Any smart leader knows that serving your clients well is a key component to grow your accounting practice. That’s why your client relations skills (essentially, the level of service quality you offer) do matter. Especially if you want to grow your accounting business.
But there are other things you can do to increase your performance.
Read this article to learn the tips successful accountants and CPAs offer to help accounting firms like yours take it to the next level.
“As an accountant, you need to you be proactive and available.”
Probably the toughest part of growing an accounting firm is finding and keeping the best employees. Most accounting firms are quite conservative, so they usually hire only once they know the accountant will be fully occupied.
What happens quite often is: first, the firm is too busy and rushed at the time of hiring. Then they might not hire the strongest candidate. Also, the firm might loose the chance to hire best candidates because it’s not carrying a full client load. These situations can hinder your success.
Although marketing is a key strategy for getting new clients for your accounting practice, it’s not the only method. The old school word of mouth is still a great way to find new clients to your firm.
Actually, word of mouth can be a very effective method for growing your accounting business. You need to encourage your clients to recommend you more often. Don’t be shy to ask them directly for the referrals. Just keep keep on providing them with a great service, so they continue to praise you. Here is good example for being proactive: if a your client’s business growth seems to plateau, you can reach out with helpful tips and valuable advice.
If you need to grow your accounting practice, remember that new clients aren’t the sole source of your new revenue. Actually, top accounting firms can generate 30–40% of new business relying on cross-selling to their existing clients.
So, focus on strengthening relationships with your clients and promoting loyalty to your firm. Start developing a deeper relationship with your clients to take advantage of up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. To achieve that, try to understand your client’s challenges, fears and goals.
How can you achieve all that? You can schedule regular meetings with your customers, to learn about their businesses, their issues, and the overall industry trends. Then you’ll be able to gain insights and provide insights.
As an accountant, you need to you be proactive and available. When the client reaches out with a question, always assume they need the answer immediately. They actually might need to make a key decision. The client may need specific documents to help with them a loan application, for example. Your immediate response can help them move that process along. And the client will definitely appreciate that! This might seem like simple advice, but clients actually often wait for days to get a response to their call or email.
Networking! Many people don’t like, but we all have to do it to grow your accounting practice. In some form and shape. It’s the fastest way to grow any service-based business, such as an accounting practice. You should try to interact with other business owners as much as possible. Also, networking will keep you in the know about the recent trends in accounting. And it’ll help you understand the best practices in your industry.
Networking is not just about exchanging business cards. Try to focus on making solid connections, not just interacting with lots of people. For example, you can join a local chamber of commerce or some other business club/association.
It’s important it is to cooperate with other professionals who work with a similar clients’ demographic. These people can be a great referral sources.
It’s as simple as this: if they have a client who can benefit from an excellent accountant, they might introduce your firm. What happens is, over time, you can grow together and maintain several mutual clients.
The best way to grow an accounting practice is to introduce automation. There are many things you can easily automate: forecasting, data entry, reporting, image recognition. Those tools can significantly minimize the time you spend on manual tasks. Software can help you eliminate bottlenecks. Besides better speed and accuracy, this might even reduce the need to employ more people, and enable you to work with more accurate data that is more readily available.
There might be a small initial investment for the tools, training, and transitioning. But the ROI is remarkable and you’ll speed up your accounting practice growth.
When you decide to grow your accounting firm, it’s crucial to surround yourself with quality people. And just the employees, but also the clients. Being selective is definitely not easy, but it pays off when it comes to growing your accounting practice.
If you can sign up quality clients with great leadership and reputation, this will surely lead to more growth for your business. This idea also applies to new hires. Quite often, hiring one exceptional employee will attract other exceptional employees.