The evolving landscape of technology is reshaping the expectations clients have for their accounting firm partners. Traditional models of interaction between firms and clients are gradually being replaced by innovative accounting software and cloud computing solutions.
However, this shift should not be seen as entirely negative. In fact, these changes bring forth fresh opportunities for adaptable firms willing to embrace them. We would like to offer you six strategies that you and your team can employ to revolutionise your firm’s utilisation of technology, enabling you to cultivate a more advantageous and mutually beneficial relationship with your clients.
1. Expand Your Menu of Services
The Problem – The overhead costs you face can hinder your ability to offer a wide range of services to your clients. Your talent roster cannot expand due to the constraints of these costs, which in turn limits the services you can provide. As a result, your potential and existing clients may seek out other firms with larger pools of talent and a broader array of services. These firms become one-stop shops for all accounting needs, eliminating the need for your limited offerings. This means that instead of competing solely with the firm nearby, you are now potentially competing with all accounting firms in the market.
The Solution – Outsource your accounting services. By making a minimal investment and expending minimal effort, you now have the opportunity to expand the range of services you can provide to your clients. In addition to your core services, which have established your business and reputation, you can now offer an assortment of enhanced services including strategic planning, budgeting, and cash-flow projections. Your clients will no longer need to seek assistance from other sources when they are seeking ways to expand their own businesses.
2. Build Your Strengths
The Problem – Each individual possesses their own unique talents and abilities, each accompanied by their own set of strengths and weaknesses. By leveraging the collective expertise of your team members, you can provide a more robust and superior service to your clients. However, engaging in compliance work can hinder individuals from fully utilising their strengths due to limited time constraints.
The Solution – Why not consider delegating your compliance work to external experts and tap into the full potential of your in-house team? Outsourcing these tasks will not only enable stronger collaboration among your team members but also allow them to identify and rectify any weaknesses while making the most of their strengths. Take advantage of this opportunity today!
3. Find Your Technology Champion
The Problem – Keeping up with the latest technology can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have the time or interest in doing so. However, not having a dedicated IT person is also not an option for you.
The Solution – To address this, one effective approach is to identify a tech-savvy individual within your organisation who stays up-to-date with the latest technological advancements. This individual can be tasked with closely monitoring your competitors’ social media usage (such as Facebook and Twitter) to attract new clients, as well as staying informed about groundbreaking accounting software. As your business expands, you may eventually consider hiring a dedicated IT professional. However, in the meantime, leveraging the strengths of your in-house talent is a prudent course of action.
4. Make Your Processes Your Own
The Problem – If you find yourself uncertain about how to effectively manage and facilitate growth within your organisation, particularly when it comes to integrating new services and talent into your existing workflow, you are not alone. It can be a challenging task to navigate, but with the right strategies and guidance, you can successfully navigate these hurdles and embrace growth opportunities for your business.
The Solution – To ensure an efficient workflow, it is crucial to establish a well-defined process for each client’s file. By implementing a set of clearly outlined steps for the completion of tasks, you can streamline operations and enhance productivity. It is imperative to formalise these steps, making them official and accessible to all team members involved. This approach brings numerous benefits, including improved organisation, enhanced communication, and increased accountability.
Find exact points where workflow gets bogged down.
- Conduct a thorough analysis of your business to identify areas where growth can generate the highest return on investment.
- Provide precise training to new talent in a systematic methodology.
By gaining a comprehensive understanding of your business, you will be better equipped to enhance your talent and service offerings when new opportunities arise. Instead of scrambling to determine the best course of action, you can simply expand and refine your existing processes.
(A great starting point is here: Outsource Accounting: How to Make it Work for You )
5. Rethink Your Pricing Models
The Problem – Clients can access a wealth of information about accounting practices online. However, billing for an entire file rather than for specific services can be perceived as a deliberate attempt to confuse or deceive clients.
The Solution – Provide set pricing options for specific services.
Present attractive and customizable packages.
This task is more challenging than it may seem at first glance. We go in-depth into healthy pricing practices in this post.
In order to optimise your pricing strategy, we recommend engaging your team’s pricing expert in a collaborative session with ten key clients. This will allow for an in-depth exploration of their specific needs and identify additional value-added offerings that could be included as part of a package. It is important to note that these clients may not be willing to pay for these extras individually, but would see the value if they were bundled together.
The Problem – Your progress is lagging behind while your competitors are forging ahead, or you’re investing excessive amounts of time and money in testing out every new technological advancement in order to stay one step ahead.
The Solution – Not every technological innovation will prove beneficial for your business. It can be a costly endeavour to discover which “advances” will truly advance your business, as opposed to draining your finances with no tangible returns.
If you are enthusiastic about the latest technological advancements, it is advisable to have someone in your organisation who can provide a balanced perspective and advise caution when necessary, in order to prevent excessive spending on new gadgets and technologies.
On the other hand, if you are hesitant or fearful of embracing technology-driven changes, it may be beneficial to closely listen and seek guidance from someone within your organisation who is more knowledgeable and passionate about technology. They can serve as a cheerleader, helping you navigate through the complexities of technological advancements and ensuring that you make informed decisions for your business.