A 1.7 Million Dollar Payoff for Entrepreneurial CPA

Twenty Seven years ago Chuck Foley was a CPA working as a corporate controller for Prudential Insurance Company. He was making good money, over six figures at the time, but dreaded going to his job every day. One day he picked up a copy of the Journal of Accountancy where an ad caught his eye. In it was a graphic of two rats racing up a ladder, one behind the other. The caption read, “Tired of The Corporate Rat Race?” The ad was for a revolutionary marketing program from a relatively new company called New Clients, Inc. In that ad Chuck saw an opportunity to improve his situation and he signed on with NCI soon after, starting what would become a long and fruitful business relationship. Over the next several years Chuck built his first firm in New Jersey from the ground up using the NCI Plan 2 marketing program.

Ten years later Chuck decided to move to Phoenix, AZ because his parents and oldest son were living there. Chuck called on NCI to help sell his practice and establish a new firm in Phoenix. Once again, NCI delivered. With the help of a robust Phoenix market and another NCI Plan 2 Client Acquisition Program, Chuck’s new firm exploded and grew to around $500,000 in only 5 years. Chuck continued to run that firm with the help of his wife Beverly, she handled the front office duties, while other very capable staff members worked side by side with Chuck to process all the work that was being generated. As the years rolled by Chuck became restless, while his entrepreneurial spirit stirred within him but this time he wanted to try something outside the field of accounting. Again he called on NCI to help him sell his firm and we found a buyer within days, structuring an all cash sale in the process.

Chuck then entered the field of franchise consulting and sales and after a year of less than stellar results decided he should do what he’s always done best. He and Bev began building another CPA firm, this time in Scottsdale, AZ. Success seems to follow this man wherever he goes and within a few years he’d built another firm grossing about $490,000 per year. Now, 28 years after I first met him, Chuck contacted me to help him with his third and final practice sale as he prepared for semi-retirement at the age of 67. Within two weeks I had found him a qualified buyer.

I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank Chuck and Beverly for being consummate professionals who are always such a pleasure to work with. Chuck’s building and selling of three separate firms with NCI help is a milestone no other NCI client has achieved to date. He has done so with diligence, patience and the rare ability to be firm yet fair in his business relationships. While we were having dinner recently in Fort Lauderdale celebrating what will probably be his final sale, although you never know with this guy, he told me and my wife a story that I think sums up his and his wife nicely. After this first sale, the CPA who bought the firm was going to lose a large client that was sold as part of the deal. Chuck had told him this client may not stay once the transition occurred. When he and Bev learned that had in fact happened, they both agreed a refund for the value that client represented to the firm was in order. They did this not because they were obligated to, but because “it was the right thing to do.” This type of honesty and integrity seems so rare today in business but it also explains how a corporate accountant could start and build three accounting firms from scratch over a 27 year time frame, resulting in approximately $1.7 million in sales. To Chuck and Beverly, my wife Kathy and I, along with the entire NCI staff would like to thank you for being such loyal clients and wish you both years of health and happiness in your retirement.

Click here for Chuck's video testimonial.

Bruce J. Clark, CEO
Author, NCI Effect, Explosive Client Growth Plan for Accountants and CPAs
Beyond the NCI Effect, Sales Strategies That Matter to Grow an Accounting Practice

PS. Is this your last tax season?  If yes, call 1-800-338-0778 before May 1st for a free valuation of your practices worth and how we can help you sell one of your most prized assets.

From Startup to $270,000 In Business After Only 18 Months!

This month’s success story interview is with Matt Jad, CPA based in Denver, CO. Matt started his practice in the middle of 2015 after a long corporate career. Like many of NCI’s clients, he wanted to have the opportunity to chart the course of his own venture instead of answering to someone else for the rest of his life. He didn’t want to take the risk of starting his own practice without a solid marketing program in place though, so he went with an NCI Plan 2 program from day one. A wise decision as it turns out! Matt is 18 months into his first practice and he is already up to at least $270,000 in annual billing. During the interview Matt offers some advice for those considering the NCI program and those currently running it. He also talks about his feelings on the program and what he has struggled with during the process.

