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Why the Billable Hour is the Wrong Model For Your Accounting Firm

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Why the Billable Hour is the Wrong Model For Your Accounting Firm

Yes, you heard me right! I’ve been a CPA for over 30 years and I can confidently tell you that the standard billable hour is the wrong model for your accounting firm! Not only do I write about this but I believe it to my core.

I could literally fill a book with all the reasons why the billable hour is such an archaic and outdated model for modern accounting businesses. Today, however, I will try to highlight just a few of the reasons why it’s time for your accounting firm to transition away from the billable hour model.

Let’s get started.

 

Table of Contents

 

What is the Billable Hour Pricing Model for Accounting Firms?

Let’s first define the traditional billable hour model. As many of you likely already know, the billable hour is a cornerstone of the accounting industry as well as other professionals such as lawyers, bookkeepers, consultants, and others. From a typical accounting firm’s perspective, billable hours are what they sell to the client. In layman’s terms, they are the amount of time in hours a firm spends working on a client’s file that is charged to the said client at an agreed-upon hourly rate. 

Price = Time x Rate

 

What are non-billable hours?

Before we move on, it’s important to also mention non-billable hours. Generally speaking, non-billable hours are the hours that you’re working on non-client-related projects. For example, non-billable hour activities may include such things as attending workshops, developing marketing and social media content, attending networking events, employee training, etc. Non-billable hours are also very important in maintaining the business and keeping it moving along. Obviously, the goal of CPA firms is to make sure that their billable hours are always more than their non-billable hours.

 

Why is the Billable Hour Model the Wrong Approach?

As accountants, we’ve been conditioned to accept the billable hour as gospel. In fact, to most of us, even the notion of discussing alternatives to this traditional billing model is akin to committing a sin. 

Markets grow, change, and evolve. In most cases, growth cannot materialize without some pain. Pain is the major motivator for change. What is equally true is how much tolerance for pain humans have. It is natural for us to stay stuck in one place, in fear of change. Regardless of the levels of pain and suffering, we are experiencing –  grasping the illusion of comfort that the status quo has to offer. As a result, we become hardened and callous.

This brings to mind the story of the Frog in Hot Water. Suyashi Jaju does this story more justice than my synopsis but the long and short of it is that if you suddenly put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump out to save itself. However, if you put the frog into tepid water and slowly turn up the heat to a boil, it will end up cooking to death.

The purpose of this short tale is not to show you how to cook frog legs, but to emphasize that sometimes, you get so used to your environment and the way you do things, that you don’t realize how bad things really are. You don’t see that in actuality, your inactions have taken a tremendous toll on you and you’re unable to see that other options exist. Accountants are notorious for this mindset and they may not even realize how bitter and jaded they’ve become.

 

Being UnHappy In Your Job Can Cause Health Problems

Speaking of bitter and jaded, did you know that hating your job can be directly linked to health problems, even for people as young as 40, according to the American Sociological Association. In this social study of 6,432 participants, the people who were the most unhappy with their jobs were more likely to experience depression, sleep problems, “excessive worry,” emotional problems, and lower overall mental health. They also reported more back pain and frequent colds than the happy cohort. Wow, none of that sounds very good, does it?

unhappy accountant, billable hour pricing model, business model, accounting firm

Now we must ask the big question, why are so many accountants bitter and frustrated? The answer is simple…the accounting profession. A profession that believes in the old-school business model of grinding out billable hours and working hours of crazy overtime is the norm. As much as we love to call ourselves “forward-thinking problem solvers” for our clients when it comes to our own accounting businesses, we’ve failed miserably. We do, however, share this fault equally with the profession.

We’ve accepted the old-school business model as the way things are supposed to be. That it’s the status quo, and that there is no change. We’ve accepted this career-long cross as something we must just bear. But here’s the thing…it’s all bullshit (pardon my language but as I said, this topic gets me pretty fired up*). Why? Because I know there’s a better way. 

