You’ve seen the ads. There’s a new guru in town: Andrew Argue claims to be help CPAs find clients and build their firms. Yes, even if you’re brand spanking new and don’t have any accounting experience!
Being a former corporate finance consultant (working in an accounting firm) I was naturally suspicious. How is it possible that one could offer accounting services without the necessary qualifications?
While my first thought was to immediately dismiss this as a scam, the allure of being able to run your firm was too great. So I did some digging.
In this article we’ll scrutinize Andrew Argue’s claims – is this guy really worth his salt? In particular, we’ll be looking at his program – Next Level Firms.
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His Credentials, References and Reviews
Our first port of call is to verify that Andrew Argue is who he says he is. After doing a quick Andrew Argue LinkedIn review, we found that he really did practice as an accountant at a big four accounting firm, PwC. He was there for 2 years, making it to senior associate.
What stood out more was that Andrew Argue had run his own business prior to running his training program. This leads me to believe that what he teaches has more to do with selling and business rather than accounting.
On his site you’ll also see many a review of Andrew Argue, all thanking him for his help in starting and growing their accounting practice. A quick scan revealed that the reviewers were mainly CPAs already. Many of the reviews also praised the program’s ability in helping them win more clients.
Again, this further reaffirms my belief that the course is more about selling skills than accounting.
Can you really offer accounting services without a license?
Here’s the biggest issue I have with Andrew Argue. He claims that you can run a successful business offering accounting services even if you don’t have any qualifications or licenses.
As far as I’m aware, you’re going to need a license if you’re going to offer public accounting services. All states in the US also require that you have a bachelor’s degree before granting you a state license.
Andrew’s Next Level Firms training does provide a few modules on accounting and book keeping training, but the focus of the program is clear: selling and marketing yourself is far more important for the running of a successful firm.
Andrew recommends that you need to find a niche that you can sell your accounting services to. I believe he’s practicing what he preaches. He is providing selling and business skills, but positioned himself as a sales expert in the accounting field. However, you could learn those same sales and business skills from a sales specialist like Grant Cardone.
How much does it cost?
The cost of the program isn’t revealed until after you go through the complimentary strategy session with Andrew’s team. This isn’t really any cause for alarm. It’s fairly typical for online training companies to reveal cost after making contact with you.
The reason for this? They want to thoroughly communicate the program’s value before revealing the price. The idea is that you’ll come to the conclusion that winning $x,xxx monthly clients is invaluable compared to the cost of the course.
However, this also says to me that you’d be looking at paying a pretty hefty sum for the training. Probably in the high hundreds to low thousands range. To reiterate, this is not necessarily a bad deal. But you’ll just have to go through the strategy session before you get to see the cost.
Final Verdict: Is it a scam?
Apart from Andrew’s claim that you can practise without a license, there really isn’t anything that jumps out at me yelling “SCAM!” I do honestly believe however, that he’ll be teaching general business and selling skills rather than anything specific to the accounting field.
To be honest, I do agree that sales and marketing skills will be the key driver to growing and scaling an accounting firm (or any business for that matter.)
So I’d probably advise this.
For people with no/little accounting background who want to start a business: you’re probably just as likely to get good selling and business training with another great selling course. There are a plethora of selling courses out there. There’s also no reason for you to start an accounting firm specifically.
For people with an accounting firm who want to win more clients: you’ve got the accounting sussed. So you’re probably looking to beef up your selling skills to get more clients. Andrew Argue’s course could put that sales training into context for you. So you have to decide: do you really need sales training for the accounting industry specifically? Otherwise, I’d recommend going for an established sales specialist.
If you’re looking for business and selling courses, then I’d recommend going with Grant Cardone. He’s a renowned sales specialist and the prices for his courses can be found at his website. No hidden costs. Whatever you decide, I wish you all the best with your business! Hope this review was useful to you.