26 Years of NCI and a Million Dollar Practice to Show for It

Jay Steer, CPA has been a student of NCI since he first attended our practice development seminar in 1990. Back then he had just opened his own practice and by his own admission, had no idea how to market and solicit business. So he and his wife attended our seminar and implemented it. Once they had proven to themselves that it worked and became overwhelmed with new clients in the process, they upgraded to our Plan 2 program to bring on some help and really grow the thing, and grow it has. During the ensuing years, Jay worked with the same CSR for 20 of them. He no longer employs that CSR but he has a new one, one that has brought on 95 clients in only the first 10 months of 2016. He has also attended our seminar several additional times, including our Advanced Processing training, and he has grown a million dollar practice using what he has learned from NCI. He also maintains an ongoing business relationship with our founder and CEO, checking in over the years to pick his brain and see what new ideas NCI has developed. We’re always happy to hear from him and of his ongoing success. So Jay knows more than a thing or two about the NCI marketing model and how to implement it successfully and he’s happy to share some of that knowledge with our readers.

30 Years and Still Going Strong: Interview with Robert Azar, EA (AKA "The Amazing Azar")

This month’s success interview is with Robert Azar, EA. Robert and Bruce Clark, NCI’s CEO, have a long and storied history together. Robert was originally hired by Bruce way back in 1987 as the CSR for an accounting firm in Shamburg, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, under our Plan 2 marketing program. In six months Robert brought on 106 new monthly clients and essentially sold himself out of his job. Robert then contacted Bruce saying how much he loved the NCI system and wanted to come to NJ and work for the firm, which was promptly arranged. For several years Robert acted in a sales and seminar instructor capacity, eventually leaving to start and build his own firm using the NCI marketing system. 25 years later he returned to NCI where we pick up with him in this interview.

Success Story: All In The Family

NCI’s business relationship with Ray Busch, CPA dates back to 1990, before New Clients Inc. was even known by that name. Back then we were Accounts Unlimited and Ray had already been in practice 17 years when he first attended our Practice Development Seminar, but he needed a new approach to marketing to grow his business to the next level. Since attending the seminar Ray has also sent his daughter and his son-in-law to attend the course to learn NCI’s sales and marketing magic. Even though he himself attended 26 years ago, he can still call NCI’s CEO Bruce Clark for marketing support or just a friendly chat, which typically happens a few times a year. Now Ray’s practice brings in over a million dollars a year and he employs several of his offspring in the business just like Bruce has done at NCI. Ray has been in the accounting business and the NCI system a long time so he has plenty of wisdom to impart in those particular areas.

Partnering Up for a Smooth Transition to a Multi-Million Dollar Retirement

Retirement is a really important consideration that not enough people take into account early enough to matter. One needs to be prepared to live the comfortable life that they have become accustomed to once their ability to earn a living is diminished. In this month’s interview, I had the opportunity to speak with a man who is taking the right path to retirement and in the process, is making sure that the business and client base he has built up through hard work is going to be preserved and well taken care of once he rides off into the sunset.

That man is Frank Gutta, who has the distinction of attending NCI’s first Practice Development Seminar in 1987. He has managed to build a million-dollar accounting practice in the Florida market with help from NCI and our marketing programs. Frank recently turned 60 and has been thinking about retirement. He decided that he wanted to bring in a young, ambitious CPA to groom for takeover during a five-year transition period. Frank came to NCI for help in facilitating this buy-in because, after working with NCI on and off for over two decades, he knew that he could trust Bruce Clark with this incredibly important task. Within one month, he had the perfect fit for the position in place, along with a great financial deal that generated 80% of the cash up front for Frank. Read on to learn the details of this buy-in and also to get time-tested advice from a proven long-term success.

Building Blocks For A Better Business

You don’t know what you don’t know. It’s true of anything, but especially true if you’re embarking on a new venture. It’s certainly how the founder of Donald Button, CPA, PLLC feels looking back at the beginnings of his own firm in Greensboro, NC. And he doesn’t hesitate to admit that expert guidance of New Clients, Inc. (NCI) not only helped him launch his own firm but do it very successfully.