*By the way, if you don’t believe me when I say how fired up I can get about this topic, check out my rant on my YouTube Channel here.

Now, let’s talk about some of the many problems with the traditional billing model.

 

Billable Hour Problem #1 – Charging on Time vs. Value

Let’s get real now. Hourly billing chains us to the desk, treats us like a slave to the grind, and holds us back so we can’t rise to our true potential. It holds us back and tells us we can’t hang out and have fun with our friends. It tells us we have to stay at home and do the chores around the house. No fun for you, it says (yikes…I’m already having flashbacks to my old accounting days before I was an executive coach).

Nothing keeps accountants’ earnings capped like the billable hour. There are only so many hours in the day, and once you’ve chosen your charge-out rate, you’re capped at how much you can earn. The only way to increase your earnings is to track time and work more hours. 

This is the point where many accountants pull out their calculators and say, “Let’s just raise our billable rates!” Great idea…you might think. But what do your clients think of this great idea when you tell them this? “You charge how much per hour? Your fees are this much!” they scream. Every time we raised our rates in my first firm, it was really difficult to have that conversation, especially with existing clients. 

This is also where the combination of forces creates a nightmare for us. With a capped income, we’re forced to work longer hours to make what we want to make. Couple that with the downward price pressure on compliance filings, and the volume requirement increases yet again. 

Possible solutions for this storm? “Let’s hire more CPAs so we can bill out more chargeable hours!” I can hear someone shout. Good work, someone did the math. Welcome to the complexity of human dynamics and scaling your practice. 

More staff = more complexity = more headaches.

 

Another by-product of charging for time vs. value is that it lures accountants into focusing on filling their day with hours. Time and time again, in practices all over the world, accountants have a client inventory full of administrative tasks and low-value work. “It doesn’t matter”, they think, “it’s all billable time and I can get paid for it!” Once again, this metric inevitably leads to more volume issues. If you take on low-value work, you need higher volume to make your revenue targets. 

The last point I’ll make is about the benefits some of your accounting practice clients receive as a result of your services. Focusing on the chargeable hour has no relevance to the actual value they receive. Where one client may come in and get an hour of advice from you and use that to save $100 in taxes, another person may save $100,000 for that same hour of time. 

 

Billable Hour Problem #2 – Selling Stuff vs. Transformation

With our traditional training and obsession with our billable hour comes the second of our sins—selling based on the stuff we do vs. the transformation our clients experience. One of the first things we learned as accounting students was how to fill out our time sheets. We are taught that the billable hour is the driver of our business. “If you don’t account for every hour, the world will end!” As such, we’ve been conditioned to think of the billable hour as the alpha and the omega.

We focus on the inputs as the most important aspect of our business model. I can hear the chant, “It’s all about the time, it’s all about the time, it’s all about the time!” 

This obsession has another major negative side effect. It’s one that’s very subtle and something that most accountants never realize. They can go their entire career without having the slightest idea that they’re missing the most critical skill to all business success. That skill is the ability to sell. Most accountants don’t have a clue how to sell effectively. It’s not their fault really, they’ve never been taught this skill. They’ve been too busy filling out their time sheets.

Remember the tax return on the sales transaction? Now those people know how to sell. Commissioned salespeople have to know how to sell – that’s their job. If they don’t sell, they don’t eat, plain and simple. Accountants on the other hand…not so much.

Try to envision in your mind, an accountant sitting down with a new client prospect and having a sales conversation. The accountant is showing off their tax skills and knowledge to show the client how amazing they are. They talk about all the things they are going to do for the client. They go into ridiculous detail about the complexities of their prospect’s situation. “Aha, I’ve got them scared now”, thinks the accountant. “They really need me. This sales conversation is going great. The client is scared out of his pants. They’re definitely going to sign on.”

Inevitably the client asks the question, “How much will this cost?” The accountant then squirms and says, “Well it all depends on the time and complexity involved, blah blah blah.” Oh crap, thinks the client, this is going to be expensive. Right there, BOOM, you’ve set up the relationship for life. If they do end up signing on, they will always see you as a cost. 

