Why a Niche Accounting Practice Makes Sense

The debate continues as to whether accountants ought to be generalists or specialists.

I recently met up with Hugh Duffy of Build Your Firm, who thinks firms should be specialists. Hugh’s company works with small accounting firms on all kinds of practice development and practice management issues, and also presents seminars around the country on this topic.

Hugh also recently wrote an article on this topic that I have on my articles page. Here is an excerpt from it:

Although this may seem obvious, many accounting firms can’t see the forest through the trees to realize they should focus on what they know instead of what they don’t know. It is this intellectual capital in one or two specific areas that enables a firm to develop a niche practice.

For example, if your firm’s partners and staff have experience in international accounting engagements – either learned on the job or when they came from previous employers – the firm will probably want to develop a niche in international tax or accounting. The same thinking holds for an industry niche. We’ve mentioned healthcare, but just think of all the SIC codes and corresponding industries. The playing field is wide open, especially if you or your staff have experience in a specific area.

Build Your Firm also has a page that shows several websites it has created for firms – all with the specialist-type firm in mind.

I like Hugh’s approach and agree with him on the “specialist” topic. Put yourself in the client’s shoes. If you worked in a specific type of industry, wouldn’t you rather go with a firm that has intellectual capital in that niche?

I know I would.

5 comments to Why a Niche Accounting Practice Makes Sense

  • [...] Absolute Cytron says this about niche practices: Although this may seem obvious, many accounting firms can’t see the forest through the trees to realize they should focus on what they know instead of what they don’t know. It is this intellectual capital in one or two specific areas that enables a firm to develop a niche practice. [...]

  • AccMan – Thanks for your comment. Based on my research with Mr. Duffy’s clients, the sites may appear to be templates, but they are customized based on niche specialization.

  • Great site Scott, I’m just now finding it. I also find the BYF sites I’ve seen too template-ish and to keyword heavy. I don’t think they read like normal websites, and I’m afraid they build good SEO but don’t actually help the firm sell high margin services.

  • Mr. Wright – thanks for your comment. I know you’re obviously competition for BYF, so I can’t really get into whether BYF sites are better than other companies that offer similar services. I can, however, say that websites are just one segment of BYF; the company also offers seminars for small firms and one-on-one consulting. The needs are so great at this level, as you probably know.

  • I follow you Scott. The needs ARE great, agreed. Very much looking forward to reading more of your posts. Have a great afternoon!

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