As this time of year is all about getting your disorganised or last-minute clients to get their data to you, we thought we would ask Heather Townsend, author and founder of The Accountants Millionaires’ Club on her top tips to reduce the amount of data chasing you need to do with your client base.
Tip 1: Get your clients onto the cloud
Regardless of how big or small your clients are, if you are working on the same data as them, then the process of data chasing is much, much simpler. Of course, MTD in the UK is accelerating the pace at which business owners and freelancers are moving to keeping their accounting records digitally. Countingup is just one such cloud-based platform, particularly designed for small businesses, freelancers and contractors. Even better Countingup automates the bookkeeping so minimises the amount of chasing you need to do for missing receipts.
Tip 2: Invest in a Practice Management System
Today’s new breed of cloud based Practice Management Systems, such as Senta, Accountancy Manager and Glide, typically have automated client reminders built in. With these client reminders switched on you can sit back with the knowledge the 80% of your data chasing is now taken care of. If you don’t like the new breed of Practice Management Systems how about investing in a decent marketing automation platform like ActiveCampaign or InfusionSoft. These platforms will easily automate all the client reminders you want to send.
Tip 3: Educate your clients on what is needed and by when
In our experience most problems with clients are often due to expectations about who will do what, when, clearly being set at the beginning of the client relationships. Get these expectations right and properly understood and data chasing can be minimised.
It’s not just about setting expectations, but also helping your clients to know what to send when. Having standard checklists which can be sent to clients for what information is needed or a technological solution which streamlines the process of getting the data you need from clients.
Tip 4: Be organised yourself
It sounds rather mean to say this, however true this may be, but you get the clients you deserve. So the more organised you as a firm are about helping your clients get their data to you on time, the more organised your clients will be. This means the less data chasing you as a firm need to do. We’ve seen many firms get great results from a client relationship person whose role is to proactive work with clients to get their records in.
Tip 5: Don’t just rely on email solutions
It’s all too easy for your requests to get drowned out by the many emails your clients are regularly getting. Luckily there are lots of different ways to remind your clients about what you need. For example, how about for persistent offenders who struggle to get records to you, texting them or picking up the phone to them? Glide, the Practice Management Software, will allow you to remind your client by SMS. Or how about sending your client a message via an app you both use? Such as Receipt Bank’s feature to send a message to a client.
Tip 6: Make your email stand out
It’s a simple tip, but a great way to prompt action from an email is to put in the heading, ACTION REQ: or URGENT RESPONSE NEEDED