How Accounting Firms Can Create Their Own Opportunities
Accounting firms most often get their business via “word of mouth” from other professionals in the financial industry. How can accountants create their own business opportunities? Here are a few ways you can position your firm for greater success.
Ramp Up Your Technology Game
The landscape in the accounting industry has changed a great deal in a short period of time. To stay relevant, consider adding the following technological trends to your firm:
- Increased IT security. Data breaches happen quite frequently. Take the proper precautions against them by evaluating your current systems and making changes and upgrades where necessary.
- Proper data collection. Intelligence data will help you make the best decisions for your business.
- IT outsourcing. Consider using internal, experienced IT professionals who collaborate with outsourced providers.
- More content. Start a blog and increase your presence on social media. Your mind is a wealth of financial knowledge, so you surely have plenty of valuable information to share with your audience.
Offer “Type 2” Services
More and more, accountants are transitioning from offering run-of-the-mill “Type 1” services, like bookkeeping, tax-prep, and payroll. So-called “Type 2” services are more forward-thinking and can differentiate you from other firms. Here are some ways you can offer these amenities:
- Don’t just present a firm with financial statements – tell your clients what they actually say. Is it time to hire new staff? Should they be engaging in industry-specific best practices? Providing actionable advice impresses your current clients and opens new doors.
- Give your client a risk assessment based on the data you receive. If you provide them with the best and worst case scenarios, they can use the information to make better long- and short-term business decisions. What’s more, they’ll tell other businesses about the extras you offer.
Being involved in your community is a great way to attract new clients. Join the board of a local non-profit organization, or do some pro-bono work for a charity that means something to you. When it comes time for paying engagements, those companies are more likely to remember your name and give you their business.
Another great way to be involved is by joining professional organizations. Networking with other professionals or attending speaking engagements establishes your credentials and makes it more likely that others in your field will recommend you to their clients for services they might not offer.
Offer Free Seminars
Share your wealth of financial knowledge with the masses with free informational lessons. You can book a room at a local library or community center – often for free. Your seminars can be as simple as how to file a 1040 or how to avoid common mistakes on tax returns. The community is more likely to remember your name and refer you to friends when the need arises.
In today’s increasingly inter-connected world, there’s no reason to rely on referrals to get business. Following these simple steps can put you on the fast track to success.
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