CPA Firm Profitability

Unlock the Secret to Attracting Your Ideal Clients

Colin Dunn
March 7, 2023
minute read

How CPAs Can Turn Referral Sources into Raving Fans!

Leverage Tax Season and March

As an accountant, one of the most effective ways to attract target clients is through referrals

When someone is referred to you by a trusted source, they are more likely to become a client because they already have a level of trust and credibility with you. However, it is important to understand that not all referrals are created equal. To attract your ideal target clients, you need to educate your referral sources on who your target client is.

Now is the perfect time to implement a referral strategy

During tax season, and especially during March, you’re in touch with all your clients (whether face-to-face or remotely). What better time to take a good, hard look at your client base and figure out exactly who your target client is… and who it is NOT! And then, assuming you would like more target clients next year, let your best ones know that you have the capacity to take on a select number of new clients just like them. Remember, do NOT ask your bad clients. Their friends are colleagues are just like them!

Our Renew members have access to scripts, email templates, best practices and online learning that provides a step-by-step approach to building a referral strategy specifically for an accounting firm

The first step in attracting target clients through referrals is to identify who your ideal client is

This can be based on a variety of factors such as industry, business size, geographic location, or specific accounting needs. Once you have identified your target client, it is important to communicate this to your referral sources.

One way to educate your referral sources is to create a list of characteristics or attributes that your target client possesses. For example, if your target client is a small business owner in the construction industry, you might include characteristics such as:

  • Annual revenue of $1 million or less
  • 10 or fewer employees
  • Located within a 50-mile radius of your office
  • Specializes in residential construction
  • Has a need for tax planning and advisory services.

By sharing this information with your referral sources, you are providing them with a clear understanding of who your ideal client is and what types of businesses or individuals they should be referring to you.

Educating Referral Sources

Another way to educate your referral sources is to provide them with a list of specific questions to ask when talking to potential clients. These questions can be designed to help identify whether the person they are speaking with fits the profile of your target client. For example, they might ask questions such as:

  • What industry is your business in?
  • How many employees do you have?
  • What is your annual revenue?
  • Do you have any specific accounting needs or challenges?
  • Are you located within a certain geographic area?

By providing your referral sources with these questions, you are giving them the tools they need to identify potential clients that fit your target profile.

In addition to educating your referral sources on who your target client is, it is important to establish a referral program that incentivizes them to refer clients to you. This can be as simple as offering a referral bonus or providing them with access to exclusive resources or services.

When establishing a referral program, it is important to clearly communicate the benefits of referring clients to you. This might include things like:

  • A guaranteed response time to referral requests
  • Access to exclusive educational resources or events
  • A referral bonus or other incentives
  • A dedicated point of contact for referral sources
  • Regular updates on the status of referred clients.

By providing your referral sources with clear incentives and benefits, you are increasing the likelihood that they will refer clients to you.

Client Case Studies

Another important aspect of educating referral sources is to provide them with real-life examples of how you have helped clients in the past. This can be done by sharing case studies with them. Case studies are an effective way to showcase the results that you can deliver to your clients. They give your referral sources an idea of the types of clients that you work with and the typical results that they can expect.

To create effective case studies, you should focus on the problem that the client was facing, the solution that you provided, and the results that were achieved. Use specific numbers and metrics to highlight the success of the engagement. Make sure to include the client's name and industry, but also maintain confidentiality by not sharing any sensitive information.

Once you have developed your case studies, share them with your referral sources. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as email, social media, or in-person meetings. Encourage your referral sources to share these case studies with their network, as this can increase your visibility and credibility.

In addition to case studies, you can also provide your referral sources with other educational materials, such as white papers, e-books, or webinars. These materials can help to further educate your referral sources about the types of clients that you work with, the services that you offer, and the benefits of working with your firm.

By educating your referral sources and providing them with valuable resources, you can increase the likelihood that they will refer potential clients to your firm. This will not only save you time and money on marketing efforts but will also lead to more qualified leads and higher conversion rates.

Finally, it is important to maintain regular communication with your referral sources. This might include sending them regular updates on your services, sharing educational resources, or inviting them to exclusive events or seminars. By staying top of mind with your referral sources, you are increasing the likelihood that they will think of you when they come across someone who fits your target profile.

In conclusion, attracting target clients as an accountant is all about educating your referral sources on who your ideal client is and providing them with the tools and incentives that they need to refer clients to you. By clearly communicating your target profile, you can increase the visibility and credibility of your firm, increase the number of high-quality referrals you receive and attract more qualified leads that will ultimately result in a more successful and profitable practice.

Taking Action

If you're interested in implementing a successful target client referral program for your business, we're here to help. Contact us today to discuss your specific needs and learn how working with Renew can transform your accounting firm by implementing a model that enables you to lead with advisory and command premium, subscription-based pricing for target clients only. Book a call now at

Also, don't forget to subscribe to our free newsletter to stay up to date with the latest trends and strategies to build the accounting firm of your dreams. Sign up now at

Finally, if you're looking for a short guide to target client referral best practices, download our Renew Referral Best Practice document. Contains practical tips and insights to help you maximize the potential of your referral program and achieve long-term success.

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