t do this today. For most of us the issue is #2 above, we haven’t invested in becoming THE AUTHORITY in a specific domain.

It may feel wildly out of reach at the moment, but that’s how all good things are, until they aren’t. It starts small, your first product, your first community, everything at 1/100th of the scale of the destination (that isn’t a destination at all, because that firm probably doubles again in two year’s time).

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📅 This Week

🔮 Q&A

What do you do when a long-time client no longer remembers how painful the problems you’re solving are, because you’re doing a great job? Link
Certain clients will always remember, and others have the memory of a goldfish. Focus on consistently proving your unique expertise. If there aren’t any substitutes to you, then where would they go? Also consider whether we need to be married to the idea of keeping a client forever. In most cases that won’t be realistic.

How do you get staff to follow specific processes, like following workpaper guidelines? Link
You make SUPER clear, documented standards for exactly how work should be done. Remove every excuse for why work isn’t being done that way. Then hold everyone accountable to those standards, regardless of seniority. If someone consistently refuses to follow the process after being coached, you likely need to let them go. This often happens because certain folks are seemingly exempt.

Could an AI avatar trained on your expertise do research and make connections the way a human expert can?
AI avatars will generally be limited to the information you’ve trained them on. If you want, they can navigate the web and augment that with additional information, but at that point it isn’t really an avatar of you, so it adds some risk. That being said, it’s very rare that we’re learning things that are truly new. 95% of work is deploying the expertise we already have.

😍 From The Community

My private peer networking community Realize for firm leaders, now capped at 500 members.

▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▯▯▯ 404/500 members