Proactive bookkeepers and accountants are the closest to their clients and in touch with their needs, and therefore in the best position to increase their income and the positive outcomes created for clients. It’s a strong case against being a doormat; it’s really about what’s best for the two of you for the long term. It’s about being proactive.
Find ways to be efficient in your own work, and with that extra time saved, use it to be more proactive, to win more business from existing clients and to win new clients.
Proactivity in practice
Those firms that endeavour to have more conversations with clients are in a better place to make suggestions around advisory services. Are there any services which you would like to add that you don’t currently offer? Which ones? Do you have a plan to bring those services to market? Do you have information on best practice standards? Checklists/practice aids? How much will you need to invest in training, hardware, software, and expenses to bring this service to market?
More communications touch points with clients in day-to-day dealings and less time manually inputting data and crunching numbers, should mean firms find it easier to assess business needs. While there is no ‘one size fits it all’ solution for these needs, there is almost certainly a conversation that can take place around a suite of services that can be customised to a client.
There are many bookkeeping firms presenting such suites, most reporting that, more often than not, the Goldilocks solution is the go (not too small, not too big, and ‘just right’). In any case you will gain brownie points for being attentive to the needs of your client and
being proactive in searching for a solution.
Taking advantage of the touch points
Conduct a survey. Not another survey! I hear you say. Not quite. Assume you have an expertise in managing accounts receivable and you want to ‘sell’ this service to existing clients who may not have subscribed to this level of service from you. You invite the client to spend 30-seconds completing a short questionnaire which could benefit the business. You are already in a position of trust so this is no big deal:-
A template: On a scale of zero to minus 5 rank your business Cash Flow
0 – ‘I’m happy with cash flow’
-1 – ‘I’ve got issues with slow payers’
-2 – ‘I need an overdraft; I’m juggling creditors’
-3 – ‘I’m maxed out on my credit lines!’
-4 – ‘I owe gst and tax’
-5 – ‘We’re having a liquidity crisis!’
An effective accounts payable and accounts receivable system is integral to enhancing business cash flow. Multiple benefits will flow to the firm that delivers solutions.