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How to Expand Your CA Firm: 8 Useful Tips to follow

  • Highlights

  • Cashing on the GST trend

  • The ‘Jack of All, Master of One’ approach

  • Improve cash flow and client reach

  • Meeting peak seasonal demand

As a Chartered Accountant, you are concerned as to how to expand your firm and its scale of services. It may be difficult as you cannot advertise your firm and obtain clients. You can’t form a company and have to limit your entity to a partnership firm or LLP. If you try getting business through referrals, it will involve huge referral commissions and affect profitability.

Such challenges hinder your practice’s growth. Here, we address such difficulties to help you expand your reach to cater to a wider client base.

1. Cash on the GST market

The newly effective indirect taxation system has increased the number of tax-paying businesses as unorganised businesses now fall under the ambit of taxation. With tax rate labs being constantly revised, clients look to CAs for financial advice, compliances and reporting. Therefore, every CA firm can build and grow its indirect tax practice and provide GST consultancy services to existing and potential clients.

You can also cater to a bigger clientele by offering GST consultancy with a Business Loan for Chartered Accountants


2. Tap on new & emerging markets

In India, the number of CAs is far less than required. As per the 68th annual report of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India for the year 2016-17, the number of CAs in the country is a little over 2.7 lakhs. Thus, it’s a perfect platform for those in business to expand to newer markets and offer their services.

Going beyond offering consultancy in the traditional areas, viz., audit, taxation, financial reporting, etc. foster your firm’s growth by offering services in emerging areas like

Additional Read: Roadblocks for CA firms and how to solve them

- Setting up GST practices and compliance with the new rules
- Companies Bill, 2012
- International taxation
- Valuation
- Forensic accounting
- Entry strategies for overseas companies

You can fund your firm’s expansion plans with a Business Loan for Chartered Accountants

3. Adopt a ‘Jack of all & Master of One’ approach

Providing multi-disciplinary services will help you increase your client base. However, simultaneously you should not lose out on the area of your specialization as that is what your clients have ultimately known you for. Diversifying your services by offering consultancy in allied areas hedges the risk of losing your clients and builds a long-term relationship with you, where you emerge to their go-to person for all accounting & finance-related matters.

4. Update Yourself

Keeping oneself updated not only warrants knowledge on the latest developments in the world of finance and audit, but also technology. According to a survey conducted by online accounting software company-Xero on 1000 UK accountants in 2016, 83% believed that understanding technology will be equally relevant as traditional accounting skills for future CAs. 22% of the respondents believed that failure to adapt to new technology will result in falling behind competition.

Additional Read: 5 things which should top your CA firm's to-do list

Technologies like cloud accounting software help you:

Serve clients across different locations
Increase monthly cash flow by offering accounting services remotely
Reduce travel expenses of visiting client’s location to gather accounts

You can also stay ahead of the curve by enrolling for post qualification-courses like Information System audit, concurrent audit of banks as these courses are a pre-requisite for banking clients.

5. Hire Quality and Specialised Staff

For any organisation, the quality of its workforce determines its success. To deliver outstanding client service, it's important for you to hire quality people in your firm, especially for projects that warrant specialised professionals. This will help you meet tight deadlines even in peak filing seasons with ease.

Business Loans for Chartered Accountants: Features and Benefits

6. Provide value-added services

In a growingly competitive market, many CA firms face the challenge of client-acquisition and retention. To solve this, firms can consider getting into bank financing, helping clients in procuring the right loans, preparing feasibility reports for them, assisting them in business valuation, cash flow management, strategic business planning, succession planning, new business formation, etc. This will make your services end-to-end, making them depend on you for multiple functions, thereby increasing their retention.

7. Network with the right people

CA firms get majority of their work based on referrals, which makes reputation management and networking vital. As a CA, you must not only regularly connect with relatives and other professionals in your and other domains but also empanel with the CAG, RBI, NHAI and other regulatory bodies. Also having discussions with peers and seniors can give better your outlook.
According to a new LinkedIn global survey result, almost 80% of professionals consider professional networking to be important to career success. In today’s digital age, leverage the power of social media to boost your professional networking.
Your networking will come in handy when you plan to expand to a new city with space, infrastructure, and regulatory norms. It will also help you merge or partner with other practices so that together, you can provide better fees and increase combined earnings and thereby make the firm more sustainable.

8. Add Partners

New partners bring in potential clients, expertise in new areas (thereby help your firm diversify its offerings), increased visibility and a fresh outlook. This is a quick-fix business development solution. Prepare a revenue sharing model, basis your firm’s experience and the quantum/nature of work, while you add new members to the firm

- If your CA firm is new, you might not be able to pay remuneration to the new partner. Therefore, your revenue sharing agreement should be based on profit-sharing. It should clearly define the revenue of each partner, for the business they bring to the firm. This also keeps partners motivated to take the firm to the next level.
- If your firm is old and has a retained client base to cater to, the revenue-sharing agreement can be a mix of fixed income and profits.

What is common for these points is that they require finances. Consider an external source of finance if you’ve parked your savings for the stock market. Chartered Accountant Loans are meant to aid professionals like you, you can use these loans as per your requirement and boost your ROI.

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