Cameron, Smith & Co. has announced an 86% increase in billings and collections following its implementation of a customized consulting program from Sterling, a practice management company located in Glendale, CA.
“Before Sterling, my staff suffered from ‘upward delegation.’ That is a term I coined for staff who do substandard work and then expect you to fix it,” says Rob Cameron, CPA, and practice owner. “Their jobs were defined by their 9 to 5 schedules rather than getting their work done correctly and on time.”
Cameron reports that tax seasons were a grind with people “snapping and snarling at each other.” The company hired part-timers to carry the load but with no systems in place for them to follow, the part-timers added more confusion to the practice. Much effort was required to get work out the door.
The long hours and stress of running the practice spilled over into Cameron’s personal life. He missed important family events and his sons’ ball games, which he regretted. “My wife detested it all,” he explains.
Although Cameron had considered adding staff to deal with the practice’s ongoing backlog, when he studied the national surveys, there was nothing in the numbers to suggest adding another employee. Instead, he opted for management consulting from Sterling. His reasoning was if the consulting helped him avoid hiring another employee, it would more than pay for itself.
Cameron reports the Sterling program did more than that. “Sterling addressed what I wanted to handle on the first day; the rest was like gravy” he explains. “The management courses were unlike any I had taken. I also worked with our consultant who gave us a well-defined set of actions to take and worked with us to get them done.”
Through Sterling’s personnel testing, Cameron, Smith & Co, was able to identify worthwhile job candidates which helped turn around the staff productivity issue. Sterling’s marketing programs moved the company into promoting its services, something Cameron had previously considered too risky and too expensive. “I wouldn’t have known what to do with the extra clients anyway,” he adds.
Cameron also began to rise in his profession and has just completed a three-year commitment as the chair of the Illinois CPA Society. “It’s rewarding to have a voice in national affairs,” he comments.
“I’ve been able to bring my life back into balance; I’m more relaxed and have a much better relationship with my family,” Cameron says. “People ask me if I like my work. I tell them I love it and it’s fun 95% of the time. They’re surprised because work is not supposed to be fun. Before Sterling, I would have agreed.”
Sterling is a practice management consulting firm which provides customized consulting and training to accounting practice owners to help them achieve a better practice for a better life. In business for three decades, Sterling has delivered management seminars to over 175,000 professionals and their staffs and more then 70,000 management and personal achievement courses to clients and their staffs. Sterling consultants have delivered over half-a-million hours of consulting, apprenticing and coaching. As a result, Sterling clients have seen their revenues and productivity rise to unprecedented levels. For more information on Sterling, its services and client testimonials, visit www.sterlingcpa.net.