Niches are an important part of any thriving tax and accounting firm. Not only does a niche set you and your firm apart from its competition; it also is good for client recruitment and retention because you can position yourself and your staff as subject matter experts in any number of industries and specialty practice areas.
I surveyed several of our Intuit® ProConnect™ Tax Pro Center authors to find out what their niches are and why they pursued these areas. Here’s what they had to say.
Bruce Andersen, CPA, MS-Tax, MBA, AndersenCPA
Niche: Cannabis. This came about due to new legislation in California that made adult use of marijuana legal. However, a cautionary remark: if you do not have expertise in an area such as cannabis, don’t think that this is an “easy money” opportunity. Cannabis is the most highly regulated industry I have ever been involved with and has the highest potential for audit. The word on the street is this: if you are in the legal cannabis business, you will be audited.
Dawn Brolin, CPA, CFE, Powerful Accounting
Niche: Forensic accounting. Our focus allows us to better protect our clients from occupational fraud and potential IRS issues. This niche makes us unique is because it gives us access to the way occupational and tax fraud occur while involved in our case work. At the same time, our clients benefit from our experience and expertise.
Nayo Carter-Gray, EA, 1st Step Accounting
Niche: Multi-level marketers who represent Mary Kay, Tupperware and other brands. I think the accounting community usually ignores this niche because they believe this segment is unorganized, has been fed a bunch of misinformation about deductions and usually doesn’t last long in business because they aren’t making fast money. However, I was in multi-level marketing for more than 10 years, so I know what it takes to be successful in this industry and how to avoid being reclassified as a hobby by the IRS.
Renee Daggett, EA, AdminBooks
Niche: S corporations. The profession is abuzz with getting accountants to think about niching, so when I thought about the possible verticals, what came to me were service-based industries. Then, I looked at our current clients and found that we are a one-stop shop helping clients with QuickBooks® Online, payroll, S corporation returns and the personal returns of the owners. It hit me: that is our niche – working with S corporations. We provide value in seeing their whole financial picture so we can make a difference in their business and in their life!
Niche: Succession planning is a focused dynamic business plan using quantitative analysis laden with tax implications; it’s a perfect part of the annual meeting with clients nearing the end of their business careers. Unlike attorneys who address succession issues when drafting initial organizational documents, or financial planners who seek to address investment and insurance opportunities, an accountant has continual interaction with and access to business clients and their financial records. They are in the best position to provide competent and relevant succession planning advice.
Tyler McBroom, CPA, MBA, Measured Results
Niche: Real estate agents. One of the biggest reasons we have loved developing that niche is that, generally, they are pretty fun people to deal with. In addition, they don’t like doing their books; they would rather be chasing down deals, so they value our services. This group also operates off of referrals, so they tend to refer business to us as long as we are doing a great job for them. All of this results in a great way to grow our business!
Anita Robinson, EA, Synergy Tax & Accounting Inc.
Niche: Innocent/injured spouse and employee benefits under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
What’s your niche? Leave a comment below to tell us your niche and why it’s been good for you and your firm.