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New Name For Cpa Firm - Clever But Professional
11/17/2009 at 8:56 PM ET
REBRANDING OF a SMALL CPA FIRM
•Most businesses come to us with disorganized or incorrect accounting records, outstanding payroll taxes or income tax returns, or are a startup company. We catchup the business on old outstanding tax and/or payroll returns and cleanup their accounting records; then, monthly we accumulate and reconcile their financial information and present it to them in an easy to read and understand format, showing them trends and other planning opportunities whether they be financial or tax related. We act externally as full internal accounting department for small businesses, who for the most part, can only afford one office administrator type personnel who pays bills and sends out invoices. We charge one upfront monthly recurring fixed fee and provide a bundled bookkeeping, payroll, and tax return preparation service that includes unlimited consultation. Our clients are generally in the healthcare (MD’s, Dentists, Chiro’s, Vets) or retail sector (small strip center boutiques).
•The new name should reflect a professional and dependable firm that deals with small businesses. It would help if CPA was in the name (CPAS, plural is not allowed by State Licensing as currently I am the only CPA) and it would also help if the name started with a letter appearing early in the alphabet. It is my goal to have the new name be very memorable (slightly catchy) but yet professional given our target market. I want the name to initiate the selling of our services and thus it should describe what we do to a certain extent. We currently use my last name “XXXX CPA Firm”. The reason for the renaming/rebranding is to reflect our transition from a one man CPA with staff to a firm image. I am not doing much of the work anymore although I currently do all outside initial sales. I also want to reflect our move from traditional CPA firm tax and audit work to the high volume bookkeeping, payroll, tax work and consulting for small B2B only that we do currently. I do not want to confine the name geographically. We attract new clients by appointment setting via B2B telemarketing/cold calling, internet search, referrals and direct mail in that order. We will not be able to create a brand with advertising (TV, Radio, Print)…we are never going to be that big.
• Names I have kicked around:
-Business CPA Solutions, CPA Business Partners = professional sounding but not memorable enough
-Bean-Counter Magic, The Ledger Doctor = not professional sounding but possibly memorable
-Cipher CPA, Accountable Ledgers = my office manager tells me these are too wordy although I think this is close to what I want
Taglines or phrases we have used:
-Bookkeeping, Payroll, and Taxes.
-Let our CPA Firm help your numbers make cents.
-Our clients have something in common – they appreciate good value and they value information that will help their business appreciate.
11/18/2009 at 2:02 AM
You have written a significant amount of information providing a first level description for creating a new name. Perhaps you could add "& Associates" to your last name as a simple and most practical name solution and then create a tagline to convey what you desire to convey to your target.
However, going to the second level for a deeper understanding, do you have a written business plan reflecting your business model, what does the competitive landscape look like, what is your positioning statement that will creditably differentiate you from your closest competition?
11/18/2009 at 8:12 AM
"The new name should reflect a professional and dependable firm that deals with small businesses. It would help if CPA was in the name..." Let's start with that as the essence of your request.
Most professional accounting firms are not catchy. They're rather vanilla-like, plain and simple, usually containing the name of the individual(s) who are their founders. Example:
Founder CPA & Associates
Yes, you can also use "Assoc." in place of "Associates," but the latter is more professional.
That's the accepted norm. Also accepted in the profession is the use of a tagline to accompany the name, a few choice words that described the specialty or area of expertise of the firm.
In your case, the name might be:
H. Robinson, CPA & Associates (spelling out the first name.)
With that as a starting point, let's work on the tagline. Here's a good one - short, sweet and to the point:
"Specialists in helping small businesses."
There you've got it, the name, the tagline, everything you need.
I'd like to know why the rebranding effort and what the current is, but that's more a matter of curiosity than necessity. Hope the above helps.
11/18/2009 at 8:44 AM
I'm not a real big believer in "early alphabet" names in the yellow pages....unless the yellow pages is where most people go to find a service provider...like a mover. A CPA? Not sure about that. Then, it's about the right ad.
That said, if you really want to be first use a number
1Source CPA solutions
"We've solved problems like yours before"
"We see the forest before you're treed"
11/18/2009 at 11:30 AM
The Yellow pages are history. I would reccomended a name that is Google friendly.
11/18/2009 at 11:35 AM
I'm your ideal client: When I'm shopping for CPA services I don't want clever. I don't want tricksy. And I'll run in the other direction when I see catchy. To me, "Clever" is not an effective marketing strategy.
If I'm coming to you with my shoebox full of confused, befuddled, and tattered paperwork ... sorry, the dog ate part of that one.
