Is it time to take the next step and start your own accounting firm? Fun, we have over the years worked with a large number of start-up agencies and the first phase is always as exciting. The vast majority do it really well, but we have noticed that there are some aspects that many miss and are forced to learn gradually. A common theme is client relationships. Since it is a bit of an area of expertise for us at OnGrant, we have put together this small list of tips that will make it easier for you when you start your own accounting firm.
Below are the 6 qualities that our clients look for, when they find a new accounting consultant through acted, formulated as hands-on tips:
Show and explain how to create value
Many companies feel that they overpay for their accounting and audit services. After all, accounting and auditing costs are not an investment in sales, marketing, or anything else that fuels the growth of the company.
Ensure that your services are transparent and explain to your clients exactly what work is done, in terms that do not require a bachelor’s degree in economics to understand.
Some accounting firms are proud to share their expertise and knowledge. The problem is that it is often done through articles with references to difficult publications that require professional knowledge to be able to absorb. Instead, try to convey your unique knowledge and insights by referring to your own experiences of companies with similar challenges, and how they have taken on them.
Most are only in contact with their accounting consultant when the financial statements are to be recorded and when the bill is to be paid. In any case, that’s how many clients experience it. Be proactive and available all year round, so that the client feels they are getting value for money. It is important that they feel that you will support them, if something unforeseen happens.
This is not only good for increasing customer satisfaction, it also provides good opportunities for upselling.
Always keep deadline and ask your clients to do the same
Clients always expect the material to be delivered on time, especially when it comes to deadlines to the Tax Agency and the Companies Registration Office. But it is not always that the clients hand over material on time-or in the condition they expected.
Of course, this makes it difficult as an accounting consultant to deliver on time and at the same time keep the agreed price.
Often, clients do not think that the weeks before public deadlines are the busiest at accounting firms, and therefore they can not expect as fast feedback as usual. This is a very common source of conflicts.
Therefore, be sure that it is clear when and what material you need from the client. In addition: be extra clear about exactly what is meant; it is not certain that the client knows what a “tuned account balance” is.
Notify the client as early as possible, if you can not keep your part of the agreement, whether it’s about the time frame or the price. It is always difficult to work with Circa prices, but as soon as you realize that the price you appreciated is not realistic, let me know! Also tell us why the budget does not hold (lack of material, more verifications than expected, etc.), so that it can be avoided until the next time.
Understand your client
In the first months of a new cooperation, it is an excellent idea to spend time on understanding the client’s activities, even in addition to what is required to carry out the accounting itself. What business model do they have? What are the challenges? How is the operation financed? Only by asking these questions, and many more, can you provide the advice that the client asks for.
Get into the client’s situation. Try to understand exactly what they need and how you can help them achieve it. In this way, you can turn the notion of accounting help as a “necessary evil” into a function that drives growth and development.
Also form an opinion client’s own knowledge of accounting. Many have no knowledge, experience or interest whatsoever. Others want and expect to be very involved. Customize and tune your communication with the client, so that it helps the client to easily proceed to action when required. When it comes to counseling, there are those who just want to know exactly what to do (do this, then like this).
Make sure your clients can always get hold of you. New, potential clients should have the same feeling. Create a Facebook page where you can share updates. Write a newsletter for existing clients. Use modern and simple communication tools to keep clients up to date, e-mails and phone calls are not necessarily the most effective tools once the collaboration is up and running.
Implement and make new technology available
Let’s face the fact. Accounting will never be the same as it was 20, 10 or just 1 year ago. The clients who are most satisfied are generally those who feel that their accounting consultant helps them to get the administrative processes in order-preferably with the support of technology.
Extra tedious and retrograde tasks can easily be automated by innovative solutions, which clients do not know or have an overview of. Help your clients to help themselves!