Getting Back to the Basics and It’s Paying Off Big Time

For this month’s success story we are featuring Jim Keen out of Phoenix, AZ. The story of how Jim was introduced to NCI is an interesting one. He got to see just how well the NCI marketing program can work when a firm he was working for brought us in to diversify their client base in the wake of 9/11. He worked his way up to partner and eventually bought out the write-up and tax portion of the practice that had been developed with the NCI model. Fast forward eleven years and Jim is still running that firm and looking for ways to grow it and make up business lost to the recession in 2008. He decided to go back to the well and contact NCI to see about installing a new Plan 2 program for him at the end of 2013. His program has been going strong these past two years and his practice is closing in on $700,000 in annual revenues for 2015. Enjoy the interview and learn from the experience of an accounting professional who has 13 years’ experience with the NCI marketing program. 

Ted and Linda Chapekis Built a $1.3 Million Dollar Practice with NCI

Let that title sink in for a second? How would you like to be operating a business that generates $1.3 million dollars in revenue each year? How would your life change if you were to achieve such a milestone? Ted and his wife Linda were able to do so using the NCI marketing program in a relatively short period of time. Recently, this lovely couple was in Southern New Jersey to attend a college football game. While in town they visited with Bruce and Kathy Clark of New Clients, Inc. to catch up and say a personal thank you for delivering the marketing system that made their success possible. During that visit we staged a brief, impromptu interview with Ted where he discusses his and his wife’s experience with NCI and the accomplishments they have been able to achieve as a result.

135 New Clients in Only 14 Months!

This month’s success story interview is with CSR Randy Harrison who works for Julia Shaw, CPA in Las Vegas, NV. As you can see from the title, Randy has been with Julia for a little over a year and he is doing a fantastic job. Randy is an interesting case in that this is the third accounting firm where he has been a CSR over a three year period. Unlike most professions, this “job hopping” is a result of Randy’s success as opposed to his failure. Randy managed to sell himself out of the two previous CSR positions by consecutively signing up 100 clients in a year for each of those firms. They get overwhelmed by the work and/or were satisfied with their growth at that point and had to let him go. Read on to learn from a successful CSR three times over! Tell me about your sales background prior to becoming a CSR for the first time.

Learn From a Superstar CSR—Four Times Over!

Our interview this month is with CSR, Kevin A. Fortner who works for a CPA firm in a Texas market. Kevin has actually worked for and had success with several different accounting firms in Texas. His current firm is the fourth firm that NCI has placed him with over a fifteen year period and he is doing a phenomenal job there, bringing in over $350,000 in new billings in only his first seven months! In the interview Kevin and I discuss what makes him a great CSR, his approach to managing appointment setters and some of his amazing accomplishments in the position to name just a few.

The Goldin Touch

I had previously interviewed Javier Goldin, CPA in November of 2011. At that time his practice had grown significantly thanks to the NCI seminar and the NCI Plan 2 program. His practice went from a startup in May of 2007 to grossing $600,000 by the end of 2011. That’s $600,000 in four years following the NCI marketing program. Bruce Clark, founder and CEO of NCI, had recently sent Javier a copy of his new book, Beyond the NCI Effect: Sales Strategies that Matter to Grow an Accounting Practice and Javier responded thanking him and letting him know that his firm had grown by 70% the past year and that cloud computing had opened a lot of doors for the accounting profession. So we decided it would be a good time to do a follow up interview with Javier to see what new heights he and his business have reached in 2015. In this second interview we talk about the niche that Javier has found for his firm and how he targets that niche and the ways that the marketing of his practice has evolved since 2011, among other interesting topics.

Reflections From an NCI Representative Turned CSR

"I have spent a lot of time on the phone since beginning my career at NCI. After two and a half years spent dialing and smiling I decided it was time for a change. I always thought that my skills would be better utilized in a face-to-face environment and I realized that I had the opportunity to explore this career change right in front of me by becoming a CSR for an accounting firm..."

From Appointment Setter to CSR

This is something you don’t see every day--an appointment setter promoted to the CSR position who then went on to be first runner up in NCI’s National CSR Sales Race. I would like to state that Krystal Johnson is the exception, not the rule, when it comes to using an appointment setter as a CSR. Generally it’s not a good idea, but what an exception Krystal has been! A few highlights from our interview: she has brought in single back work amounts of $35,000 and $20,000.  She came in second place in the CSR sales race despite only being able to compete for nine of the twelve months that the competition ran. She developed an appreciation of what her firm does and the value it provides while doing her job as an appointment setter. It wasn't long before her employer, Susanne Mariga, took notice of Krystal's diligence and was willing to take a chance and promote her to CSR. That risk has paid off big time as Krystal has been phenomenal. Here is her story in her own words.

