Swain Chartered Professional Accountants

We exist to inspire a nation of small business.

Swain Chartered Professional Accountants Inc.

The business

Swain Chartered Public Accountants Inc. is an accounting firm with a focus on more than just taxes. Based out of offices in Bridgewater and Halifax, the team at Swain CPA works to encourage owner-managers to harness their ideas and nurture them into successful businesses. 


Owner John Swain describes the purpose of the company as “we exist to inspire a nation of small business.”

What was it like before Focused Advanced Strategic Execution?

Swain CPA had grown to 14 staff members and nearly 1,000 clients. The business reached the $1 million+ revenue mark — big enough to require a business strategy and processes, but not big enough to afford HR, accounting and other supports. 


Why did you choose the FAST program?

John Swain recognized the company needed a strategy and processes to manage the business and plan for the right kind of growth. Swain knew Symplicity could help the company identify priority projects and offered the resources to help execute them to get Swain onto a more strategic, deliberate track.


How did the FAST program help?

Overhauling project processes. It became clear that processes for producing and delivering work for clients had to be overhauled. Previously, the company took an ad hoc approach, scheduling clients of different sizes as they came in and managing the projects at varying rates depending on client response times. 


Symplicity helped Swain CPA streamline how it scheduled and managed client work. Swain developed standardized systems to gather and manage client information, and set deadlines with clients for each stage of a project. This helped Swain CPA employees visualize their schedule and know what to do each day. The company created a new ‘chaser’ role to check in with clients and make sure projects stay on track.


Identifying the right clients. Swain CPA specializes in giving small business clients the attention they need. The company provides excellent service at the right price point for a small business client. 


As part of the FAST program, Swain identified it had hundreds of clients that did not fit the ‘ideal client’ profile. With Symplicity’s help, Swain was able to reduce its client load to focus on 220 of the right businesses. This increased capacity and efficiency. The company was able to reduce its staff from 14 to 7 employees while generating the same revenue. 


“Symplicity showed us we could generate the same revenue with less work and at half the cost. That’s a huge breakthrough.”

What results did you see because of the program?
  • Symplicity helped Swain & Associates increase its rate of return from 0% to 25%.

  • According to John Swain, staff are happier in their jobs than they’ve ever been. The company has seen 100% retention since they introduced new strategic processes. Team members can now work from anywhere, thanks to the scheduling and information-sharing system. He also notes. Working with the ‘right’ clients and introducing new project management processes eliminated negative reviews. 

  • Swain says his team has learned from the FAST program and other work with Symplicity and is ready to tackle strategic planning and execution on its own. 


“The biggest benefit of FAST is the fact you get access to Symplicity’s team of seasoned, experienced advisors and experts. They assess your business quickly and see the right path forward. Symplicity takes you through a rigorous process, but if you follow their system, the results are significant.”