From the moment the client signs on, they will forever think “I hope it doesn’t take them long to do this job, I want to keep my suffering to a minimum.” For them, going to the accountant is like going to the dentist to have their wisdom teeth pulled. Necessary, but seriously sucks. I know this is going to hurt, but I have to do this, they think. The accountant becomes the necessary evil in their life. 

You’ve now positioned yourself in a conflict of interest with your client. Yes, you heard me correctly, a conflict of interest. Throughout this fantastic sales conversation, the client’s interest is to have the accountant spend the least amount of time on their file, whereas the accountant’s interest (being a business owner) is to maximize their revenues. Having a billable hour model means the only way to maximize revenues is to maximize chargeable time. Yet your client wants you to minimize your time.

Conflict of interest.

By selling the “stuff” that we do and NOT the transformation (the value received), we create a world of problems. These problems continue throughout the life cycle of the client relationship. 

 

Billable Hour Problem #3 – Billing After the Fact

Grinding through an accounting client’s file, determining the number of billable hours after the fact, agonizing over what to charge, writing off WIP, presenting a bill, and then chasing the client for the outstanding receivable is normal, right? It totally makes sense that we chase the money after we’ve done the work. This is why we went to school for so long.

Billing “after the fact” not only causes more stress than is necessary, but it also takes all control out of our hands and puts it squarely into the hands of our clients. Rather than establishing a mutually beneficial economic transaction, we’ve tipped the scales of the power over to the client. We spend the time, do all the work, agonize over what to charge, and then basically hope our clients accept the charges. “Please, please, please don’t question the bill”, is what runs through our head as we present the invoice. It removes our power and puts the client in control. We’re now at their mercy. Will they pay or will they not?

Think about this for a moment. When does your accounting client need you the most? It’s before you do the work, not after. So then why are we billing after the fact? Remember supply and demand curves in your Economics 101 class. When demand rises, so does the price.

To maximize your revenue, you want to have the price discussion when the demand is highest, not when it’s the lowest. That’s exactly what we do when we bill after the fact. After the fact, the work is already completed, when the client needs you the least and has all the control.

Let’s also look at it from the perspective of your clients. Coming to their CPA is like going to the dentist, a painful yet necessary evil. They are coming in to get a bunch of tax bills. No one likes to pay taxes. What are we thinking?

 

Billable Hour Problem #4 – Discounting 

Our next sin comprises of a  so-called “solution” to the problems associated with the billing-after-the-fact sin. Someone in their wisdom came up with this brilliant idea. How do we avoid the billing-after-the-fact problem…hmmm…I know, let’s show a discount on our bills. The client will be happy, right?

First off, discounting your invoices undermines your credibility and value. We take our proud and noble profession of accounting and with one stroke of the pen, significantly devalue our service in the eyes of our clients. Discounting really conveys one of two things to our clients.

1) That our billable hour rate (how you track our WIP) is really too high for the value they’re receiving, so we need to discount the invoice to bring it in alignment. If we don’t discount in the future, they’re going to question if they’re getting ripped off. Credibility crushed.

 2) We took too long on the file. We weren’t efficient, and we need to recognize that by discounting our bill to be in alignment with the actual value our client has received. Basically, we’re telling them we’re incompetent. As with number 1, we have now set expectations for a similar discount for the following year. Crush, crush, crush goes credibility.

And so starts the vicious cycle.

 

Billable Hour Problem #5 – Accepting Crappy Clients

When accounting practices rely on compliance filings, they require more and more files to maintain their revenue levels. Downward pressure on pricing accelerates through increases in efficiencies and as such,  leads to even more returns. Round and round we go, creating our own problem. This never-ending need for more files leads to our next sin: accepting undesirable clients.

