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My Top 21 Takeaways from 2021

Past experiences enable us to see patterns and opportunities that might be invisible in the present. They also help us avoid repeating the same mistakes and making bad decisions that can cost your business its future. Before we dive deeper into another year, here’s our top 21 takeaways accountants should learn from 2021.

1. Repetition Is the Mother of Skill

If you want to be good at something, you have to keep in mind that “repetition is the mother of skill.” Practice is necessary to become more comfortable and confident with any ability. However, do keep in mind that if you practice the wrong techniques, you will most likely end up with bad habits that can directly produce bad results.

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Be very conscious in making sure that you’re getting the results you’re looking for from the skills you’re working on to develop. If not, it’s probably time to do something differently. Look at the fundamental base of that particular skill set, dig into it, and find the right resources that can actually help you get better.

2. Increase Your Value By Delivering More Solutions and Better Results

Value is just a synonym for results. The more problems you can solve, the more results you can deliver to your accounting, bookkeeping, and tax clients. By extension, this primarily makes your value much higher. Offering more services with the right talents in them increases your odds of getting better results.

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3. Always Ask “Who?” First Before “How?”

A lot of accountants tend to start by asking, “How do I get my dream clients?” Instead of such, we believe that it’s better to first ask, “Who is your dream client?” Identifying the ideal type of clients that you will want to work with should always come first. Always ask “Who?” first before diving into wondering “How?”

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Many of our clients say, “I wanna learn how to do marketing.” To which I immediately reply, “You should instead ask first who’s the expert in that field that can help you learn that skill significantly faster.” It has been long proven that learning from others’ expertise and experience can help you efficiently get better in no time. So stressing over “How?”, always think of “Who?”

4. Don’t Speak Bad Spells On Yourself

The words we say are incredibly powerful, so don’t speak bad spells on yourself. Whenever you say, “I am overwhelmed”, “I am unprepared”, “I’m not ready”, or “ I am bad at sales”, you set yourself up for failure. Moreover, saying such definitive negative statements out loud will increase the likelihood of reflecting badly on the results you deliver.

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Only when you change your language, will you be able to change how you behave. Instead of saying “I am bad at sales”, it’s much better to say, “I have a proclivity to be nervous during a sales conversation.” These two statements are vastly different as the latter assures you that your sales skill is something you can keep on improving.

5. Don’t Let the Past Control Your Future

Don’t let the past control your future. If you’ve had a bad experience with marketing coaches or accounting advisors, that doesn’t mean everyone you’ll later meet would also be disappointing or frustrating to work with. Don’t let a few apples spoil the bunch and prevent you from getting the expertise your firm needs.

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Imagine for a moment that you worked with a terrible accounting professional who knowingly screwed you over. Should you now condemn all accounting professionals? Of course not. Let’s just learn from the mistakes in the past, but don’t let them cloud and control our judgement as we move forward and grow.

6. The Shiniest Object In the World For You Should Be Your Dream Clients

For accounting professionals, the shiniest object in the world should be your dream clients. If you find yourself not being productive, it’s highly likely because you don’t truly have or know your dream plan. Having clients that you’d love to work with and can generate fantastic profit margins should be the ultimate goal.

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7. Scope Creep Is the Firm Owner’s Responsibility

Scope creep occurs when there are services or functions in a project that are beyond the agreed-upon scope. Uncontrollable and not properly defined changes can be immensely harmful to your firm. The only way to solve this is radical responsibility, ownership, and control from the owner’s end.

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The owner should firmly enforce the boundaries that protect the firm’s profitability. Scope creep can negatively affect your team’s overall well-being and productivity. Moreover, it also affects your clients, so it’s important to eradicate it as soon as possible when present.

8. Work-Life Balance Is a Myth

When talking about “work-life balance”, many believe the myth that if one goes up, the other has to go down, or there is supposedly an ideal equilibrium in between. However, we’ve realized that it’s extremely normal to have intense periods of work, and times where there’s not much to do.

accounting work life balance

We should not subscribe to the concept of “work-life balance” when there’s an opportunity to maximize the time of the year. During tax season, for example, it’s really important to step on the gas and capitalize on the volume of clients who need your expertise. 

 

Work and life are intertwined on purpose. We’re not saying that you should overwork yourself or not work at all, but we firmly believe that seeking a balance or equilibrium between them at all times is impossible and impractical.

9. Commit Three Sacred Work Hours Per Day

Commit three sacred hours of working on your firm per day. This is the spot where top clients and entrepreneurs in the world make the most progress. If you are looking to stop working IN your firm and start working ON your firm, commit a block of time in which nothing can impact your thoughts aside from work.

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Stick with the habit of three hours every day or 15 hours of work per week. This will just stack and stack, then soon your business will transform because you cannot make time but only trade it. If you don’t have this kind of commitment, you’re gonna stay stuck where you are.

10. System Building Should Be the Highest Priority For Entrepreneurial Accountants

System building is the most important responsibility for an entrepreneurial accountant. There should be no priority higher than this. Systems are the only way to make more money in less time. These allow us to have control over our time and our income.

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In order for you to not need to make 80 grand by working 80 hours, you have to be in control. Your goal is to reach a certain revenue goal within at least half the time. With systems in place, this is very possible and easy to achieve. When you delegate tasks to your team and leverage automated pipelines, you can deliver great results while winning back your time.

