DOUG SMITH AND MELINDA D’ANTOUNO CREATED A PROGRESSIVE CUSTOMER-FOCUSED ACCOUNTING FIRM TO UNIQUELY ADDRESS THE FRUSTRATIONS OF SMALL BUSINESSES.
In 2011, Doug and Melinda set out to start a new kind of CPA firm. They wanted to take a fresh look at the industry and create a firm that really addressed the needs of their clients – privately held businesses and their owners.
Small businesses in New Jersey and across the country share similar challenges. They often work with smaller accounting firms that have to manage so many individual relationships and returns, they cannot dedicate the time and resources needed to properly service privately held businesses. Similarly, when working with the larger firms, business owners often feel they are a small fish in a big pond and can feel like low priority clients.
AXIOM defines their best customers as businesses who are lost in the middle. For the past 12 years, their approach and model has given these businesses a home. Small business owners often experience inconsistent levels of service, a variety of less experienced professionals to support them, high staff turnover, communication breakdowns, escalating fees, and a lack of continuity about the unique aspects of their business.
Doug and Melinda recognized these frustrations and were determined to create an innovative firm that would overcome these concerns.
AXIOM IS DIFFERENT. BY WORKING EXCLUSIVELY WITH BUSINESSES AND THEIR OWNERS, THEY HAVE MUCH FEWER RELATIONSHIPS TO MANAGE AND ARE ABLE TO SPEND MORE TIME SERVING THEIR CLIENT’S NEEDS.
Axiom’s partners are fully engaged in doing the work. They know everything that is going on with each client. Account management is relational and structurally flat. In other words, there is no tiered “junior accountant to partner level” structure carving up how your company and its information is processed and managed. Axiom is responsive and available. They encourage calls and are genuinely interested in your questions and needs. It’s how they continually develop their model and maintain a customer centered outside-in culture. According to Partner, Melinda D’Antouno, “Without ongoing dialogue with our clients, there is no way to improve the alignment between our services and what clients value most. In fact, it’s how we made the decision to eliminate hourly billing. Our flat fee model has increased client satisfaction exponentially.”
In 2016, the partners discovered a new need from their clients that needed to be filled. Many of the businesses they were working with were not big enough to employ a full –time or even a part-time CFO. However, they desperately needed to bridge the gap between the bookkeeper and the business owner. They needed someone to provide them with reliable financial information and to help them learn how to interpret the results and make better, more informed decisions using their own data. What they needed was the most strategic information at a price point that fit their budget. Axiom once again created a solution to a client problem. That is how AXCELERATE was born.
AXCELERATE is an innovative and highly efficient business performance management solution designed to provide business owners with reliable financial and operational data that can be used to drive their business forward. AXCELERATE provides budgets and forecasts, along with monthly performance reviews and KPI dashboards. The AXCELERATE service model provides the most concise business performance data without the need for an internal/part-time CFO. This helps small businesses grow while maintaining a spend they can afford – all without sacrificing effectiveness.
AXCELERATE has been instrumental to a number of businesses that have successfully completed exit strategies. Both clients and potential investors/acquirers have commented that it is highly unusual to find privately held firms that have such a solid understanding of their business and the numbers. They have been extremely impressed with the amount of reliable and consistent data AXCELERATE has been able to provide them. AXCELERATE is a natural extension of Axiom’s accounting practice and solution that helps small businesses grow.
AXIOM is continually evolving in an effort to fill gaps and better serve businesses. They have developed an unwavering customer-centric culture operationally and continue to launch innovative services. AXCELERATE has been so successful, that they have just announced the launch of a new AXCELERATE PARTNER PROGRAM where they are working directly with other CPA, CFO, and consulting firms so that they can deliver the AXCELERATE model to their clients.
“At Axiom CPAs, we provide the right solutions, for the right clients. We do not attempt to be “all things to all people” but instead focus our time on those businesses and industries where we can provide the greatest value.” — The Partners