Episode 50. On today’s show, Rob Brown of the Accountants Influencers Podcast interviews Corey Talone on the advantages and challenges of smaller CPA accounting firms over bigger ones.
Corey Talone (CPA, CGMA) moved from the large firm Maillie LLP after 10 years to be a partner with the public accounting firm Henry Frank & Company in Philadelphia, USA. The firm provides a variety of business and individuals with tax, accounting, consulting and attestation services. Corey is the co-founder and treasurer of The Elpis Foundation, which raises money and awareness for various local and national non-profit organizations through event based fund raising.
Key takeaways from the full uncut interview include:
✓ What constitutes a good size for an accounting firm and what being small allows you to do
✓ The two critical things that can be achieved in a 10 person firm that are difficult in a 100 or 1000 person firm
✓ How the Covid pandemic has changed the game with recruiting to smaller accountancy firms
✓ The three main ways accountancy has changed as a profession over recent years.
✓ What helps an accounting firm recruit good talent (clue – it’s not chaining employees to a desk until they make partner)
✓ Why not every fee is a good fee when it comes to taking on new accountancy clients
✓ The big mistake accountants in practice make constantly which makes them too busy
✓ Thoughts on niching or specialising for accountants based not on sector but on personality and circumstance
✓ What leads to accountants working with the wrong kind of clients, and the challenges that brings
✓ Why most accountants should take the winning of new work seriously to better serve their firm
✓ The number one marketing strategy for accounting firms without big budgets
✓ The warning signs that a client might not happy with their current accounting advisors
✓ Whether accounting clients are more or less inclined to switch accountants these days
✓ What client proactivity looks like for accounting firms and the professionals who work in them
✓ How many accountants have developed empathy as advisors as they deal with emotional as well as commercial decisions for their clients
✓ The number one thing that stops many accountants from getting rid of clients they shouldn’t be working with
✓ Why the billable hour fails to capture much of the value that accountants and CPAs generate for their clients
✓ Comments on the Jeff Bezos backed Pilot initiative to take CPAs and accountants out of the game and commoditizing accounting services
✓ The two best pieces of advice given by accounting firm partners to incoming new hires like Corey
✓ The joys of charitable endeavours and pro-bono work for accounting professionals
✓ Planning growth and career paths years in advance for accountants and CPAs
✓ Why accountancy is an excellent profession for young people to be coming into
✓ Advice for ambitious accountants seeking a better life and more career opportunities
✓ What mostly stops accountants from breaking away and starting up their own practice
When not working, Corey is a big family man who likes travel, concerts, American football and trying new restaurants/foods.
NOTE TO LISTENERS:
This is a condensed highlights version of the full interview (usually 20-30 mins long), which you can catch as a bonus UNCUT episode at the weekend.
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