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For Paul Miller, Newsweek Expert Forum is a Gateway to New Connections

Paul Miller started out the way most young accountants do — working at someone else’s accounting firm. “I would do a tax return and I would work all day for $250,” he recalls. “I felt that if I was going to work this hard, I really wanted it to be for me and my family.” So, more than 25 years ago, he struck out on his own to launch Miller & Company. Since then, his company has grown to 30 to 40 employees, depending on the time of year, and has offices in Florida, New York, and Washington, D.C.

“I play financial therapist all day,” says Miller. His goal is to make life easier and less stressful when it comes to anything in the realm of accounting. That could mean helping a client figure out how she can afford to renovate her home-based business, or helping someone navigate a thorny issue with the IRS. Miller’s 3,000 clients range from mom-and-pop businesses to very large companies and high-net-worth individuals across the U.S. and abroad.

To grow his company, Miller has employed several techniques that may also be applicable to other service providers. First, he has focused for many years on acquiring other accounting firms; he’s done approximately seven acquisitions. “Some worked out very well and some were challenging,” he says. “When I was younger, I wasn’t as diligent as I am today.” Among his most successful acquisitions was the business of a long-practicing and revered accountant who worked with Miller for a year to transition clients. “I met all his clients at least once and I still have all of them today,” he says.

“I find that [Newsweek Expert Forum] has been a very good marketing tool."

Secondly, while Miller continues to get new business through existing clients, he’s also been diligent about networking with various other service providers. “One of the nice things about being an accountant is that you get to see who everyone’s financial advisor is and who their insurance broker is and you get to see what’s working and what’s not working,” says Miller. Those professionals can be good sources of new clients.

Several years ago, Miller questioned a client about a recurring expense to a company with an unfamiliar name. As it turned out, it was a search engine optimization firm, which the client had been using with great success. “That was my introduction to SEO,” recalls Miller, who immediately saw the potential benefit to his own practice. He hired a marketing company, developed a more sophisticated website and began using SEO to promote his business. The result: do a Google search for “best accountants NYC” and you’ll find Miller's Company on the first page of results. It doesn’t hurt that Miller’s URL is “cpafirmnyc.com.”

During the pandemic, Miller and his team had their work cut out for them, working sixteen hours a day for two years. “The pandemic was great for business but it was horrible for work,” says Miller. The federal and state governments had launched a variety of programs — PPP was just one — to help businesses survive COVID. And with those programs came a raft of compliance requirements. “It was relentless and it all fell on the accountants’ shoulders,” he says.

Miller joined Newsweek Expert Forum to meet new people and exchange ideas. “I’ve met a lot of wonderful people and have had great conversations with them,” he says. “I’m very happy that I joined [Newsweek Expert Forum.]” Virtual events have been an effective way for him to learn and share new information, whether it’s participating in breakout room conversations, or listening to guest speakers. An added, unexpected benefit of membership: “I find that it’s been a very good marketing tool,” Miller says. He’s a regular contributor to Expert Panels and finds that sharing them on social media frequently results in more followers, particularly on Twitter.

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