Client retention and acquisition are the goals of every business, more so in the accounting business. The factors contributing to any deviance from this objective can hurt your accounting business and count as mistakes.
What these mistakes are, let’s take a look.
1. Shying Away from Branding Your Accounting Firm
Accounting firms around the world are primarily offering the same service to a niche consumer base. Therefore, creating a USP or ‘unique selling point’ for your accounting service is essential.
Moreover, there is a remarkable similarity between accounting websites around the world. The advertisements and campaigns are similar, and offers are also easily comparable.
Recommended Reading: 6 Marketing Strategies [That Actually Work] for Accounting Firms
Your client won’t differentiate you from others if your brand does not have a unique aspect, and that is not good for any business, much less a highly personable one. So, what can you do?
a) Visual Impact
If your accounting firm or website has a logo, it is important to make it eye-catching.
The logo should be clear, crisp, user-friendly, and customized for both desktop and mobile use. The website should not be pixilated, and the colors used in it should be pleasing to the naked eye. For example, the color blue is preferred over other colors in the world of marketing.
b) Mission and ambition
Financial services are no different from other products and services. Every product that has taken industries by storm has had something unique to offer.
The mission of your business needs to be at the forefront of your website, advertisement, or campaign. One or two sentences explaining what is unique to your accounting services – a tagline, might do the trick.
The physical location and online presence of your accounting firm play a large part in increasing brand visibility. Online presence demands online reputation management, social media presence, and a good content marketing strategy.
Physical offices, on the other hand, demand accessibility, professional communication, and presentation.
2. Not Being Proactive
Accounting involves constant evolution. Accountants need to keep themselves informed about the changes in tax codes, proposed tax bills, and proposed changes to understand how these affect their clients’ interests.
Being proactive helps accountants identify potential issues that can harm their clients; not only that but, it also helps them identify the potential of changing codes in benefitting their clients.
A proactive approach can be the difference between success and failure for your accounting business. It helps build trust, make a profit, save time, save money, and get new clients.
3. Not Charging According To Market
Accounting businesses work on billable hours. You can charge money for every minute spent on a client’s files. The charges are either fixed or flexible based on the business.
It is not common for clients to leave the accounting firm for fees. Therefore, if a client leaves an accounting firm due to high fees, it might reflect on how much value your services add to the client.
Upgrading your services to include tax planning and consultation, along with filing tax returns and submitting financials periodically, increases the value of your accounting services.
This is an added benefit for the clients and can justify the fees charged. The more upgrades you offer with your services, the more money you can charge. Moreover, you, as an accountant, can be a trusted advisor and partner for the client, not just a commodity provider.
4. Only Offering Traditional Accounting Services
Reportedly, it takes companies about five days to get all accounting documents in order. About 78% of small businesses rely on cloud accounting software as of 2020, and more than 50% of corporations depend on it for their accounting purposes.
Therefore, to succeed in the accounting industry today, one must adapt to technological advancements such as cloud accounting and offer a little more than compliance services. You need to understand, rectify, and care about the financial factors of your clients’ businesses because personalization is the key to success in 2020.
5. Failure In Profiling Ideal Clients
When you choose a client, you must understand their requirements. Do they need you for filing tax returns only, or corporate accounting services?
Understanding the difference in demands can help you understand your niche. One accounting firm cannot provide all not only because it dilutes value, but also because it brings down the USP of a business.
6. Failure To Create A Strong Network
Networking events can help you gain knowledge about the different services you can provide your clients. It can also help you find people who work in a specific industry beneficial for your consumer base.
The networking is more for your clients and less for you. Although it might not seem profitable in the beginning, it can help you build an alliance with your client. Being a part of such events can also help you increase the word of mouth of your business.
Online referral programs, on the other hand, are entirely for your benefit. Moreover, incentives, discounts, flash offers, and social media shares can help increase your visibility as well as profitability promptly.
7. Failure To Monitor ROI
What you give is what you get. Monitoring the expenses, you or your accounting firm makes, on marketing and sales campaigns is of utmost importance. These are the calculations that decide your profit margin.
While you might be the master of calculating your clients’ expenses, do not forget to count your own. Return On Investment (ROI) is imperative for a growing practice and a flourishing career.
What are your thoughts on this? Is there any other accounting mistake you would like to mention? Please share in the comments section below.
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