“A lot of tax and accounting professionals that I’ve talked to are simply burned out from deadline-driven compliance work. That’s why they retire,” Lawhorn stated.
A key value proposition of the dual-ownership model is that firm owners are relieved of tedious administrative and compliance work. This work is completed through the Knoxville parent office. This frees the accountant to offer services that they are passionate about, like strategic planning and consulting, which clients also find exceptionally valuable.
“We want to prolong the professional career of tax and accounting professionals,” explained Lawhorn. “We like to think of it as giving accountants a chance at a second career. By taking the day-to-day work off their plate, they have a renewed motivation to perform value-added, higher billable work. The owner is happy, the client is getting the elevated service they require, and the business continues to grow. It’s a winning situation all around.”
Lawhorn’s business model also guarantees a succession plan. When owners are ready to retire, there’s already a controlled transition plan in place. The accountant works in the firm as long as they want and then transitions out at their own pace. There is no hard expiration date.
“The owner can retire when they are ready to retire, not when someone else says so. They have the security of continuing their career while Lawhorn CPA Group benefits by maintaining the owner’s expertise onsite,” explained Lawhorn.
Another benefit of the subsidiary dual-ownership model is that owners continue to maintain an interest in their firm, as well as any firm that joins the Lawhorn family. This inspires owners and firm staff to continue to invest in the success of the Lawhorn brand.
“Everyone has a stake in the success of The Lawhorn CPA Group. This is a big incentive to continue growing the business.”
Onward & Upward
Jason Lawhorn has his sights set uber high. He plans to acquire at least five new firms this year, 10 to 15 firms in 2012, and 15 to 20 more in 2013.
“I want to create a nationwide network of firms. At the same time, I want to preserve the experience and expertise of long-time practitioners. Our acquisition model benefits the owner, the client and the parent firm,” Lawhorn stated. “It also feels good. It’s a very fair and practical way to do business.”
Lawhorn’s subsidiary dual-ownership business model seems to cover all the bases…
- Allows firm owners to maintain an interest in their firm and all other firms in the Lawhorn network.
- Alleviates owners of time-consuming administrative and compliance work, allowing them to perform higher-value client work like consulting and planning.
- Offers clients highly personalized and valuable services from a seasoned professional.
- Eases the transition for staff and decreases attrition by maintaining long-term, familiar leadership.
- Guarantees a succession plan and controlled transition for owners.
- Motivates all employees to invest in the firm’s success.
The plan is solid; the business model sound. Throw Lawhorn’s energy into the ring, and great success is on the horizon. n