Jan 11 2023 /

How to Set Ambitious Accounting Goals to Elevate Your Accounting Firm to Success

How to set accounting goals

Businesses of all types set firm goals based on diverse data points designed to achieve both short and long-term profits. Accounting firms, who are in part responsible for the financial health of all other companies, must do the same. Concrete, actionable goals allow your business to help them while also elevating you toward true success. 

When you understand how to set the right type of goals, achievement follows naturally from targeted effort. Explore the power of SMART goals and draw from examples that can help your accounting firm create an effective plan to grow your brand revenue in the best way possible.

Short Term and Long-Term Goals

One of the most important aspects of setting a goal  is when you want to achieve it. Both short and long-term goals provide a clear path forward for your firm’s growth. Setting them allows you to define a primary objective for both the entire team and individual employees. The more specific and actionable goals you create, the more likely you are to achieve them.

Short-term goals for accountants include things you can implement or accomplish quickly in order to make a difference in day-to-day operations or that affect long-term planning. The benefits do not only focus on functional aspects, however. When your firm or staff achieve something measurable, they are more likely to increase efforts elsewhere. Align short-term targets with both business and personal development to increase enthusiasm and accomplishment. Achieving goals increases focus, gives quicker and more satisfying rewards, and creates an atmosphere of success that reverberates through everything.

These goals can include everyone, from owners or managers to temporary employees, and are usually focused on specific parts of operations. Some examples include:

  • Upgrading office equipment or integrating new software platforms
  • Improving processes to boost efficiency
  • New systems or method training for employees
  • Marketing campaign-specific goals

Long-term goals to increase firm success focus more on ongoing metrics. These take longer to achieve and are often scalable as your company achieves them. For example, specific client numbers are a common goal. When you reach the first set level, you extend it higher. If you do not make long-term goals, your accounting firm will lack direction and an effective overall strategy that continues growth and revenue generation. Besides obvious metrics associated with the precise goals themselves, longer term thinking provides more for your company as a whole. Identifying brand objectives brings clarity for both employees and clients. Objectives create a unique type of focus that informs every task, decision-making process, and even hiring practices.

You want your accounting firm to stand the test of time. It makes logical sense to develop an ongoing strategy with intelligent goals for different future dates. Some other examples include:

  • Revenue or profit numbers
  • Number of new clients from specific business sizes or types
  • Expansion into new areas, markets, or general hiring growth
  • Development or integration of new accounting or bookkeeping services

Together, short and long-term goals define a clear path forward for accounting firms with an eye on growth and increasing revenue. You understand their importance. Now learn how to create goals that practically ensure you meet them.

SMART Goals: How to Make Your Accounting Goals Achievable

When setting goals focused on either short- or long-term achievement, the most important method involves following the SMART criteria. This acronym defines best practices for creating targeted pathways that actually achieve success. The letters stand for:

  • S – Specific. These goals have well-defined elements to destroy any confusion or ambiguity. They frequently focus on numbers.
  • M – Measurable. How can you tell if you achieved the objective if you cannot measure the results? Making things “better” is subjective. Finding a way to measure improvements is key to elevating your accounting firm.
  • A – Achievable. While extreme goals may feel exciting at first, there is a very small chance of achieving them. Create realistic goals with a higher likelihood of success.
  • R – Relevant. What actions or metrics most closely align with how your accounting firm measures accomplishment? Focus on overall and long-term objectives.
  • T – Time-sensitive. Getting 20 new clients “someday” means little. Target dates or specific time frames for every growth metric.

SMART goals

Some examples of SMART goals for accountant firms include:

  • Specific – Increase revenue by $25,000
  • Measurable – Reduce overhead office costs by $5,000
  • Achievable – Boost client numbers by 15% (not 80%)
  • Relevant – Train all employees on a more efficient CRM platform
  • Time-sensitive – Achieve all of this by the third quarter

Of course, every professional accounting firm will have different definitions of growth and success. It differs greatly based on size, target market, location, and other factors. Create SMART goals that make sense for your organization. Remember that “achievable” is one of the key components.

5 Examples of Goals for Accountants

Based on our expertise, we have created a list of essential goals for your accounting firm to focus on. If you want your organization to be successful, remember the rules of SMART goal creation. Examples of accounting goals include:

1. Automate with Software

Introduce new software to improve the internal processes. Set up your internal workflow processes using a practice management platform and automate administrative tasks, such as emails, engagement letters and invoices. Use the support available to make sure that your entire team has learned the system to utilize app abilities to the fullest.

2. Onboard seasonal employees faster

Organize and automate the onboarding process – not just for new clients, but also for seasonal employees you bring in for the busy season. That way your time is freed up to focus on new client acquisition or marketing strategy. 

3. Develop a strong marketing and networking strategy

This can be accomplished through a variety of tactics, such as developing a strong online presence, participating in industry events and conferences, and leveraging existing relationships to find referral business. By attracting new clients, accountants and accounting firms can increase their revenue and grow their business.

For clients, working with an accountant or accounting firm that has a strong marketing and networking strategy can be beneficial because it can indicate that the firm is proactive in seeking out new business and staying up to date on industry requirements, as well as trends and best practices.

4. Increase Customer Satisfaction Rating

Achieve a high customer satisfaction rating of at least 7 out of 10 by consistently delivering timely and accurate financial services to clients. Thus, you can also build a strong reputation and network within the accounting industry to increase business and career opportunities.

5. Increase Client Numbers

Focus on attracting new, valuable clients to increase numbers 20% by the next quarter. This would involve new marketing strategies and adding CRM software to regular operations.

The goals created by accountants and bookkeeping firms can run the gamut from employee training to revenue numbers to brand vision statement details. Ultimately, as long as they are SMART and align with your intention to elevate your company, you will achieve new levels of success.


Success depends on many factors, but SMART short and long-term goal-setting will put accounting firms like yours on the right path. Without a plan and specific goals, every level of your organization will flounder. Hard work on its own may prove to be insufficient. Instead, you can combine the power of effective goal setting with a more efficient and powerful platform like TaxDome to help. The right in-house system for workflow management, customer relationships, documentation, and more can make all goals more achievable and elevate your firm to new levels of success.

Lisa Chaud

Lisa is a marketer at TaxDome. As someone who strives to provide the TaxDome community with the freshest data, she dives deep when conducting market research for accounting and bookkeeping industries. Her enthusiasm for all things accounting is matched only by her dedication to leading a physically active lifestyle that includes dancing and running.

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