Accountants are considered as conservative and dislike changes. But change is the only constant in the world. Progressive CPA firms are always starving for adopting changes. Practices followed by them become industry standard practice and adopted by others.
Top 10 practices followed by successful CPA firms.
1. Strong client relationship management
It is rightly said that the Client is the King of the market. The ultimate objective of all hard work we do is to satisfy and develop a strong relationship with our clients. Strong relationship management doesn’t stop at mere delivering services but includes giving a personal touch to the professional relationship such as greetings at important events and festivals. Seeking service feedback and client’s advice for improvement of services also plays an important role in engaging clients. Each client is different and some sort of customized treatment according to the preferences of the client helps in increasing the comfort level.
2. Focus on the development of consulting services by outsourcing accounting services & tax preparation services
Consultancy services are always more lucrative than compliance services. Consultants are considered as specialists in solving any problem. Consultants provide customized and unique solutions to the problem. All these create a huge gap between the fees of consulting services and compliance services.
Successful CPAs always outsource their compliance tasks which are process oriented and doesn’t require much intervention after setting proper processes and check controls. This gives them time to focus on developing consulting areas of practice.
3. Exploiting opportunities of cross border trade-off of services to decrease the cost
The evolution of the internet & communication means Cloud computing, digitalization of documents, etc. have changed the way the office function. Nowadays most offices also allow work from home or remote places. When you think of work from a remote place, the distance of that remote place doesn’t matter, whether it is 5km away or 5000 km away.
While we all know that there is a vast difference in the cost of execution of work in different parts of the world, it is always in the interest of the CPA firms to use services of service providers from a country like India who can provide the same quality of services at a much lower cost. CPA firms have used this formula to increase profitability over the past few years.
4. Smart packaging of services
Business owners are always looking for one-stop solutions for all they need so that efficiency can be achieved with peace of mind. CPA firms are now focusing on widening their portfolio of services, so that clients can get all types of services under one roof.
Moreover, bundling (packaging) of various services offering to the client is also a very successful formula. For example, preparing the package for Accounting services, Tax preparation services, and Virtual CFO services and offer a single quote to the client gives him relief on the ambiguity of the scope of work for a particular service or service provider.
5. Emphasize value-added services and providing creative solutions to clients
Everyone likes and appreciates something extra. The formula of value and cost need not be the same. Something which doesn’t cost you much but is valuable to others.
Successful CPA firms don’t miss providing some value-added advice to good clients. This gives a great sense of satisfaction to clients. This can also be seen as a demo of other advisory services. For example, if you give some value-added business advice to your accounting client or tax client, he may give you some work related to consultancy services.
6. Creating a niche in a particular industry or service line
The formula of “Jack of All” is old now. Most of the thought-leaders suggest businesses focus on their niche and create expertise. In the current trend, CPA firms hire experts of targeted domains and get premiums for expert advice. You should be laser-focused on your niche to reach a reputable place in the target market which will create a reward for you.
7. Matching steps with technological advancements
We are passing through the fourth industrial revolution. All three previous revolution has not much directly affected the service industry but this one is considered to be affecting the service industry and accountancy is not an exception. Major disruption affecting accountancy industries are
Robotic Process Automation
Good CPA firms have already started implementing these technologies into their practice to gain the advantage of early movers and grab the opportunity.
8. Robust marketing strategy
Whether you are selling goods or services, awareness among buyers is a must. Term Marketing is used for educating potential buyers about the features and benefits of targeted goods or services. In earlier times, there was no concept of marketing for professional services but this got changed with time.
Successful CPA firms are investing considerable money in marketing their services and expertise through Search Engine Optimization, Seminars, Webinars, content marketing, video marketing, etc.
9. Create Extreme trustworthiness
Accountants are considered to be a symbol of trust. Business owners share their confidential data with the accountant. It takes time to earn trustworthiness but it takes no time to lose it. Even a single incidence of breaching of trust can make your practice from top to bottom.
CPA firms should implement a proper policy for data storing, data sharing, data security & IT security. CPA firms should also get themselves audited for ISO to ensure the adequacy of the procedure.
10. Standard Operating Procedure for practice management
Standard operating procedure (SOP) is time-consuming but inevitable for long-term ROI. The main benefits of SOP include clarity of job roles and responsibilities among people, consistency in the execution of tasks, minimize the time in the transition of roles and training new people, etc.
An SOP is one of the most important assets of any service organization. Successful CPA firms should have developed good SOP.
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