11. Never Faster For You to Do It Yourself

It’s never faster for you to do it all by yourself. You should only be doing the things that you actually know and tasks you’re confident enough to perform and drive maximum value back to your accounting firm. Self-development will help you with this. If you’re the owner, this is where delegation comes in.

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12. If No One Wants to Work For You, No One Will Want to Work With You

Always keep in mind that if no one wants to work for you, no one will want to work with you. If you’ve been struggling to attract clients for so long,  you’re most likely struggling to acquire great talents as well. These are two sides of the same coin. You might be the problem, so you have to reflect and be better.

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Take a hard look in the mirror and evaluate what could be preventing people from wanting to work with you. What are the character traits that you’re not exuding to appease both potential clients and team members. What are the things missing in your firm that could be preventing people from wanting to be on that journey with you?

13. You Can’t Make Time, You Can Only Trade It

Time doesn’t wait for anyone. It’s something you can’t make or bring back, but you can trade it efficiently. Entrepreneurs trade time for more money. If you want to do this in no time, you have to put in work so you can offer advisory or consulting services. This should be your goal for your dream accounting firm.

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14. Saying NO Is Far More Important Than Saying Yes

We’ve been conditioned to say yes a lot that many find it difficult to disagree even when put at a disadvantage. Often, saying no is the significantly more important word to use. Your time is precious, so you should be used to refusing to do things that undervalue your worth.

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Every time you say yes, you are committing to investing your time. Whenever you say yes to opening an email or attending a webinar, you trade away your most precious resource. Take the time to set your highest priorities, so you can easily say no and make effective use of your limited capital.

15. Prune Your Firm Periodically

It’s important to prune your firm periodically at least once every single year. Certain things have to come to an end in order for life to blossom and grow. A rose bush, for example, does not grow unless we prune. Your firm won’t not grow and reach its true potential if you keep the bad clients in its foliage.

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Don’t be surprised that when you don’t remove bad clients, you will be wasting your time and opportunity to build your dream firm fast. These things bottleneck your profitability and will also contribute to negative thoughts that can affect your personal life more than anything else.

16. Reviews Are the Digital Equivalency of Gold

Just telling someone that you’re the best accountant without proof is almost always bound to fail. Reviews are the digital equivalency of gold, because prospective clients are more likely to take the word of your other clients’ actual experience. They have the power to generate leads for your firm without you doing any work.

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Don’t forget to ask for reviews. This builds your credibility more than anything else. You can lead to this block of gold whenever you’re getting questioned or doubted. Reviews and testimonials can strongly safeguard your true value.

17. You Can’t Sell a Service at a Price You Haven’t Previously Bought at that Level For

You can’t sell a service at a price you haven’t previously bought at that level for. If you find yourself struggling to sell at a premium price, consider making premium investments yourself. This will give you an incredible edge to be able to go and sell those at higher price points.

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We have accounting firm owners who will come to me and say, ”I want a $3,000-per-month CFO-level engagement or higher.” I do tell them that I get it though I ask them back, “What service are you investing for at the $3,000-per-month level?”

Then they say none and I follow-up with, “Don’t you see a discrepancy here. You’re asking for something that you yourself are unwilling to invest at a similar level, which means it’s extremely hard to sell a service at a price point in which we have not experienced the benefit of buying at that price point.”

18. Markets Are Starving For Niche Specific Content

Markets today are starving for niche specific content. Whenever our clients in our community produce content, they win. They win because the market is so hungry for a particular type of content that only few people can provide.

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For example, the accounting skill set is so specialized yet the expertise from it is so necessary. Every business owner needs it, but it’s complicated. So if you could take that expertise, put it into bite size pieces, and start to get it out into the market, you will then create a feeding frenzy.

19. Permanent Solutions Require an Ongoing Investment

Permanent solution requires an ongoing investment. In order for someone to keep on addressing recurring problems, you have to invest continuously on whether it’s specifically related to accounting or client acquisition. If you continue to capitalize on the fix, you will continue to have that problem solved.

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Think about how that applies to your clients. Think about how that applies to your situation. There is not just one “dones” in life. You should continue making those investments, so you can continue to see those returns.

20. Your Dream Firm Is Much Closer Than You Think

Your dream firm is much closer than you think. Many accountants tend to think in really tiny time intervals, so they feel frustrated when thinking about when they’ll reach their goals. But, if you just expand your time horizon with the three hours per day that you put into your systems in mind, you will see the better and bigger picture.

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The benefits of delegating work to reliable talents and leveraging efficient systems to handle processes will just stack on top of each other. The progress can be really fast and you’d be surprised how your dream firm is significantly closer than you could realistically imagine. As long as you start taking the right actions today, you will reap your fruits in the future.

21. Self-Doubt Destroys All

No matter how tremendous your ambition is in whatever space, self-doubt can destroy all, so you have to stay away from it. Do not question your true value and ability to care for another person by making yourself accessible and sharing your high-level expertise. Always believe in yourself.

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What Should You Do Now?

If you’re looking to make 2022 the best year ever for your firm, we’re certain that our top 21 takeaways which accountants should learn from 2021 can help make that happen. The past enables us of today and in the future to learn without the need to endure ourselves.


Dream Firms can help you make your dream firm a reality by guiding you every step of the way.


If you want to make more money, you need to focus on three things: expanding your networks, having the right mindset, and improving your skill sets in the industry. With quality coaching and training, you can significantly improve your skill sets and produce more tangible results that can increase your value and worth.

We’re very glad to inform you that we can help you achieve your dreams of attracting high-paying clients to your accounting firm.

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