Why accountants and advisors need to do more for their clients

Writing in a recent Intuit QuickBooks Pro Advisor blog “From The Experts,” Edward Castano, vice president of marketing for the factoring company BlueVine Capital, Inc., urged accountants to look beyond their standard accounting and tax services to better serve their clients. He should be talking to QuickBook Pro Advisors too.

Quoting an L. Harris Partners survey on customer satisfaction, he reported that nearly one in three clients (32%) say they use multiple CPA services. This may be, in part, because clients often separate the services their accountants provide them into separate silos, or because the accounting firm may not do an adequate job of promoting a broader swath of service offerings, or because the multi-service firm neglects to cross-sell.

Be a one-stop-shop

Not looking at a client’s big picture is a big mistake. “There are tremendous gains to be hand for your practice and your clients,” Castano says, “by becoming a one-stop shop.

Castano has identified seven value-added services accountants could easily introduce into their lineup. These include:

  1. Bank financing
  2. Business valuation
  3. Cash flow management
  4. Strategic business planning
  5. Succession planning
  6. New business formation
  7. Part-time CFO

The need is there Castano says, and he cites some pretty compelling figures:

  1. A recent QuickBooks survey reports that only one-third of all small businesses get all the funding they need. A big mistake, Castano says, is that they apply “for a loan with insufficient preparation.” Pick up the slack. Take on the burden of producing such loan documents as a business plan, business credit report, income tax returns, and financial and bank statements; and
  2. A survey by B2B CFO reports that more than one-third of companies believe they are undervalued, while nearly one-fifth (17 percent) claim to not know their company’s worth. Pick up the slack. Provide an objective, defensible valuation opinion to clients seeking financing; planning a sale, merger, or acquisition, bankruptcy, or to settle business disputes.

Help clients manage their businesses, not just their books

If you are really doing your job, chances are, you’ve weaned your clients away from paper ledgers and spreadsheets onto a desktop or cloud-based accounting package like QuickBooks. But like tax and audit, that only addresses a portion of your clients’ business management challenges.

Missing links are tools that support client’s business management beyond a straightforward P&L statement, or accounts receivable report. If you are not helping clients run their entire business more efficiently and cost-effectively, you have to ask yourself, why not? And you better ask yourself that question and come up with an answer before your competition gets in the door and shows your clients what they are missing.

“Like your clients,” Castano says, “you can benefit substantially from evaluating and pursuing new sources of revenue for your business. Diversifying and expanding your services is a win-win for you and your clients.” The products and services are out there and vendors looking to support you…you just have to open your eyes.

Help clients manage their businesses, not just their books

If you are really doing your job, chances are, you’ve weaned your clients away from paper ledgers and spreadsheets onto a desktop or cloud-based accounting package like QuickBooks. But like tax and audit, that only addresses a portion of your clients’ business management challenges. Missing links are tools that support client’s business management beyond a straightforward P&L statement, or accounts receivable report. If you are not helping clients run their entire business more efficiently and cost-effectively, you have to ask yourself, why not? And you better ask yourself that question and come up with an answer before your competition gets in the door and shows your clients what they are missing.

“Like your clients,” Castano says, “you can benefit substantially from evaluating and pursuing new sources of revenue for your business. Diversifying and expanding your services is a win-win for you and your clients.” The products and services are out there and vendors looking to support you…you just have to open your eyes.

Do your research. Knowify, for one, can help. We’re already helping accountants and QuickBooks Pro Advisors bring powerful project management and automation tools to their construction contractor clients. This not only brings big value to their clients, but also big value to the advisor – client relationship.If you have any questions or wish to share your feedback, you can find us at support@knowify.com.

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