As a new firm with a younger client base, Iconis Group takes advantage of technology to communicate with clients, typically by email, but also via SMS texting and instant messaging. She also uses Google Apps and notes that she’s in the process of improving her project and time management capabilities. She successfully used LinkedIn and Twitter to grow her firm in its early days, gaining like-minded technology and social media savvy clients. As a result of its technology usage and workflow processes, Iconis Group received a score of 172 on the Productivity Survey (www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com/productivity), a free online assessment tool for professional tax and accounting firms. Iconis Group uses a pay first, value pricing model. Cathy says, “I really hated tracking my hours at other firms, and fixed pricing provides more consistent cash flow planning for both our clients and our practice.”
She has always been somewhat of a “tech guru and Excel Queen,” and one of her greatest values to clients and her former employers has been her ability to quickly understand new technologies and integrate them in ways that make processes work better. As an example, she was commended by the construction firm for creating new templates for revenue projections that reduced the time required to process them from nearly a week to one day. She has also been involved with web development, and recently authored an article about the difference between tax-focused CPAs and what her firm does.
Since she doesn’t do income taxes, she doesn’t have a busy season … but does have higher workloads with mid-month write-ups, reconciliations and sales and use tax preparation. Her remote technologies allow her to work from virtually anywhere, whether at a client’s office, from home or from the firm’s office, where she says she spends less than 40 hours most weeks.
Her husband Mike, the COO of a transcription company, also enjoys a somewhat flexible schedule, which allows them both to spend time with their three year-old daughter, Isabell. A graduate of Oglethorpe University (www.oglethorpe.edu), Cathy has lived in Atlanta most of her life and is active with the Georgia Society of CPAs (www.gscpa.org) College Outreach Taskforce, which encourages area accounting students to become involved in the profession. She also served as the chair of the group’s College2Career conference and as a member of the GSCPA’s Southeastern Accounting Show Task Force.
Practice Specialties: Virtual CFO, Bookkeeping, Training, Consulting
Education: Oglethorpe University, Atlanta
Professional Associations: AICPA, Georgia Society of CPAs
Most Recent Book Read: “Safe Haven,” by Nicholas Sparks