Accounting Industry

Essential KPIs for CPAs

By June 4, 2014 No Comments

KPIs for CPAs

Piles of tax returns. Dozens of ongoing projects. When tax season comes along, it’s hard enough to keep your head above water, much less have an accurate picture of your firm’s performance. This is where KPI dashboards can really come in handy. With KPI dashboards, you can take your existing data sources (CS Professional Suite, CCH Practice, etc.) and distill your firm’s activities into easy-to-digest visualizations.

First, let’s define KPI (key performance indicator):

“A performance indicator or key performance indicator (KPI) is a type of performance measurement. An organization may use KPIs to evaluate its success, or to evaluate the success of a particular activity in which it is engaged.”

Unlike a metric, which can either be lagging or leading, a KPI is always leading, meaning it measures only those activities that drive end results. (Source: Marlyn Group Blog)

The purpose of measuring KPIs is to get a real-time understanding of your firm’s performance so that you can make quick, informed decisions. You might lose a few clients here and there, but if it’s becoming a downward trend, you need to know as soon as possible so you can figure out why clients are leaving. On the other hand, you might be picking up a lot of new clients, but your client satisfaction might start to suffer as the workload increases. With a KPI dashboard displaying customer survey results, you can pick up on negative trends right away.

Here are some  KPIs any firm should be tracking.

11 Essential KPIs for CPAs

Financial Performance

  • Net Income
  • Revenue Growth
  • Accounts Receivable Turnover

Client Satisfaction

  • Survey Results
  • Retention Rates
  • Number of Referrals


  • Utilization
  • Realization
  • Billable Headcount

Status KPIs

  • Active Tax Returns in Process
  • Project Statuses

You can display these KPIs on a flatscreen for all of your staff to see, or build a private executive dashboard to access from your phone or computer.

How to Setup Your KPI Dashboard

We can help you build a custom-tailored KPI dashboard for your firm. All you need to do is tell us which KPIs, you want to track, where your data needs to be pulled from, and we’ll handle the rest. Contact us today to get started!

Leave a Reply