Peek Inside an $8.5/Year Remote Accounting Firm
- Growing Acquity
- Sales Success and Structure
- Leading and Organizing a Team
- Sneak Peek into Matthew’s Week
Meet Matthew May
Acuity started 15 years ago as a CFO-for-hire practice, however, Matthew joined the firm just 8 years ago as a cofounder. After one of Acuity’s original partners left the practice, Matthew met with the remaining partner and discovered they were really aligned with business goals. After evaluating his current position as an audit partner, he realized that in order for his old firm to become more profitable, he would have to work his employees even more overtime, which was something he wasn’t willing to do. He knew there had to be a better way and decided joining Acuity was the answer. From there, he left his firm and joined Acuity to help it grow.
Since then, they’ve grown from a team of 11 to a team of 105 spanning 10 different states and four countries. Acuity currently offers CFO for hire, controller services, bookkeeping, and tax services with the possibility of adding a new DIY accounting service to the mix. With that combination of services, the firm was making roughly $1 million in revenue each year before Matthew’s arrival, and last quarter, he was happy to share, the firm recorded its first $2 million revenue quarter.
Matthew credits a chunk of their success to their sales team, which added one new client every business day for the first four months of this year.
Sales Success and Structure
Acuity takes a slightly different approach to sales by having a full-time salesperson instead of relying on the partners to sell. Through researching other companies, they found this to be one of the most impactful ways to create their sales plan.
The official title for the lead sales position is Account Executive, and they don’t have an accounting background. If knowledge about a certain product is required, or it’s a larger client, they’ll call in the backup of a subject matter expert to help with the sale.
Under the Account Executive are three Sales Development Representatives who are prospecting and appointment setting. They develop a list of potential clients based on an ideal client profile and reach out to them. If leads are interested, then the representatives get them connected with the Account Executive.
While the Account Executives and Sales Development Reps cover outbound marketing, they also work to create a strong inbound marketing system. This includes creating and posting unique blogs and video content. Matthew says this is a great way to drive people to Acuity’s website.
Once a client is on board, the cost of services typically ranges from $600/month to $1,300/month with the lowest cost being $300 each month and the highest being $10,000 each month.
Leading and Organizing a Team
When Matthew joined the team, he did not have experience leading 100+ people but has grown more comfortable with the systems they’ve created to help lead. Those systems, however, have taken time to perfect and are always changing.
At one point, around the $4 or $5 million mark, they were working to grow but spending far too much money on sales. So they cut back, which helped them out of the plateau.
Acuity hit another roadblock around the $6 million mark, but this one was more closely related to infrastructure. To combat, they added a COO and began rethinking systems and workflow processes.
The addition of the COO came easily as one of the controllers gradually started to emerge as a clear leader in the firm. Her skillsets complimented the areas the partners were lacking. She was also able to start institutionalizing their ideas, which was absent prior to hiring her.
To further help with organizing the team, Acuity implemented weekly team meetings within each division and quarterly all-team meetings. They’ve also created an annual two-day Acuity conference that invites each employee to Georgia to spend time connecting and learning more about the company.
Sneak Peek into Matthew’s Week
Matthew believes in a healthy work-life balance for not just himself but the entire firm. To honor this, he prioritizes leaving weekends and evenings open for family time.
From there, each day of his week is dedicated to a particular topic. Meetings, one-on-one sales calls, producing marketing content, planning for the future, volunteering, and VerifyiQ (a company Acuity invests in and Matthew is CEO for) all have their own set time for attention.
A major focus of Matthew is OKRs (Objective and Key Results). He says these have helped him and the firm stay on track and headed in the right direction. Matthew also contributes to the growth of the firm to effective communication and spends time thinking of ways to improve in this area.
Growing Acuity into an $8.5M/year firm has definitely presented challenges. But by prioritizing the team, using a different approach to sales, and focusing on growth, Acuity has found its way. To learn more about how Acuity has found success, listen to the full Growing Your Firm Podcast above!