How to Deal With Competition and Stand Out in the Crowded Accounting Industry


As a financial professional, it may feel daunting to build a business in an industry where there are so many bookkeepers, accountants, and advisors your clients can choose from, especially if you are a millennial who is new to the industry. So here are three key steps you need to take to stand out from the crowd.

Be Authentic: Your Perspective and Flavor Can Only Be Delivered by You

While you may feel this phrase is overused, it is an area where we could all use as a reminder, especially if you’re tired of potential clients comparing you to other financial professionals. If you’re finding that potential clients are comparing your rates to others within the industry, take a step back and reconnect to your unique strengths. Your perspective and flavor can only be delivered by you.

Once you’re clear on your individual approach, it is wise to then take a look around the industry and be aware of what’s working for others. Then incorporate what you love about them! As the great Tony Robbins says, “If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.”

At the same time, you don’t want to compromise your individuality. At the end of the day, we all want to work with like-minded people. Consider, TSheets. Not only does the product address a need in the market (mobile time tracking), but users are attracted to the company because of the authentic culture they have cultivated. Friendly, approachable, caring: All of these traits are a lovely blend of magnetic qualities that draw like-minded clients to their platform, in spite of the fact that there are a plethora of tools that a business could use to track employee time.

Know Your Why: Show the World Why You Love Your Profession

The second key is to know your why and communicate it effectively. Ask yourself, Is my mission clear and transparent? Simon Sinek says it best. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” So we need to be clear about why we got into this industry in the first place and display this message clearly so others will know what you and your brand represent. It’s very similar to a romantic relationship!

In the beginning, when you’re in the honeymoon stage, you are happy to share your love with the world. And then reality hits and though you are still in love, the relationship becomes stagnant. What do you need to do? Spice up your relationship again and reflect and reconnect to the reasons why your SO decided to be together.

This is what you need to do with your business: Be clear about why you are in your profession, communicate it to others, and reflect on it when things become stagnant. Remember the hunger you had when you first started your practice! This energy will draw others towards your brand and help you grow a successful, thriving business that allows you to live your best life.

Be Innovative: Stay up to Date and in the Know

Last but definitely not least is to remain committed to continued education. Your ability to stay ahead of the curve has never been more important. In order to be a full package — to walk the walk and talk the talk — you need to stay up to date with what’s happening within the accounting profession. Our clients are intelligent and know what’s happening in the accounting space. It is your duty and responsibility to be their trusted advisor and help them create a healthy business.

Keeping your clients on a single tool alone, when there are more efficient and effective tools to use, is harming their ability to grow as a business. But working on the cloud with systems like QuickBooks Online, Gusto, and TSheets can make your job easier and their businesses more productive.

In a time when many of our traditional services are being commoditized by technology, it is imperative to remain current with your certifications and stay abreast of new tools. Innovation allows you to be more effective as a financial professional while also giving you the freedom to focus on marketing to attract your ideal clients.

If you commit to these three steps, your practice and brand will stand out like a shining star!

About the Author

Danetha Doe is a millennial thought leader within the accounting profession. Recognized as one of the top 40 under 40 accounting professionals by CPA Practice Advisor in 2015, she is passionate about helping others thrive in their accounting career. For more marketing and branding tips, visit, and sign up for her weekly newsletter.

1 Comment

  1. Ellen Allen says:

    Good stuff! Thanks!!

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