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Does Your CPA Firm Sell Outcomes or Deliverables?

Today I’m going to dig into what deliverables are and what they sound like in the CPA world, so that you can get better at recognizing them and understand why it’s such a problem to sell deliverables. We’ll talk about what outcomes you might consider selling so that you know what it sounds like. And finally, when you’re stuck in deliverables, how to convert them into outcomes. 

CPA deliverables sound like this: P&L, balance sheet, accounting services, financial service, individual, and business tax prep, state and trust tax, print, nonprofit tax prep, tax planning, tax presentation, bookkeeping and write-up, business valuation, cashflow and budget analysis, payroll, accounting software selection and setup, elder care, monthly meetings, spreadsheet of your most important KPIs, plans and projections, tax returns, a secure password-protected portal, and succession planning. 

Why is it a problem to sell deliverables? 

1. It’s not what your clients want.

2. Not only is it not what they want, it’s that they might not even know that that’s what they need. 

Who really wants an analysis of their budget? If, on the other hand, we take care of your financial health and wellness, that’s a different conversation. 

3. Deliverables unto themselves are of limited value. And because value must exceed price for your prospect to buy, deliverables will suppress your prices, because deliverables will always be less valuable than outcomes. 

So take for example, a P&L. A P&L is valuable, but by comparison to outcomes, like stop having a bank account that’s always empty, start filling up your emergency funds and saving for retirement. That’s much more valuable. 

Deliverables are of limited value. Outcomes and results and transformations are limitless in value. So sell those instead. 

Now you’re wondering what outcomes do I sell instead? It depends on what your niche or vertical wants. 

So here’s where the meat is in this burger. When you are stuck in deliverables, how do you get your head into outcomes? Use this little phrase: SO THAT

It works like this: 

  • Get your P&L every month on time so that you know where your money went. 
  • Get your balance sheet so that you know what your business is worth. 
  • Take care of your estate planning so that your loved ones get your assets, not the government. 
  • Get on top of your cash flow so that you are never late on paying your employees. 
  • Get on top of your cash flow so that you are not up at night wondering if that check will clear. 
  • Get a spreadsheet full of KPIs so that you know what numbers to focus on and can stop guessing about what drives profitability in your business.
  • Use our password-protected portal so that you can send us your documents easily and securely. 
  • Let’s do a business valuation so that you know how much you can get for your business when you put it up for sale. 

So that. This is the phrase that gets you out of deliverables so that you can get into results, so that you can provide more value to your clients, so that you can increase your prices, so that you can work less and earn more because that’s the ultimate outcome, right?

Stop selling deliverables and start selling outcomes. 

If you want help transitioning your accounting practice from selling lower value deliverables to selling high value outcomes put 15 minutes on my calendar. Just head over to and click on the big fat red Schedule Time with Me button and the interwebs will take it from there. 


Episode mentioned:

110 15 Phrases to Scrub from your CPA Firm’s Website

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