“Our clients have been ecstatic about the change. Now that they know what their accounting and consulting bill is going to cost throughout the year, they can budget it better. It’s also helped clean up our AR, which used to be a real headache. (You can see Chris talking about his transition value billing in a video interview with Bill Sheridan for the Florida Institute of CPAs at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oa5Pf2ZSIG8 or by searching YouTube for “Value Billing, One Firm’s Journey.”
Chris has also transitioned to a more streamlined workflow, centered on a single suite of professional tax and accounting programs, the integration between modules helping reduce redundant data entry. The three-person, full-service practice specializes in tax and virtual bookkeeping services, as well as implementation and training of small business technology. As one of the most experienced auditors in the area, Chris’ father also continues to provide client services from both firms.
Chris’ practice scored a 335 on the Productivity Survey, a free web-based tool (www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com/Productivity) that helps firms assess their workflow and technology usage, and provides benchmarking against similarly sized practices.
As his firm has evolved and started to grow, Chris’ clients have trended younger and more tech savvy, like himself, which makes the technology consulting side of his practice more successful. This lends to more cordial and interpersonal relationships with some, such as the family that runs the travel services company (www.iwantacruise.com), and slow-food enthusiast and brew master Ben Davis, who also owns Intuition AleWorks (www.intuitionaleworks.com).
Chris is increasingly active in the profession and is a member of the THRIVEal+ CPA Network (www.thriveal.com), an online community of “new-age CPAs” founded by Jason Blumer. He also belongs to the AICPA and FICPA, and has a blog at www.Apr16.com.
But Chris is far from being an “all work” kind of guy. Although he has remote access capabilities that allow him to work from virtually anywhere, he manages to mostly leave work at work, and spends the rest of his time with his wife Razan and five year-old son Rami.
The Farmands, part of a large community of Christian Palestinians in the Jacksonville area, also keep close to their heritage, visiting Ramallah annually. And Chris is the treasurer of the non-political and nonprofit group Ramallah American Club of Jacksonville (www.ramallahclubjax.com).
Though having achieved a good measure of success in a short time, his overall philosophy hasn’t changed dramatically since his days doing improv. “Let’s laugh together,” is his mantra, whether he’s talking to a friend, a client or an IRS agent. (And by the way, he claims to have actually heard one laugh back.)