In a recent conversation, David Toth, Chief Growth Officer of Winding River Consulting, sat down with Eric Majchrzak, CEO and Principal of BeachFleischman and Managing Partner Bootcamp alumni. Below is a summary of their conversation.
BeachFleischman has come a long way since Eric Majchrzak joined the firm approximately 11 years ago. Back then, the firm was an emerging player in the state of Arizona. Today, BeachFleischman stands as the largest privately-owned CPA firm in Arizona and ranks among the IPA top 200 firms in the United States.
The firm has been around for over 30 years, and since Eric joined, has experienced remarkable growth. Eric explains: “when I started at BeachFleischman in 2012, we had around $16 Million in revenues at the time. Today, we’re at about $40 Million.”
Eric’s Non-Traditional Path to CEO
Eric’s journey to the CEO role at BeachFleischman has been anything but conventional. After getting his start working for a beer distributor in Buffalo, Eric spent time working in broadcast radio and financial marketing before joining a Top 100 firm in New York, where he progressed to be their Director of Marketing.
“Accounting as a career for me is my fourth career, but I’ve always been in marketing and sales in some capacity,” notes Eric.
At the time, the State of New York, like many other states, required that to be a shareholder in an accounting firm, an individual had to have a CPA. So, when BeachFleischman made him an offer to become a shareholder and their Chief Marketing Officer, Eric jumped at the opportunity.
“From the start, BeachFleischman was very committed to the growth function and trusted me with the privilege to build marketing and growth. I held the Chief Marketing Officer role for five or six years, then became Chief Strategy Officer, and then made the move to the CEO role in 2022.”
Taking a Holistic Approach to Firm Growth
For Eric, taking a holistic approach to sales and marketing has helped him shape BeachFleischman’s growth trajectory:
“To me, success has always been about determining what our clients’ needs are and how we provide consistent value. Our growth is driven by the launch of new products and services, M&A, and extending our distribution.”
Digital marketing has always been a key component of BeachFlesichman’s strategic plan. “I’ve always believed that the marketing and growth function within a firm has to be a revenue driver. You have to make it that – you can’t wait for an invitation, just grab a hold of it and claim your domain,” explains Eric.
One core pillar of this strategy has been the creation of local landing pages optimized for SEO. “Creating these landing pages that are optimized for Google has generated over a thousand leads every year through our website,” notes Eric.
This led to a new challenge. “You know your marketing department is doing a good job when the leads generated outpaced a firm’s ability to actually onboard those clients,” reflects Eric. “It’s a good problem to have, but it’s a complex challenge – you have to transform your service delivery model so that your firm is able to deliver high-quality services to clients no matter where they are.”
An Innovative Approach to Outsourcing
Finding ways to build differentiation while increasing capacity has been a key focus for BeachFleischman. One major recent move the firm has made is acquiring Kuadra Support, an outsourcing business based in Mexico. For Beach Fleischman, it was the perfect match.
We were actually a client of Kuadra for a couple of years before we made the purchase,” explains Eric. “We recently acquired a majority ownership stake, and we’re really excited about it. It helps us address the people shortage and talent pipeline issues all firms face and build capabilities to help clients that have a lot of cross-border business in Mexico”.
BeachFleischman has big goals for Kuadra. “Beyond just using it for our own use, our goal is to transform it into an alternative solution for other firms to tap into offshoring with our neighbors to the south. Our teams have similar cultures, the employees are bilingual, and the time zones are the same.”
“We don’t have all the answers yet. We’re still learning every day and ironing out the kinks, but it’s going to be a game changer for us strategically,” comments Eric.
Navigating the Challenges Faced by the Accounting Profession
“The pace of change in our industry is incredible. Whether that be technology, automation, AI, new tech platforms that we’re onboarding, processes, the increased volume of M&A activity – there’s so much to absorb today,” says Eric.
For BeachFleiscman, it’s all about trying to pick and choose the best opportunities. Reflecting on the growth of BeachFlesichman’s advisory practice, Eric comments:
“We’ve tried to grow our advisory practice through organic means, tapping leaders to take initiative to move the practice forward. We’ve seen some success with that and some failures. We’ve tried to merge in advisory practices. We’ve tried joint ventures and strategic partnerships. And we’ve made some acquisitions,” explains Eric.
“Firms have to be flexible. We’re going to do whatever it takes to accomplish our strategic plan.”
The Role of MBP: Leadership Accelerated
Eric attended MBP: Leadership Accelerated in early 2020, right as the effects of the pandemic were beginning to become clear. He reflects:
“I remember Gary Shamis saying that the decisions we make today would define whether our firm would be successful or not coming out of the pandemic. I took that to heart. We made so many changes and investments during COVID.”
The focus on taking a comprehensive approach to firm management particularly sticks out in Eric’s mind. “As the CEO, you’re really looking at the firm holistically. You’re managing culture, talent, technology, growth, and so much more. MPB: Leadership Accelerated prepped me really well for that.”
Looking to the Future: Embracing Change as Opportunity
Eric remains focused on the future. “There has never been more opportunity in our profession than there is right now with trends like AI, the growing influence of private equity, and the transformation of the traditional business model. Firms can either view these changes as a threat or as an opportunity.”
For Eric and BeachFleischman, it’s all about framing change as an opportunity. “If you can show people that this is an opportunity for them, then you can adapt and transform a lot quicker than if you just frame something as more change.”