It doesn’t matter where one lives, the reality is that most accountants are extremely reluctant to let go of “less than ideal” clients. Who you stop working with is just as important as who you continue working with. Unfortunately, most accountants are unable to see this, because their hand is forced through the same business model they’ve been trapped in for years.

The types of undesirable clients will vary from firm to firm, but generally, they fall into three categories—messy files, low pricing, and bad attitude. Each one of these takes value away from the value of an accounting practice and could be causing untold damage to your practice. 

 

Billable Hour Problem #6 – Accepting That Tax Time Sucks

One of the worst sins associated with the traditional business model is accepting that tax time just has to suck. When the of rest North Americans are coming out of their homes to enjoy the spring weather, accountants are locked up at their desks, cranking away the hours to complete their client’s tax-filing deadlines. 

What’s even more intriguing is the fact that many accountants wear the crazy hours that they work during tax season as a badge of honor. In fact, working like a dog around tax time should have the opposite effect. It should make you mad as hell because it is hell. Why do we accept that our lives should be miserable during tax time? Can’t we find a better solution?

Accepting that tax time must always be associated with pain and suffering each year keeps accountants stuck and repressed. It takes away their power of choice. Instead of questioning and looking for solutions, accountants stay in a life of misery and ultimately become bitter and angry at life. 

billable hour, tax time sucks, tax season, accountant tired

 

Billable Hour Problem #7 – Wasted Time (Dealing with Time)

In a billable hour model, the amount of time that is wasted simply dealing with time itself is mind-boggling. As the saying goes, “Life is short, live it to the fullest, and don’t waste your time.” This seems to fall on deaf ears with CPAs when it comes to their beloved billable hour. 

From day one, it was drilled into me that the timesheet was the most important tool for the CPAs. To track every six minutes of my day (0.1) was the most important thing I should do. To add more stress to the mix (if that was possible), I had to make sure all my chargeable hours within each day were maximized. Too much admin time would not be looked upon favorably. I mean, heaven forbid I actually spend time working on my business to improve it. 

From this Holy Grail of tracking our days comes the most precious thing of all, invoicing this “time” to our clients. I can’t begin to imagine the total hours of my life I spent deliberating and agonizing over how much of this precious time should be ultimately billed to my clients. How much time devoted to research should just “eat” vs. time that was purely billable to the client? The worst part was worrying about how my decision to allocate these hours would affect the client relationship.

Add to this stress the time wasted chasing those clients who don’t pay their bills right away. Chasing the blessed A/R list. 

The most insane part of the billable hour model is the amount of time spent analyzing the time we’ve tracked! Nothing is more mind-numbing than analyzing overly complex reporting with spreadsheets that comes from WIP tracking software. Unutilized WIP, WIP write-off %, recovery time, and projected bill-out rates…the list goes on and on. 

Ultimately, can you imagine what you would and could do with all this time that you currently dedicate to tracking and allocating your hours? Take a vacation? Spend time with your children? Take on an exciting client project you’ve been wanting to get your hands on? Or perhaps create even more value for your clients and accounting practice? The possibilities are endless, but you can’t use what you don’t have. Wasting time dealing with time is an unnecessary sacrifice that takes away from the most precious gift you have—your time here on earth.

 

What are the Consequences of Using the Traditional Billable Hour Model? 

Now that we’ve talked about all of the problems associated with the billable hour, let’s turn our attention to the consequences of this model. 

Accountants have chosen to stick with the traditional business model. They have chosen to stick with the status quo, and this choice has a ripple effect that touches every aspect of their business and their life. We’ll start with the first victim impacted by this choice, the most obvious: you, the professional.

 

The Accounting Professional 

Your Body – Given this incredible gift we have, why do accountants treat it so poorly? A large number of hours grinding behind a desk take their toll on our bodies. One accountant I know had to undergo back surgery as a result of many years of tax seasons behind a desk. It’s not worth it long-term. Life is precious. The body is precious and we need to treat it that way.

tired accountant, tax season, back pain, sore body, overworked

Your Mental Health – What’s even worse is the impact the traditional model has on our mental health. It is well documented that stress causes all sorts of health problems. The stress felt by the CPAs during the busy season, coupled with the stress associated with the billable hour model in general, has a ripple effect that would astonish you. 

