When you’re busy running and managing your accounting firm, it’s easy to forget about charting a course for your firm’s future. As the accountancy market becomes increasingly saturated and becomes harder to attract your perfect customer, creating a strategic growth plan is essential.
Having a long-term strategic plan will allow you to identify potential opportunities and challenges to help you remain relevant despite changing customer demands and market trends.
Keep reading to discover how to grow your accounting practice, as we cover the following topics:
- Value of embracing accounting technology
- Eradicating manual, tedious tasks
- Improving customer service and client retention
- Attracting top talent to your firm
- Upskilling your current team for the modern world
- Expanding your services to provide even better support
1) Embrace accounting technology
Slow systems and manual processes create serious bottlenecks and delays when working to strict deadlines, juggling multiple client demands or balancing a hefty workload. As your accountancy firm grows, it will be essential to identify and understand how your company can get better visibility over workloads, client requests and approaching deadlines.
Accounting technology offers many benefits for growing firms. You might want to consider accounting technology like:
- CRM software for tracking workloads and organising client folders, so your team doesn’t need to hunt through filing cabinets for essential information.
- Cloud accounting technology for collaborating with coworkers and clients remotely. Cloud technology gives you access to paperwork and financial information from different devices regardless of location.
- Accounting software for getting direct access to bank feeds, reconciling accounts and creating reports for financial visibility.
Leveraging the power of accounting technology to streamline mundane, tedious tasks allows your firm to focus on determining your strategic growth plan.
2) Streamline your accounting services
Alongside embracing the latest accounting technology, you’ll also want to look at ways to improve efficiency, streamline manual processes and enhance overall productivity.
Cloud-based accounting software removes the need for accountants to spend hours completing manual, labour-intensive processes and reduces the number of errors within your system. With more time on their hands, accountants can focus on higher-value tasks like strategic problem solving or advisory services.
Efficient, effective systems allow you to achieve more with less so you can minimise costs, like additional employee salaries, while still delivering quality services to your customers. As customers increasingly expect more from their accountants, achieving optimal efficiency levels will be crucial for growing your business.
3) Improve customer service and retention
Clients are the lifeblood of any successful accounting firm. Happy clients boost an accounting firm’s profitability, provide security around future billings, reduce the pressure to find and acquire new clients and even help promote your business.
Given the many benefits of happy clients, it’s not surprising that research from Accountancy Today shows that 80% of high-performing firms consider delivering added value to existing clients as the best way to grow their businesses.
The service you and your team provides impacts customers’ overall experience with your firm and determines whether they continue working with you and become brand advocates. Loyal customers will continue to return to your business, refer others and ultimately help your firm grow to new heights.
Client retention is well worth the effort, especially since research shows that it’s 5-25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. Increasing customer retention by as little as 5% can increase company revenue by 25-95%.
4) Attract top talent
Finding top talent within the accountancy and finance field can be difficult, especially given the ongoing skill shortage. Research shows that 74% of finance recruiters consider this skill shortage a top challenge, while 46% believe this shortage is worse than five years ago.
With workloads only increasing for existing team members, it’s essential to think about how your firm can find and retain top talent.
Take the time to build a strategy for the end-to-end employee experience from employer branding to onboarding, company culture, learning and development, and offboarding. Creating a plan will allow you to identify ways to improve your current approach and tap into new talent pools.
Accounting software also offers an exciting opportunity to compete for top talent as it’s proven to improve employee job satisfaction, attract younger candidates looking for innovative workplaces and support the growing trend for flexible, remote working.
5) Upskill existing employees
As part of retaining your top performers and creating excellent customer experiences, you’ll need to upskill your existing employees. Learning and development are essential for accountants to stay on top of their game, remain abreast of the latest industry trends, and actively evolve their existing services.
Investing in your team also allows you to build their skillset, so they’re better equipped to maintain an in-depth knowledge of your client’s finances, provide strategic advisory services and continue to grow your practice.
6) Offer new services
Changing market trends and a challenging economy requires accountants to go above and beyond and deliver even higher-value services such as advisory and strategic planning. So much so that many small businesses consider their accountants their most trusted advisors.
Modern accountants need to offer more than basic accounting or balancing the books to provide services designed to make small business owners’ lives easier.
To support these clients, you’ll need to give them access to your wealth of experience and advice on finances and business operations, such as how they can improve cost-efficiencies, remain compliant and even help them identify new opportunities.
You may also want to cultivate a list of recommended suppliers for requirements outside your expertise, such as marketing or employment law, for small businesses owner clients.
Discover Countingup for accountants
Save your practice time on manual admin and help your clients keep organised records with Countingup’s free accounting software. Our software is full of features for accountants to review and manage client accounts efficiently, prepare journals and client taxes accurately with direct access to their real-time organised data. Find out more here.