Mike Pinkus is the founder of ConnectCPA, a Canadian-based plug and play virtual accounting and bookkeeping firm that solves the finance pain point for scaling companies.
Today we discuss the last six years of ConnectCPA including the sales process, value pricing, and using referrals. We also discuss the role of technology and Mike's biggest challenges so far.
Mike and co-founder Lior decided to start ConnectCPA over a beer while discussing the use of technology to assist the finance and accounting function. Lior had seen this in New Zealand and Australia, and the two wanted to bring this service to North America.
Today, ConnectCPA has 40 employees all working fully distributed/remotely. In 2019, they closed out the year with 25 people. This has been a ton of growth in 2020. Starting as a bootstrapped business with almost no marketing, ConnectCPA has experienced their growth organically, largely through word of mouth and referrals. Mike believes this growth is due to their providing high-caliber services.
Mike and Lior have looked to change the model of accounting. Businesses today are accustomed to being served instantaneously. ConnectCPA wants to be an extension of the team, not an entity focused around annual compliance like in the traditional landscape of accounting.
Mike and the team at ConnectCPA are committed to value pricing. They've used hourly billing a handful of times when the situation is impossible to scope into an engagement.
"Everyone's looking for an outcome. They want financial visibility, they want things as fast as possible, and they want clarity over decision making... We felt that customers were going to be looking for outcomes more so than they would be looking for the time taken to execute."
"There is no "click here: buy". There's a discovery call, a technology meeting, and finally a pricing call in order to scope this out."
Mike does feel like this lengthier sales process with upfront work takes longer than is ideal, however, it's worth it for the relationship that's forged during this process and results in ConnectCPA functioning as an extension of the client entity. This relationship building also results in high quality referrals.
Mike feels his greatest challenges are the situations that require the involvement of the founder. Even with a high caliber, well-versed, polished leadership team, there will always be issues that arise that demand the attention of a founder or co-founder. His toughest days are when he realizes that these situation will always exist because of another occurrence.
"You have to have operating principles that are not granular, that people operate by and live by. Meaning you hire, fire, and promote based off of those values. You can't have a laundry list of values... We narrow it down to four things: going above and beyond, taking ownership of your work, being transparent, and putting the team first."
Learn more about Mike and ConnectCPA: https://www.connectcpa.ca/