Company Name: Apex CPAs & Consultants, Inc.
About the business: Accounting and consulting services
Location: St. Charles, IL USA
Owner: James N. Chakires, CPA, CVA
Year Founded: 1998
Number of Employees: 9
E-Myth Program: E-Myth Mastery Program®

It can be challenging for business owner clients to effectively share what they’re learning in the E-Myth Mastery Program® with their team. But some clients like Jim Chakires at Apex CPAs & Consultants, have created a company culture that makes it easy to drive innovation. Chakires has created his “E-Myth Mastery Team” who meet once a week to discuss what they are learning and implementing from the program. They use the management and leadership techniques they learned from E-Myth to get everyone on the same page, working toward a single goal: the creation of a successful business.

About the Business

Not your traditional accounting practice, Apex encompasses accounting, consulting and marketing services all focused on innovation, efficiency and unmatched client fulfillment. The firm offers growth-minded small or middle market business owners’ unparalleled professional services.


We thought it only appropriate for the July Client of the Month, the month we celebrate US independence, to mention one of Jim's projects: To raise awareness for Operation Support Our Troops Illinois—a cause Jim feels passionately about—he has done what no other CPA has done in the history of bean counting. For meeting his fundraising goal of $10,000, Jim has shaved his hair into a RED, WHITE and BLUE MOHAWK! Talk about wearing your patriotism on your sleeve... er head!

When I first found E-Myth, I was having the same feeling that everyone has at some time in their business growth cycle. That feeling that the business had grown beyond the point of me being able to physically control all the important aspects of the Company. I needed the help of others. Then I realized, no one in my organization understood exactly what to do, how to do it and most importantly, why I wanted it done a certain way. The business was becoming something I did not want and I had to regain control. E-Myth has provided me the framework to do this.

The biggest challenge I found before E-Myth Mastery was getting buy-in from my people when I had an idea I wanted to implement. I was often viewed as a "mad scientist" or I would hear statements like, "there goes Jim changing things again." When we began E-Myth, the best thing I did was form an E-Myth Committee. The Committee was made up of me, our Office Manager, one of our Senior Accountants and our Marketing Director. I wanted a representative cross-section of all important areas of the business. The reason this has been so effective is that I had their support to carry to the rest of the organization because their input was worked into each concept. Not to mention, I had their help in completing many of the assignments.

Our "ah-ha" moment came from identifying and quantifying our intangible Key Strategic Indicators (the quantification of your company's condition compared to your goals). Before this we had no idea how to quantify "Our Professional Reputation" or the synergy between Apex and our marketing firm, Strategem. Creating legends for our intangible Key Strategic Indicators added a whole new dimension to measuring my Company's progress. We then innovated this process by submitting a questionnaire quarterly to our team where they rank our progress in each of our Key Strategic Indicators and we graphically trend the results showing the Company's average score. My score is shown in a different color so I can easily see where I think we are relative to where my people think we are.

I also have one Key Strategic Indicator that only I measure; it's called "Owner Irrelevance" and it's the my most important Indicator. When I become virtually irrelevant to the Company—while it is carrying out its Strategic Objective—my work is done.

Another "ah-ha" moment was the implementation of the Key Frustration Process. We really use this to determine the most important things to go into the Operations Manuals. Before this, we thought Operations Manuals were more mechanical, starting with step 1, go to step 2 and so on. The Key Frustration Process really uncovers the most important areas in your business that need attention. Then you simply create a system or process to address it. It's pretty cool and it gets easier the more often you do it.

While no surprise to most small business owners, 2008 and 2009 were challenging years for many of us. Collections really became an issue and we had to develop a new collections policy to follow. It has helped us significantly and has greatly reduced the amount of time my billing person has to spend collecting money. You may have to accept losing a few customers and working in some "grandfather" programs for those who are already behind, but your good customers understand and you'll only lose the customers you don't want anyway.

The Mastery Program ® has provided me a platform to build a business that works. It is a tremendous amount of work, but everything we have done so far has been necessary to move closer to the Company's Strategic Objective. E-Myth Mastery has brought a great deal of clarity to where we want to go. It has given me the roadmap I was starved for. The program ensures I address each of The Seven Centers of Management Attention™ required to build a business that works.

Small business owners do not have the time or the resources to research the art of business building on their own. The program has provided me with a practical approach to doing it. Once the framework is put into place, you always have the option to make it much more sophisticated later. However, it may not be necessary for every aspect of your business. So, you can prioritize and focus on the areas that will provide the greatest impact first and when time permits, address some of the others. The process never stops.

If you are looking to remain a self-employed employee, this program is not for you. If you want to build a business that works, you cannot afford not to use this process. It is a lot of work and you must be committed to it. It is not something you do to check off your list and then shelf it. It requires constant attention but it will pay off in a big way. As a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Valuation Analyst, I understand the effects of systems in the value of a business. Building a business that works, from the inside out, will command a significantly higher sale price at the closing table…guaranteed!

— James N. Chakires, CPA, CVA – President & CEO

+1 541.552.4600
United States