Friday, March 13, 2015

Top do’s and don’ts when opening a new CPA office

Late last year, I entered my 34th year in practice and completed my fourth CPA office opening, in Park City, Utah. Our firm now has nine offices in three states. Opening an office more than 700 miles from the one I had been working at in Long Beach, Calif., presented a number of unique issues, including adapting to a true four-season climate (where I am accumulating summer and winter tires at an alarming rate), learning about a new regional business environment, identifying other local professional service providers to partner with, and getting the firm and myself registered with the state of Utah.

Is your firm considering opening a new office in the near future? If so, here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned while making my many relocations:  
  1. Do your research. If you are venturing into a new geographic region, there are many things you should research before you make the move, including your competition, typical billing rates in the area, the employment market, the types of salaries your potential clients will make, and the candidate pool for new hires.
  2. Relocate or hire key staffers. Evaluate whether any of your current employees might be open to relocating. When we opened a satellite office for a Big Four firm in the Los Angeles market, the managing partner allowed us to hand-pick our staff and seniors to ensure that the transition was smooth and the probability of success was higher. But if such transfers aren’t practical for your firm, your priority should be to hire a key employee (generally a manager) who has many connections in your new community and can assist with recruiting, practice development, and community involvement. Consider using a headhunter to help you find the right person.

To read full article, click here.

Source: Blake Christian, CPA (

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