From Technician to Manager to Entrepreneur

Alan Guillaudeu is on his way to becoming an entrepreneur. If you had told him this would be the case 15 years ago, he probably would have laughed at you. That’s because Alan worked by himself for 20 years. In those 20 years he built his practice up to $100,000 a year and he accumulated a lot of experience doing day to day accounting and tax work. In 2005, Alan decided that something needed to change if he was going to make more money and have less stress. That was the year he decided to do an NCI Plan 3 program and transition from a technician to a manager with our help and grow his practice significantly in the process. He signed on for a second Plan 3 program in 2013. His first CSR on that new program didn’t work out, but NCI found him a replacement that is going strong. I’ll let him tell you how he is transitioning once again, this time from a manager to an entrepreneur with a “big, hairy, audacious goal” of building a $3 million dollar a year practice.

Chuck Foley, CPA - Scottsdale, AZ

Who hasn’t at some point daydreamed about leaving their corporate job? Not having to answer to a boss and creating your own destiny (not to mention hours) is too appealing not to dream about. As you will read below in our interview, Chuck Foley, CPA had a high paying corporate job with Prudential insurance for ten years. In 1986 he was earning six figures but like many of the people I speak with on a daily basis, he was unhappy having to answer to someone and work within the confines of a corporate environment. That’s when he saw NCI’s ad and decided to take a leap of faith on what was at that time a new company. This decision would ultimately pay endless dividends and end his corporate slump for good. Since that time Chuck has built not one, but two tax and accounting practices using the NCI Plan 2 program. The first was in New Jersey which he sold (through NCI) for a 1.5 gross multiple, all cash. The second practice he built in Arizona and he just recently sold it for a 1.29 gross multiple, once again all cash. Now he has shifted gears again and is focusing on helping others become entrepreneurs like himself as a franchise consultant.

$160,000 in New Business in Nine Months!

This month’s interview is a follow-up to last month’s where I interviewed Robert Roth, CPA. This month we are featuring Robert’s CSR, Victor Romandine. Until just last month Bob and Victor had been holding steady in first place of the NCI annual CSR sales race. They fell into second place last month but that certainly hasn’t slowed down their momentum. Victor has only been on the job about nine months.  He was the second CSR hired after the first didn’t work out, but in those nine months he has generated over $160,000 in new business for Bob. An impressive feat to be sure. Victor offers some great advice on working with appointment setters and being persistent throughout the sales process, among other things. Read on to learn from one of NCI’s current top performing salespeople in the field.

Brian DiBella, CPA in Rocky Hill, Connecticut

Brian DiBella has big goals and he’s not afraid to let you know about them, as you’ll soon find out. This makes sense since Brian is also a big fan of motivational guru Tony Robbins, who places a large emphasis on goal setting in his motivational programs. I’m familiar with Tony because my father, Bruce Clark, the founder and CEO of NCI, has been a big fan himself since 1991 when he attended Tony’s live seminar. He gives Tony Robbins and his programs a lot of credit for the man he is today and what he has been able to accomplish with his life and his company.  He has incorporated some of the goal setting concepts that Tony puts forth in his material into the Plan 1 Practice Development Seminar.

Replacement CSR Headed for First Place Finish!

Things don’t always go the way you want them to, that’s a given. This can happen with the NCI Plan 2 program. In fact, approximately 25% of the Client Service Representatives we hire for our Plan 2 clients need to be replaced within the first 60 days of the program. Knowing this, we’ve built in safety measures to help our clients replace their CSR when this situation arises. Bob Roth was one such case. His initial CSR was not working out and needed to be replaced. He worked closely with NCI to see this through and we hired a replacement by the name of Victor Romandine. As you can read in this newsletter, and several prior issues, Victor has been highest performing CSR we have hired and trained over the past year and he and Bob have had a healthy lead in our annual CSR Sales Race for the majority of the race. Read on to learn more about this incredible story and how perseverance paired with an NCI Plan 2 marketing program can generate amazing results!