Frequently Asked Questions
Accounting Practice Development Seminar
Q: What is the Practice Development Seminar (Plan 1)?
A: This three-day training program, which is held three times a year, will provide you with the most effective marketing tools available today for professional accountants. The seminar includes 24 CPE credits, breakfast, lunch and breaks. You are responsible only for travel, hotel and dinner while in attendance. The seminar guarantees to increase your annual billings at least $50,000.00 the first year!
Q: How does the billing guarantee work under the Practice Development Seminar (Plan 1)?
A: We require a minimum of 20 hours a week of appointment setting. Also, a Weekly Report is to be emailed weekly to NCI in an effort to track the program's progress. After one year, we total the annualized billings acquired by the firm. Any adjustments for client attrition will be factored in. The monthly billing plus installation fees, back work, and tax work are all added to arrive at the total. If there is any shortfall from the guaranteed $50,000.00, we will issue you a full refund for the seminar fee paid.
Q: Where is this seminar held?
A: We conduct the seminar at various locations across the country. Click here for a list of upcoming seminar dates and locations.
Client Acquisition Program
Q: How far in advance do I need to register for the Client Acquisition Program?
A: We usually are booking start dates two to three months in advance.
Q: How do you hire and train our marketing team under the Client Acquisition Program (Plan 2)?
A: We will give you ad copy to run in your local newspaper and online for both the Client Service Representative and Appointment Setters. These ads will run two consecutive Sundays prior to our arrival. In addition to the newspaper ads, NCI will post both ads to popular job boards such as Monster, Glassdoor, Indeed, and Craigslist. We will provide you with an 800-phone number so that the applicants can call NCI and get more information regarding the position. We will also pre-qualify the applicants at that time. NCI will send one of our Senior Account Executives to your place of business for a full week of recruiting to aid in the hiring of your Client Service Representative and Appointment Setters. We will then provide your new Client Service Representative with a full week of field training taking him/her out on actual appointments set up by your appointment setters. Two to three new clients are routinely secured during the field training week.
Q: How does the salesperson get paid under Plan 2?
A: Using a salesperson to help grow your practice is one of the most-effective and cost-effective methods available. But what often stops an accountant from utilizing this proven process is the ongoing cost associated with having one work for their firm. The reality is that, when structured properly, not only will a well-trained and motivated salesperson pay their own cost, but adding clients in this manner is by far the most cost-effective way to do so, bar anything available, including buying a practice. Allow me to prove this to you. Under NCI’s Plan 2 program the central growth concept involves hiring and training a salesperson, who is paid in the following manner: They receive a base salary of either $600 or $700 per week depending where your practice is located in the U.S. For the purposes of this example let’s use $600 per week. They also receive a sales commission equal to the first months billing for each new client they secure. Under our marketing system clients are required to pay a monthly fee for a set package of service and we arrange this so the fees are automatically debited to your checking account, eliminating accounts receivable hassles wherever possible. The salesperson is trained to collect the first month’s fee in advance when the prospect agrees to become a client during the sales presentation. Once that initial fee has been collected it goes to the salesperson as a commission on their next paycheck.
That covers the cost side; now let’s look at what we call point-of-sale revenue. Each time a new client is signed up they are required to pay a $300 or $350 installation fee (depending on the base pay of the salesperson.) This fee is clearly displayed on the client service agreement and is explained as follows: it’s a one-time fee for setting up their books as a new client, setting up their files in your office and for reviewing prior year’s tax returns. NCI knows from experience that a good salesperson following our system can sign up two new clients per week. For this example we’ll use $300.00 as the monthly fee for each client. Here’s how the numbers add up under this scenario:
Installation fees for two new clients at $300.00 per client: $600.00
First month’s fee, payable in advance $300.00 per client: $600.00
Total point-of-sale revenue: $1,200.00
CSR salary: $600.00
Commission for two new clients: $600.00
Total cost for one-week salary and commissions: $1,200.00
As you can see from these figures, your salesperson has secured two new clients, bringing in total point-of-sale revenue of $1,200 and you paid them a total of $1,200 to receive these clients with annual revenue equating to $7,200. This figure does not include tax returns, back-work, live payroll or a host of others services you may offer. And while you will have other costs to run the marketing program, such as lead sources, appointment setter salaries, and increased phone bill costs, even when added up they pale in comparison to the return on investment these clients will provide over time. Over the past 27 years in business, I’ve had clients of mine tell me time after time they have declined buying a practice simply because they know first-hand that securing their own clients via a professional salesperson is at least two-thirds less than purchasing them.
Click here to view actual weekly report we received from NCI client showing the cost/revenue analysis breakdown. These reports are used by NCI to help monitor the results of each program and track the $300,000 billing guarantee. As the old saying goes,”liars may figure, but figures don’t lie,” and these figures demonstrate the compelling fact that a well-trained accounting salesperson is worth their weight in platinum! Having a full time salesperson employed at your firm will also free you up to manage the growth that is being developed, work on additional billing projects and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You will also experience improved communication and client relations because the salesperson will meet with many of your clients on a monthly basis to pick up their work and also to generate networking and referral opportunities.
NCI Accounting Salespeople Fast Facts
- Longest running CSR to date is Brian Gunderson, Seattle, WA. Brian was hired by me in 1991 and is still employed at the same firm. Check out his success story interview here.
- Firm with most salespeople is Sareen and Associates, with three, two of which have been with him since 1994. Today Arun’s firm grosses approximately $5.5 million.
- Largest back-work fee assessed to date is $100,000 by a salesperson in Tampa, FL.