And that stain on that letter from the IRS? That's ... some kind
of spaghetti sauce ... or perhaps it's ahh—well really I'm not sure WHAT it is. But whatever it is, as I recall, my two year old was "decorating" with it.
If I come to you like this, not waving but drowning, I want level headed, sound, professional reassurance.
I don't want to hear "Hey there Philadelphia! We're hip, we're here, we're super CPAs and we're ready to ROCK your world! Hey ..."
And so on. You know the kind of thing I'm talking about.
Please, don't do this. It's cheesy and annoying.
Cheesy and annoying is also not an effective marketing strategy.
Just be you. Just tell me you'll make it all better and tell me how much it's going to cost me to make sense of my paperwork and keep my weary buttocks out of the hoosegow and the Feds off my case and I'll be happy.
And I'll come back for more advice next year.
And I'll tell my friends about the great service I received from Helenna (or whatever your first name is) Robinson & Associates: CPA Services From The People Who Understand You.
I hope this helps you.
Wilmington, DE, USA
11/18/2009 at 12:15 PM
Phil's suggestion of "H. Robinson, CPA & Associates (spelling out the first name.)" seems a little awkward to me.
perhaps something like ...
The Robinson Organization
CPA Specialists for Small Business
Note: the tagline could be stronger if it were to reflect a more specific differentiating strategy.
hope this helps,
11/18/2009 at 4:16 PM
We do have a business plan and positioning statement. It might be helpful to post the process we underwent to arrive at it. Before I do so, please reread the objectives above, it is long winded but encompasses the detailed elements that the positioning statement captures.
Our SEO is very good…CPA in the name is important to keep that up. I do get one or so new clients a month from listings, whether it be yellowpages (prospects find us under Bookkeeping) or from an internet referral source; therefore alphabetical listing emphasis would help. I may be wrong but I do not think a number starting the name can project a professional image no matter what you put after it.
I really want to lift my name from the firm name. This will help with a number of issues: A buyer down the road will not need to rename the firm…it will remove me from the process and instill a team concept to the new client. Remember I am doing the selling but will not be involved in the monthly contact. Maybe, mentally, it will help me continue to remove myself from the processes as well. It also gives room in the name to drop in something descriptive of what we do. Most firms do use the tried and true person’s names when naming the professional business. I am currently in that boat. I want something that says professional but stands out from the Smith and Company or Jones and Johnson PC. How we operate is different than the traditional firm and I want a name to reflect that and use it to give us an edge over others on a prospects initial impression. I want to be more than the status quo.
Remember, that our target is a small business owner not a couple looking to have their taxes filed correctly. A business owner has to be creative and opportunistic in making financial decisions to maintain an edge on the competition. Part of what differentiates us from our competition is that we encompass a holistic view of the business’ accounting and tax needs. This holistic view, encompassing bookkeeping, payroll and taxes allows us to help the business owner with business and tax planning. This is a creative and analytical process. Which is why a memorable name that may display some uniqueness may be helpful not harmful. Again, I know that a new business owner is still looking for safe, dependable, reliable etc. and this new business is part of our target market…this leaning to safety and reliability is especially true in the healthcare sector in which we operate, even with established businesses. As a business matures, I have found the owner has had experiences with traditional accounting firms and left wanting more.
Bottom line, I want to have my cake and eat it too. Is this possible? To represent professional and reliable but still be memorable and unique (lets use those terms instead of creative, cute, or catchy). A good example would be an associate of mine in the Northeast. Although, it could be compressed, his opening paragraph in his website and brochure gives you a good idea. “Counting House Associates is a unique alternative to your accounting, tax, payroll and financial needs. We specialize in small businesses. Our quality of service is high. Our fees are moderate compared to other firms.” Even though the tagline can expand on services, I want a name that starts the process first. There are many occasions when a tagline is not or cannot be listed.
PS Sorry for the long winded message again…just want to be thorough. We are in a mid-large metro market (@1M pop) in the south incase that helps.
11/18/2009 at 5:26 PM
directly from your new input ..
The Holistic CPA
Accounting Specialists for Small Business
11/18/2009 at 6:59 PM
Here are a few suggestions to play with:
Big View CPA
Long View CPA
A Small Business CPA
The Painless CPA
Organized Chaos CPA
I like Steve's tagline - if it works with the name you choose.
11/19/2009 at 10:44 AM
A new unique/spicy name you say?..
Bottom Line CPA
Minding Your BeesWax CPA
A Penny Saved .. CPA
... happy hunting
11/24/2009 at 3:56 PM
Decided to keep old name and add tagline whenever possible. Could not find new name taht sounded professional enough but still memorable and descriptive. Thanks for your work.
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