Your Social Life – The impact of the traditional accounting business model goes beyond just the physical and mental well-being of the professional. Their social life is affected as well. How many times have you had to say no to invitations from friends and family during the busy season? 

Your Interactions with Clients – Another“subtle impact” of the traditional model is how it affects our client interactions. Our high levels of stress and strain during the busy season and with billing pressures can also have a sizable negative impact on how we interact with our clients. More on this in a moment.

 

The Accounting Firm

And what about the impact on the accounting firm itself? We can easily continue where we left off regarding the employees. To attract and retain great talent, today’s accounting firm needs to give employees a higher purpose and the flexibility to live their life on their terms. Firms stuck in the traditional model cannot provide this for their team.  

Billing by the hour and tracking time has another unintended side effect for the firm. As we know our balance sheet dynamics all too well, let’s answer this question: What supports all that WIP and A/R on your books?

Answer: Capital.

This capital comes in either the form of partnership contributions or other indebtedness (like bank loans). The amount of capital tied up in A/R and WIP can be staggering. This capital is not growing for firms either. 

Finally, let’s have a look at the adverse effect the traditional model has on the valuation of the CPA firm. Like all businesses, one of the main drivers on valuation comes down to cash flow. For the firm with capital locked up in A/R and WIP, and the sporadic peaks and valleys of cash flow from busy tax seasons, it’s no wonder most firms are undervalued. Suffice it to say, the traditional firm is just like most CPAs; overworked and unvalued. 

 

The Client

Let’s take a deeper dive into the effects on our clients. The stress associated with the traditional model can create a significant and unnecessary amount of stress on the very people we are trying to help.  Let’s break these stressors down in more detail.

 

Stress impact #1 – visits are a necessary and painful event. 

Stress impact #2 is purchase fatigue. Ever had a client not call you about some important decision that has implications for your tax-planning strategies? Like, getting their wills redone without your knowledge beforehand? Never, right? They always call us first…NOT! Ever wonder why this is the case? 

The answer is simple. While they might consider calling us on these matters they are reluctant to do so because they are feeling the effects of what I call purchase fatigue. Think about it. Every time they go to give their accountant a call, they’re saying to themselves, “Is this problem I have worth calling my accountant, given I’m going to get a bill for the answer?” Or even worse, “I’ll get a bill even though I may NOT get an answer!”

Stress impact #3 – writing a blank cheque. What’s truly astonishing to me is how most accountants don’t see how negatively this impacts their clients, who they apparently care so much for. Don’t you prefer to know how much something is going to cost before you purchase it? Of course, you do. Everybody does. So why do our clients have to basically write a blank cheque for our services?

Stress impact #4 – when clients look at their accountant, all they see is cost. Each of the previous stress impacts culminates in this last one; with the necessary evil, purchase fatigue, and writing a blank cheque, clients see us as a cost center vs. a value provider.

After speaking and working with accountants from all over the world, I’ve seen two consistent themes – accountants feel overworked and undervalued. And it’s no wonder they feel undervalued by their clients. It’s not an illusion. It’s real. Their clients see them as a cost center and not a value center. 

 

The Family…and Friends

One of the saddest consequences of the traditional business model is the effect it has on our family and friends. Long, hard hours, stressful working conditions, time-sucking networking events, and the low self-esteem that comes from being undervalued by clients can spill out into the professional’s social circles. None feel the impact of these stressors more than the professional’s first circle: their family.

The accountant’s spouse often bears the brunt of the negative impacts of this unbalanced work-life – especially if they aren’t in the profession. So many relationships fail as a result of mismatched expectations surrounding the accountant’s dedication to their career.

