Over a third (36%) of CPA firms say they now offer business valuation services, up from 22% last year, reveals a new survey. Valuation was among the top seven most popular services (all up from last year), along with audit, business consulting, estate planning, payroll, tax planning, and write-up, according to the Third Annual Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey. A concern over income and estate taxes could be driving some of the interest in valuation services, says the survey.
Survey respondents include solo practitioners (12%), small firms with up to 10 employees (43%), medium-size firms with 11 to 50 employees (30%), and large firms with 51 employees or more (15%). We should point out that the number of total respondents is down significantly from last year (273 in 2016 versus 632 in 2015).
Other findings include:
- The top three challenges are attracting new clients (cited by 38% of respondents), managing workflow (31%) and identifying opportunities for practice improvement and cost savings (26%);
- The most common channels for new client referrals are current clients (97%), referrals from other professionals (80%), professional partnership referrals (e.g., financial planners, law firms, etc.) (59%), and their firm website (50%);
- To generate revenue, somewhat effective or effective methods include upselling existing clients (56%), raising fees (53%), adding services (51%), and teaming up with another business (43%); and
- Acquisitions, while less popular (28%), were used by more firms in 2016 as compared to 2015, and, overall, firms found them to be more effective than in the prior year.
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