- Most clients signed up in one week: 16, set by Don Smith for Nick Parceluzzi in Long Island, NY.
- Most clients signed up in one month: 23, by Brian Gunderson in 1993 and he tied his own record with 23 signed up in July of 2011, during the height of the great recession no less!
Interested in adding a salesperson to your marketing effort? Call us today at 1-888-NEW-CLIENTS (1-888-639-2543)
Q: Am I entitled to any credits or discounts for upgrading to the Clients Acquisition Program (Plan 2) from a Home Study Program or Practice Development Seminar (Plan 1)?
A: Yes, you receive a full credit for the cost of your Practice Development Seminar training or Marketing Kit. We will also credit you for your travel and hotel expense if you were a former seminar attendee.
Client Service Representatives
Q: What happens if the Client Service Representative is not working out?
A: Within the first 10 weeks of the program should it become necessary to replace your Client Service Representative NCI will accept calls via its toll free number and prescreen CSR applicants over the phone and set interviews for owner to perform the initial employment interview. Owner will narrow down the top picks and forward their resumes to NCI who will perform an online sales test for each. NCI will advise owner of test results and perform second interviews over the phone to help owner make the final selection. For the final candidate NCI will provide a national criminal background check and apprise owner of any issue revealed. Once the candidate has been selected, NCI will train said candidate at Owner’s office over the course of five days or pay travel and hotel costs to bring them to our next available live seminar which ever we can accomplish quickest. After the 10-week period, NCI will provide classroom training only for any replacement client service representative and Owner will be responsible for all costs associated with transportation, accommodations and meals to the NCI training seminar. You can add additional Client Service Representatives and NCI will train them online or at the live seminar for a small additional fee of $500 to cover cost for meals, breaks and materials.
Q: Can I add more Client Service Representatives under the program?
A: Yes, we will train additional Client Service Representatives at our Practice Development Seminar at no cost to you. You are only responsible for travel, hotel and meals.
Accounting Practice Marketing Services
Q: How does NCI compare to other practice development companies?
A: So glad you asked, as we believe in free market enterprise and competition. What makes good companies great is having competitors pushing you to do better for your clients. Having been the leader in our field for the past 30 years, I learned a long time ago to never rest on your laurels – always strive to improve. The more you look at our competitors, the better NCI will look to you. A fact you will want to be aware of while comparing four of our competitors is that all the CPAs are former clients of NCI. That’s right; before they became so called gurus in marketing for accountants, they attended and implemented one of our successful marketing programs. They, in fact, built their firms with our system and not the one they are attempting to sell you. No one in the industry can equal NCI’s record of success in helping CPAs, accountants, EAs and bookkeeping firms in growing their practice. No one!
Q: How does the $300,000.00 annual billing guarantee work under Plan 2?
A: You must have a minimum of 35 hours weekly of appointment setting. A Client Service Representatives' Weekly Report must be sent to NCI weekly to track the results. After 24 months, we total the annualized billings acquired by your practice. Any adjustments for client attrition will be factored in. The monthly billing plus installation fees, back work, and tax work are all added to arrive at the total. If there is any shortfall from the $300,000.00, NCI will proportionately refund the difference. For example, should you only obtain $200,000.00 in annualized billings after 24 months, NCI will refund you 33% of the fees paid to us.
Q: How do we track the annualized billings for the purpose of monitoring the guarantee?
A: A Client Service Representatives Weekly Report and Appointment Setters Weekly Report must be sent to our office weekly via email. We total up all the new clients in a spreadsheet format that allows us to track the results throughout the year. More importantly, these reports allow us to support your program, if there are any problem areas we can identify them and try to resolve any problems quickly with your marketing efforts.
Q: What about the do not call list for Telemarketing. How does this effect the marketing NCI promotes?
A: The do not call list applies only for business to consumer telemarketing. Our marketing programs use telemarketing to businesses, not consumers, hence the rules do not apply.
Q: Do I need an office to start the program?
A: Yes, we require a minimum of 500 square feet to set up your program. We suggest a short-term lease since your practice will quickly out grow a smaller location within the first year or two. Many clients will start with a virtual office or shared office space to get started.
Q: Are there any cash flow projections available for the Plan 2 program?
A: Yes, click here for two year projection of income of expenses associated with Clients Acquisition Program (Plan 2).
Q: Is there a better time of the year to begin one of these programs?
A: While there are no bad times to get started, the fall and winter months are best. Fall because we are nearing the end of the year and many businesses try to access their tax situation by year-end. Starting in tax season, i.e. January to April tends to be a great time to market for the following reasons:
- It’s a new tax year so changing accountants is easier
- Most business owners are more aware of the impending tax deadline and are less likely to put you off
- Every new business acquired will require personal and business tax preparation adding substantial cash flow
- NCI usually offers price incentives off the cost of our programs during this time frame
- Other accountants are too busy to market, leaving you and your marketing team free reign in the marketplace
Q: What type of clients can I expect from the marketing programs?
A: In short, all kinds. The NCI program targets small- to medium-sized business clients – everything from start ups to firms doing upwards of $5,000,000 per year in revenue. We have clients that have used our marketing system to target large firms: chiropractors, dentists, and other professionals. One such CPA has 10 clients that represent $250,000 in annual billing out of his $5.5 million dollar firm. Most of his practice was developed through our Plan 2 program. The largest single client obtained to date using our methodology was $150,000 per year. The largest back-work fee charged to date — $100,000 – was by a CPA firm in Tampa for a single client who needed 10 years of back tax work completed.
We also provide proven methods to help you target tax work, payroll, and financial planning to build these segments of your practice.
Additional questions that are not listed here? Contact us.