Accountants and accounting firms know exactly what happens from Jan. 1 to April 15. Then, 8 a.m. on April 16 happens, and accountants must think about how to maintain a relationship with each accounting client for the next eight months. Try some value-added suggestions that let your clients know how much your services mean to them even when tax season goes away.
Once firms relax from the April 15 deadline each year, accountants get ready to meet with clients to find out what businesses can do to improve financial standings for next year. These meetings are especially helpful to businesses that went through an audit. A nonpublic accounting client can also benefit greatly from your advice.
Value-added suggestions for an accounting client communicate important issues facing businesses in the coming year. Preparing businesses for these issues now may increase revenue by the end of December. These suggestions, if brought to fruition, make your services more valuable in the long run when you develop relationships with clients. Improving the business of your clientele improves your bottom line as well.
Incident response plans no longer revolve around supply chain snafus, a delivery that went awry or a customer backing out of a deal. The largest potential crisis for a business today includes online threats, cyberattacks and hackers that exploit weak security systems. Each accounting client should be aware of what firms are experts in data protection. Once your clients' data is protected, you can offer other services such as cloud accounting where your software connects directly with a client's. This leads to more efficient customer interactions.
Reaching out to owners and CFOs on a monthly basis lets them know you are still their accountant, even when federal regulators do not come calling. Regular contact fosters real relationships, and clients know you can be counted on 365 days a year. Take notes during the phone calls, ask pertinent questions and provide personalized feedback based on each company's situation.
Talk about a business continuity plan as revenue slows down. Sales often spike when an accounting client makes the news in a good way or when a competitor falters. Discuss how to keep money rolling in after the spikes, such as investing in new technology or new marketing strategies. Big data and real-time results combine information technology, mobile computing and accounting software. Try suggesting pictorial scorecards for executives to view summarized data in an easy-to-read manner when goals are met.
Encourage each client to review daily business activity with specialty programs that monitor employee logins, computers access on various networks and possible breaches. When every computer is connected to another, suggest a centralized place for policy and procedure updates so everyone is on the same page. An interconnected system allows managers and executives to see who has read certain alerts and who hasn't. Those employees who failed to read important notices can be brought up to speed by a manager.
Each accounting client appreciates the value you bring to the table. Extra efforts, especially those not covered in a contract, keep your business afloat during non-tax season. Personal interactions add value to your work, and clients recognize that when it comes time to negotiate contracts.
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