Subscribe

Specialist v. Generalist for Accounting Firms [VIDEO]

Specialization

When it comes to becoming a high-growth firm, give your firm a competitive edge. Learn about the big impact specialization can have on your accounting firm.

Video Transcription:

Hi, this is Lee Frederiksen. Today I want to talk about whether you should try to be a specialist or a generalist in your accounting firm. Which are you? Do you think of yourself as a generalist or specialist? Well, there is a little bit of a bias in our recent research to more people thinking themselves as specialists, a little bit over half. So which way do you think of yourself? Does it matter?

Well, if you want to grow it matters a lot. What we’ve learned is that firms who consider themselves specialists grow twice as fast as those that consider themselves generalists. So, makes a big difference, thirteen percent growth versus six and a half percent growth. That’s a big difference, and a big impact on your accounting firm.


Download the 2017 Accounting & Financial Services Research Summary and learn about strategies and marketing trends defining the industry today


But when you think about specializing, what are the different areas? Well, we’ve identified five areas where people tend to specialize: either solving a particular challenge, offering a niche service, helping in a particular role such as helping CFOs or helping operational people, specializing in a particular industry that you’re focusing on as your client base, or specializing in a geographic region. Which of those do you do? And which makes a difference? Well as it turns out that there’s a couple of them that tend to be associated with higher growth, with more likely to be a high-growth firm. And first of those is offering a niche service. So that’s one way and that gives you about a 25% increase in the likelihood that you’re going to be a high-growth firm. But there’s another one that does even more, and that’s specializing in a particular industry.

Now, why would specializing in an industry be so helpful? Well, the thing of it is, is that industries need change over time and if you specialize in a service or a particular role, you might miss one of those changes. So, when it comes to becoming a high-growth firm, specializing in an industry gives you the best chance. And specializing in a niche service is the second most likely to give you a high-growth path.

Download-Accounting-Research

Lee Frederiksen, Ph.D. Who wears the boots in our office? That would be Lee, our managing partner, who suits up in a pair of cowboy boots every day and drives strategy and research for our clients. With a Ph.D. in behavioral psychology, Lee is a former researcher and tenured professor at Virginia Tech, where he became a national authority on organizational behavior management and marketing. He left academia to start up and run three high-growth companies, including an $80 million runaway success story.

You Might Also Like
Think-High-Growth

Think Like a High-Growth Firm

Lee Frederiksen, Ph.D.

Firm-Growth

Firm Growth: A Primer for Professional Services

Karl Feldman

Leave a Comment