Capstone Marketing Blog, Marketing

How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis for Your CPA Firm

The third in a series of blog posts based upon The 90-Day Marketing Plan for CPA Firms: How to Create the Roadmap for Your Firm’s Growth.

The SWOT analysis assesses your firm’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It begins by conducting an inventory of your internal strengths and weaknesses. You will then note the external opportunities and threats that may affect your firm, based on your market and the overall environment.

The primary purpose of the SWOT analysis is to identify and assign each significant factor, positive and negative, to one of the four categories, allowing you to take an objective look at your business. The SWOT analysis will be a useful tool in developing and confirming your goals and your marketing strategy.

Here are questions to ask for each SWOT analysis category:


  • What do you do well?
  • What resources do you have?
  • What skills and credentials do your people possess?
  • What advantages do you have over your competition?
  • What sales/marketing experience do you have that can help you grow your client base?


  • What expertise do you lack?
  • In what areas is your competition better?
  • What areas can you improve?
  • Do you have a steady cash flow to keep the firm afloat?


  • What trends might impact the accounting industry?
  • Are your competitors failing to service the market properly?
  • Are there any new trends you could use to leverage new services?
  • What external changes might present new opportunities?
  • Is there any demand on the market no one seems to be fulfilling that you could use to your advantage?


  • What factors are potential threats to your business?
  • Is there a better equipped competitor in the market?
  • What new developments might affect your clients’ situation?

What’s Next?

The internal strengths and weaknesses, compared to the external opportunities and threats, can offer additional insight into the condition and potential of your firm. How can you use the strengths to better take advantage of the opportunities ahead and minimize the harm that threats may introduce if they become a reality? How can weaknesses be minimized or eliminated?

Be honest when conducting your SWOT analysis.  Be honest with each other – and yourself – about the state of your firm, what you’re doing well, what you need help with, what opportunities there are and if there are obstacles so great that you consider them threats to the success of your marketing efforts.

Want to learn more about The 90-Day Marketing Plan process? Join me for a live webinar on October 2, 2014, 12:00-1:15 p.m. Eastern and chat with me and other participants about your own challenges and opportunities, compare notes, get ideas, find out what works and what doesn’t at other firms.