Working in the cloud (which is fancy-talk for “doing everything online”) is not only changing the technological needs of accounting firms, it’s changing the foundation of accounting itself. If you’re already outsourcing accounting tasks that’s great, but what else can you be doing to stay ahead of your competition in the face of all this new technology?
You need to have a website. Why? Because according to a 2013 survey conducted by Roy Morgan Research at least 50% of Australians now shop online, and Statistics New Zealand says the same for NZ.
Imagine a business that was around 40 years ago trying to survive without a phone book entry. A website is today’s equivalent of that entry, and a lot more to boot. It acts not only as a flag showing that you’re open for business but also, when built right, as a funnel for conversions.
Without a well-built website your business might as well not exist.
Save Your Clients’ Time by Outsourcing Accounting
When you send tax and compliance work to your overseas team you’re saving yourself a lot of time. You can pass on this benefit by setting up an online system that allows your clients to send you their info via the cloud.
Second, make sure your website answers all the questions they might possibly have with easy-to-find information.
Third, you might think about sending out a monthly email that answers Frequently Asked Questions. For example, come tax season, your email might lay out as plainly as possible all the various documents and numbers your firm will need while you’re outsourcing accounting tasks to your overseas teams.
If you’re not sure where else you can be saving your clients some much-needed time go straight to the source and ask them. One of your monthly emails can be a survey or an invitation for input on the subject of what your clients would most like tweaked in the way they work with you.
Work Your Niche
We’ve talked before how gearing your firm to work for a particular niche industry can really help your firm get a leg up. What applies in the real world also applies in the internet. Even with the bonuses inherent in outsourcing accounting tasks you’re still going to have a very steep uphill battle to show up in Google’s results for widespread generic terms like “accounting” or “accounting firms Melbourne.”
But working a niche greatly enhances your chances to make it to page one of Google’s results. “Accounting firm for restaurants” will have far less competition than the broader terms mentioned above. Potential clients will have a much easier time picking you out of the crowd.
Present Yourself as Being More Than the Average Accounting Firm
Another of the major benefits of outsourcing accounting tasks is that it allows you to spend more time facilitating a client’s wider range of financial needs. You’re going to be able to filter the information both coming from and going back out to your clients in a way that they understand and can use to impact their bottom line.
You’ll no longer be there purely for the basic compliance work; instead you’ll be a source of valuable information that will be of a major economic importance as your clients continue to grow their businesses.