This article was kindly provided by Dale Crosby of Business Aptitude.
BRW recently published a comprehensive report on the topic of finding a reliable accountant. The report featured insights from small business owners and emphasised the growing expectations of clients. It advised clients to evaluate their accountants regularly, ensuring that they are meeting their current needs rather than simply fulfilling their initial engagement. The days of solely providing compliance services and assuming client loyalty are no longer viable. To expand your accounting practice successfully, it is crucial to understand what your clients truly desire and assist them in achieving those goals. One significant challenge we often encounter when partnering with accounting firms is encouraging them to actively engage with their clients and inquire about their specific needs while aligning those requirements with the firm’s services. Firm principals and partners may believe they already possess a deep understanding of their clients; nevertheless, there is a high probability that they do not know them as well as they assume. When was the last time you sat down with your top clients, genuinely discussing their business objectives and personal financial aspirations?
Focusing on listening to your clients not only leads to better service, but it’s also the most effective form of marketing. In a report by Nisus Consulting on marketing for professional firms, it was found that “more listening, closer relationships, and investing off-the-clock are superior marketing strategies (compared to promotion) and offer the real differentiation that clients desire.” Are you content with being a good accountant or do you aspire to be a great advisor? Do you provide added value to your business clients? Many firms shy away from providing added value because they lack confidence in their capabilities. However, based on our experience, the process is not complex. If you’ve dedicated to becoming a stellar advisor, the first step is understanding your client’s needs – including their personal desires and goals. Implement a client-listening program that meets their terms and offers them a comprehensive accounting, financial, and business advisory service. Strengthen your internal capabilities by hiring the right people or partnering with external firms like BOSS to increase capacity. Dedicate time and effort towards achieving specific activities and results.
Business Aptitude is a prominent consulting group in Australia that specialises in Practice Management. We offer comprehensive support to accounting firms in various areas including strategic planning, systems implementation, team development, client management, and external communications. Our hands-on approach ensures that your firm receives the necessary guidance and expertise to thrive in today’s competitive business landscape. Trust Business Aptitude to help your firm achieve its goals and maximise its potential.