What’s even worse is the effect it can have on the kids. Less time at home means missed recitals, school events, sports, and even just simple playtime can all be the result of the long hours taken up from the drive for billable time. Even when the accountant is home and available, they are normally totally burnt out and unable to play as a result of the work that they’ve done.

Speaking of burnout, in this post, the Canadian Psychological Association has identified the following situational risk factors that contribute to career burnout. Burnout is more likely to occur when job demands outweigh job resources. I think it’s important that we discuss this as it can have such a huge impact on your overall health and lifestyle.

Situational risk factors for job burnout:

  • Work overload
  • Lack of control and inability to participate in decisions related to the way one’s work is done.
  • Insufficient reward and recognition (e.g., financial compensation, esteem, respect) can be devaluing and heighten feelings of inefficacy.
  • “Toxic” Community where work relationships are characterized by unresolved conflict, lack of psychological support, poor communication, and mistrust.
  • Unfair treatment or incivility and disrespect can lead to cynicism, anger, and hostility.
  • Values conflicts on the job, where there is a gap between personal and organizational values, can create stress as workers must make a trade-off between their beliefs and the work they have to do.
  • Poorly defined responsibilities, ambiguous roles, and difficult schedules have also been identified as stressful when the situation persists.

Do any of these points sound familiar? Now, not every one of these items on the list may apply to you but I think we can all agree that a burnt-out, stressed person is inevitably a grumpy person. People simply don’t understand the pressures we face as accountants,  nor should they. 

 

Life’s Too Short for the Billable Hour Model…

“Life’s too short…to work like an accountant.” This is my mantra that I actually live and breathe every day because I know how true this is.

Life is short, and it’s precious. It’s a gift that none of us should squander. The interesting thing about human nature is that we take life for granted and don’t stop often enough to ask ourselves if we’re really living life to the fullest. 

We don’t have to blindly follow what our mentors and predecessors told us to do. There’s no reason to work insane hours to make the money we want and to get rewarded for our years of study and sacrifice. We just have to be willing to consider a new way of doing business. The question for you is, “Have you had enough of the old model?” Are you willing to find a better way?

 

What’s the Right Billing Model For You, Your Clients and Your Accounting Firm

By now you’re probably starting to believe that the billable hour is the wrong model for your accounting firm.

You have a choice. All change starts with a realization that there is a problem with the status quo. Once you are willing to accept this fact, you can take action to find and implement a solution. A great idea is worthless unless it is followed up by focused action to make that new idea a reality.

So what is the right billing model for your accounting firm? Drumroll please…the answer is the Value Pricing Model. Pricing should be less than the perceived value.

Price < Perceived Value

 

The value pricing model was first envisaged by accounting professional Ron Baker back in the mid-1990s. According to this article from Thomson Reuters, Ron realized that “hourly billing was a really lousy customer experience. They never knew what the price was going to be until they saw the bill. If they were upset, they had to complain. It was just bad for the relationship all the way around.” Once his firm switched to the value pricing model, they saw how much the clients love this new model. By 1994, Ron had begun teaching the value pricing model in California and the model evolved into what it is today.

While there isn’t an exact science for value pricing like there is with the billable hour, once you understand the main concepts, you’ll never want to return to the traditional billable hour model…EVER!

It will set you free, and it will set you apart from everyone else in the market. It is a breath of fresh air for clients who will embrace this new, more flexible arrangement. Once you strategically integrate this new system with the right services for your client, you have a recipe for something amazing.

Resist the urge to copy everyone else. Exceptional money is made on the fringes of a market. You want to distinguish yourself from the backdrop of vanilla CPA firms touting their “full-service” model. Stop doing what everyone else is doing—pick a lane and stick to it. This means clearly defining not only who you’re going to work with and what you’re going to do, but more importantly, who you’re not going to work with and what services you’re not going to offer. It means being clear on the best billing model for your CPA firm.

