The most common weakness for businesses (and what to do about it)

The most common weakness for businesses and what to do about it

Analyzing the skills and business proficiency of accounting firms across the globe showed one single area that almost all struggled in: sales and marketing.

This discovery is one of nine key insights identified in The Business Ability of Accounting Firms, which reveals the core weaknesses and progress of 250 accounting firms across the globe that were assessed through our Practice Excellence Scorecard.

As Ian Vacin, VP of Education outlines in his video, having met with thousands of accounting firms over the years, it has been clear that sales and marketing have been a bit of a struggle for most. The focus is (rightly) on getting the numbers right and giving advice to small and large businesses. Traditionally, sales and marketing have not been a key focus as a result.

Ian’s remarks are backed up when analyzing Karbon’s Practice Excellence Scorecard, particularly the profile of an average accounting firm. Looking at the average proficiency across the four pillars of Practice Excellence (Efficiency, Strategy, Growth, and Management), shows that Growth is the area businesses firms score lowest.

Average proficiency across Practice Excellence Pillars


If you hone in a little further to look at the specific areas within these pillars—the 12 competencies that are measured—participating firms comfortably scored lowest in marketing. Sales meanwhile, was an area that firms also struggled with. Both sales and marketing are key areas of proficiency that contribute to any business’ growth.

Average proficiency across firm competencies

These findings were similar for firms across the board, regardless of size, business tenure or location. No matter what segment you're in, no matter how big your firm is, it is likely that sales and marketing are a big area of struggle.

This should be taken into account for business owners everywhere. But you should know that even if it is a struggle for you, it is likely also a struggle for your competitors. But rather than just accept this, you should do something about it. If it’s not an area you are comfortable with, seek expert help.

There are others who can help you and help you move forward. Think about outsourcing these areas, or seeking expert assistance on it.

The fact that this is an area of struggle for most, shows that it is an area of immense opportunity. The firms that invest resources into getting this right are the firms that will make big strides forward and capitalize where few others are.

Download your copy of The Business Ability of Accounting Firms for all the insights from Karbon’s Practice Excellence Scorecard. You can also take the free Practice Excellence Assessment to receive your own personalized scorecard and see how your firm compares.

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