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Don’t Get Benched: 5 Signs You’re Not Hitting the Mark as an Accountant
Posted on 1st June 2017 in Advisory
Written by Freya Hughes
As with any business, your goal is for your firm to stand out amongst the crowd. There are countless ways to reach the top of the leaderboard, you just need to find the way that works for you. We’ve summed up five important reasons why some accountants are missing the ball…
1. You don’t know what you don’t know
Not keeping up with the newer services that accountancy firms have rolled out is a dangerous game. Your competition will be joining the likes of Xero and QuickBooks and you’ll notice the majority of firms gravitating towards the cloud. There are also countless add ons and apps you need to be aware of too, which will not only streamline your working day, but will benefit your clients too.
Becoming a business advisor, who your client relies on for relevant and up-to-date fact-based conversations, is a key way to increase your revenue. If you’re unsure as to how to get started, we have a play-by-play here by Senior Accountant and Cloud Advisor Josie Attard of Morrows Group, based in Australia.
2. Inability to advise in unexpected situations
If your client turned up for a meeting or picked up the phone and asked you a question you didn’t have the answer to, how would you react? They’re relying on your knowledge to guide them through the rules and regulations of running a business so you need to equip yourself with as much knowledge as possible. We’ve seen from our case study with EzyAccounts, Australia, which you can read here, that having a cloud-based operation can help you in this situation. They have franchised firms across the country which all connect via the cloud. Using FUTRLI, they’ve connected their accountants to a database. Owners, Colin and Oliver state:
“Now it’s on the cloud, we can share the benefit of our knowledge and get their client set up with the help of our data and be giving the business advice as soon as the accounts are cleaned up and accurate. That’s what’s helped us with retention and increased value too.”
3. Favouring new leads/clients over existing ones
It might be tempting to focus your attention on new clients but it’s actually a very detrimental practice to partake in. There’s a lot of extra cash to be earned from existing clients: up and cross-selling, referrals and repeat sales, to name but a few. Find out more about how you can make more money from clients here.
Not only will your customer retention go down, your churn rate will be high so your KPI management isn’t going to look healthy.
One way to combat this is to have a dedicated staff to nurture existing clients, while another team chases new leads. Remember, existing clients will refer you if you’re great at what you do, so that’s one way of generating leads for free, but you need to keep them happy for them to do so.
4. Lack of regular contact with clients
Your clients don’t have the luxury of a guaranteed paycheque every month and they are responsible for making sure that their entire team will get paid. In a world that evolves so rapidly, no matter how much you plan, it can be hard to feel 100% in control of your business. Don’t make the finances another worry and frustration. Make sure your client has the information they need to make decisions and keep in touch. If they don’t hear from you, even if you are monitoring them in the background, they won’t feel safe and secure.
Staying in regular contact with your clients will not only keep a firm grip of their trust, you’ll probably be able to upsell more services to them. The more you’re talking to your clients, the better you can identify what their goals and needs are. Once you’ve established these, you can strategise with them to help them achieve goals, therefore retaining their custom. This negates the cost as they’ve made a saving or increased revenue
5. Not promoting all of your services
Not giving all your clients access to every one of your services is doing them (and your firm) a disservice. You risk appearing disengaged and uncaring of their needs, so you’ll lose their trust, and potentially their loyalty.
Conversely, it’s unbelievable how many accountants and firms will undertake additional work for clients with no extra cost. Put your clients first, but remember you are there to make money too. Some clients will expect the world for the lowest fees. These clients may be new to the business world, or just very presumptuous, but you must stand up to them and price out your time and services to the point that does your skill set justice.