How Satisfied Are Accountants with Their Marketing Efforts?

Accountant’s Accelerator and CPA Trendlines conducted a survey in 2019 where we asked how satisfied accountants were with their marketing efforts.

Out of 12 responses, a disproportionate number of accountants rated their satisfaction just below average, at 5.25 on a scale from 1 to 11 where 6 is the median point.

We asked why participants chose that rating and they said many things. Here’s a summary of the most frequent answers:

  • I’m not doing any marketing.
  • I’m not comfortable marketing.
  • I’ve tried and failed and lost time and money.
  • I’m too busy.
  • I’ll get started any day now.
  • I’m not getting the right clients.
  • I’m happy and blessed with good clients.
  • I’m turning clients away.
  • It’s easy to get clients.

Filtered data showed us the larger and/or older the firm, the more satisfaction participants have with their marketing efforts.

I teased the data apart to show how many people rated themselves at each point.  While the mode is 5, you can see how the distribution skews to the dissatisfied side.  The next most frequent answer was 7, followed by a three-way tie at 1, 3, and 6.

We asked why participants chose that number. While some accountants were satisfied, others were not growing as fast as they’d like due to a number of reasons – discomfort, time, staff, and poor results.

Certainly, the more changes there are in a particular year with accounting rules and tax laws, the less time accountants are going to spend boosting their marketing skills.

Another thing that holds accountants back is that most tend to be technicians first, before they are CEOs. Not all accountants have the CEO-level skills to build all functions of their businesses.

One more factor might be that accountants by character, tend to be introverted. While you can still be introverted and be very successful at marketing, you may also tend to procrastinate or avoid altogether some marketing methods that could work well to grow the firm.

Marketing is one of those topics where there is a mix of mindset and money beliefs to master before one can become effective or even embrace the topic. Only then will the training sink in and start working so that one can prosper and help more clients. And high performers who can master change and multiple skills quickly will prosper.