 

The 3 Lies in Accounting Firms Must Never Accept

Before we go, I have one more exercise for you. I want you to go back in time and think about why you became a professional accountant in the first place. What was it about the profession that you were drawn to? 

What were your reasons for this choice? There was something that made you decide to become an accountant, and more importantly, run your own practice. The idea of making a difference for appreciative clients, making great money, and having time and freedom to enjoy your life were most likely what you had envisioned. So what happened? Why hasn’t this dream materialized for so many professional accountants? 

Sadly, you’ve been lied to. All those accountants who came before us conditioned us to believe that our accounting lives had to be burdened with long, grueling hours and that the stress of the billable hour model was the “professional and ethical” way to charge our clients. They lied because they were lying to themselves. 

A few, however, discovered the truth and have broken free. They now understand that the billable hour is the wrong model. They have broken free of the billable hour and have never looked back 

 To help illustrate this point, I’d like you to write down the following common misconceptions and keep them somewhere nearby so you can refer to them often as a reminder that what we’ve been told is not true. Don’t let conditioning allow you to fall back into old habits.

Lie #1 – Your worth as an accountant (and as a human) is equal to the number of hours you work.

Lie #2 – Accounting clients are naturally price sensitive

Lie #3 – Tax time has to suck, always!

 

These three lies have been handed down from generation to generation and from mentor to mentee. 

These are the lies that until now, you have accepted as the truth….we can break that conditioning…but we have to be very vigilant and prepare to be innovators. 

Your assignment is to think about these lies and to be willing to accept an alternative reality. My worth is not equal to the number of hours I work. Clients are NOT naturally price-sensitive to my services and tax. Putting effort into growing my accounting practice doesn’t have to suck. It can be easy, and fun, and it can be incredibly satisfying to do when you’re using the correct pricing model.

 

Changing the Mindset of the Accountant

Inevitably, every single accountant that I’ve worked with has to first deal with their “inner game”. Shifting your mindset to be open to a new way of business is not as easy as it sounds for many of us. And it’s no wonder why. We’ve been brainwashed into following the status quo. It’s not easy to change years and years of conditioning. It can be a difficult process for some. Falling back into old habits and patterns is normal. A reconditioning period of engagement with new systems is required. New habits take time to form, so have patience and be persistent. Stay the course long enough, and eventually, new behaviors will take hold and replace those that are no longer serving you.

accountant fear, change business model, change habits, new model, accounting firms

It’s also amazing to me the power fear has to keep us from evolving and growing as human beings. There’s nothing like distractions and fear to keep you stuck exactly where you are, regardless of how bad it is. I love this acronym for fear:

False

Evidence

Appearing

Real

The fear of the unknown can easily override our best intentions to move away from the safety of the known – even with the pain and suffering we continue to endure. Crazy, isn’t it? Have you ever tried talking a friend out of a bad relationship only to have them say they’re too scared to leave, regardless of how bad it is? “What if I don’t find someone else and I live the rest of my life alone?” People get comfortable in their misery. It’s the comfort of the known vs. the fear of the unknown. The truth of the matter is that nothing will change in your life until you do something about it. The question again is, are you willing to do something?

 

Now is the Time to Change the Billing Model You Use in Your Accounting Firm

Ultimately, the decision to free yourself from the traditional model will come down to self-worth. Are you worth it? Do you deserve better in your career and your life, or are you okay with living life like a typical accountant?

Let me answer this one for you. You are worth it. You’ve spent so many years and sacrificed to become a professional CPA that it’s time you reap the rewards of all your hard work. You are worth it. I know that. But that’s not going to help until you know that and claim it for yourself.

I hope by now, after all of the evidence I’ve presented, that I’ve convinced you that the billable hour is the wrong model for your accounting business. Break yourself free from the constraints of the old billing model and step towards a professional life of freedom that you deserve. Tap into your natural creative power and rediscover your passion for your profession.

If you’re interested in learning about my story and how I changed my business and billing models, see my interview with Jordon from Pixie.com here.

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