So you’re evolving from being a number-cruncher into taking a more active role in guiding your clients’ financial futures. How do you come up with the services that will best help them? Moving to outsource accounting services is your best first step.
You, as the face of your firm, are going to want a lot more face-time with your clients. This has two benefits:
- Your clients will have a constant reminder that you’re an integral part of their team (opening up the way for you to offer more services).
- Your clients will help you figure out what services are most likely to catch hold with them and potential future clients.
When you outsource accounting services (sending all of your number-crunching to your overseas team) you’ll free up that time. You’ll also free up a huge chunk of overhead so you will feel free to dedicate more effort into shaping your firm – your initial bread-and-butter services will continue to roll on without your direct attention.
Almost any accountant you talk to will think that their clients could benefit from additional services. However, few of your competitors are putting any actual effort into making that happen. They’re hoping that the client will ask for additional services of their own accord.
So get proactive.
Step 1 – Outsource accounting services.
Step 2 – Consult with your clients. They’re going to have a wish-list of services they would like to be able to select from. This wish-list, partially generated by your favourite clients, will also serve as an enticement for future favoured clients.
All told, there are really only about 6 general categories that your new services will fall into:
- Planning for death.
- Paying as few taxes as possible.
- Protection from creditors.
- Increasing personal wealth.
- Increasing business performance.
Outsource accounting compliance work so you can provide more for your clients
Take the above 5 categories and talk with your clients and your in-house team about potential new services and/or products. You don’t need to be purely limited to accounting work like bookkeeping or payroll; you can also include ideas like seminars or ebooks on specific topics that you would hand out to clients who buy into a particular service package.
Brainstorm everything. If one service seems a bit too “small” see if you can package it with another small service or have it piggy-back with a larger service.
Here are some ideas (in no particular order) to help you get started:
- Setting goals (coach your client into setting concrete goals for their future).
- Accountability meetings. These are monthly meetings where you see how much progress your client had made in working toward their goals. When you outsource accounting work to your overseas team you’ll have plenty of time freed up for these meetings.
- Red-flag monitoring (you do a monthly check-up on their books and alert them to potential looking crises).
- Ebooks on specific topics. (“Top Ten Financial Hurdles You’ll Face When Starting Your Own Business.” “The Do’s and Don’t’s of SMSFs.” etc.)
- Seminars/Webinars on any of a variety of topics.
- Helping clients move their finances to the cloud.
- Training sessions for their in-house bookkeepers, payroll masters, etc.
- Sessions where you help clients understand where their various numbers stand, what they mean, and how a change here can have a positive impact there.
Every time you hear your client say, “I wish…” get you pencil ready, they may be about to hand you your next service. Refine it, package it, and show how it will add value to your client’s financial well-being.