Accounting Influencers Roundtable


The Power of a Pipeline for Accountants: Ed Warren

Ed Warren shares expert insights on growing accounting firms through client advisory services and leveraging technology to stay ahead of the competition.

“The Power of a Pipeline for Accountants: Ed Warren”

Rob Brown sits down with Ed Warren, an accomplished sales executive with over 25 years of professional services sales and marketing experience. Ed works for Sage, a large accounting software firm, and helps accountants grow their outsourced accounting practice.

Ed shares his insights on how the accounting industry has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and what the future may hold for the industry. He believes that while the accounting firm space is in a good place given the circumstances, there is also a bit of complacency as they have weathered the storm reasonably well. However, staffing is a huge issue right now, and the industry will have to figure out how to adjust to players with different values than the legacy partner.

Ed also discusses the importance of the trusted advisor relationship that accountants have with their clients. He shares tips on how firms can increase their revenue through client advisory services, including cross-selling other services to clients such as wealth management, family office, and retirement planning. He emphasizes the importance of making conscious decisions to go after higher volume, higher margin clients to provide a better client experience and where the team is treated with respect.

Key takeaways

➤ Staffing is a significant issue for accounting firms, as younger generations value work-life balance and giving back to their communities more than partnership and equity.

➤ To stay competitive, accounting firms must adapt to changing software technologies, such as cloud-based ERP solutions and tax and compliance software.

➤ Blockchain and other technologies in the venture stage could significantly impact the audit process in the next five to ten years.

➤ Firms should focus on developing trusted advisor relationships with their clients and consider pruning their book of business to eliminate unprofitable relationships and replace them with clients who will pay their fees and treat their employees well.

➤ Cross-selling other services to clients, such as wealth management, family office, and retirement planning, can create a multiplier effect and lead to multiple business streams.

➤ Conducting a pipeline review and focusing on individuals expected to bring in new business is essential. Still, it’s also crucial to have honest conversations with clients regarding the value of relationships and the lifetime value of a client.

➤ Having tough conversations with clients regarding billing rates and ensuring that the billing is fair for the work done is essential for maintaining a successful practice.

Ed Warren is an accomplished sales executive with over 25 years of professional services, sales and marketing experience. He has worked in marketing, business development, and practice growth roles in Top 100 and Top 200 CPA firms. Ed is a fractional Chief Growth Officer for cloud accounting firms, helping them grow their outsourced accounting practice. He is a board member and finance committee chair of the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) and currently serves as the treasurer of AAM.

Aside from his professional work, Ed is an avid jogger, running 3 to 4 days per week, typically between 3 & 5 miles per run. He completed a Tough Mudder with his former managing partner and enjoys cooking, grilling, photography, and beach vacations with his wife, Marcia.

Ed is active on Twitter, where he can be found at @EdwardDWarren, and on LinkedIn at He is also offering a free eBook download titled “7 Tips to Increase Revenue with Client Advisory Services,” which can be found at


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