How to Build Meaningful Client Partnerships Through Real-Time Data

Ingrid Edstrom, of Polymath LLC discusses how using cloud-based software and value priced agreements allows her firm to partner with clients in order to help them reach their overall goals.

A lot of our clients are visionary, creative business owners who started a business because they want to do what they love. We really like encouraging them to delegate the pieces that are not their forte, so that they're not trying to do bookkeeping when they really ought to be focusing on their business, the reasons why they started their business.

The main thing that makes us trusted advisers rather than just bookkeepers or accountants is the fact that we partner with our clients for their overall goals. How can we measure the numbers within their bookkeeping to make sure that they're on track with those goals? Having real time data available in the Cloud has made it so that I can spend more time focusing on the pieces that are most important to my clients. The fact that we're focusing on that bigger picture frankly makes our time worth more. We're not just punching numbers into a system. That's what data entry bookkeepers do, and the data entry bookkeeper is going extinct.

We talk to them more about where they're going than just their metrics. Yes, we want them to understand where they've been but we want to make sure that they're looking forward at what are their next plans, and encouraging them to contact us. One of the pieces that enables them to do that more is actually getting onto fixed price or value priced agreements so that the client is not hesitant to price up the phone when they have a question. We have done hourly billing in the past and we found over and over and over again the clients didn't want to call us because they knew that they were going to get billed for a little bit of a phone call. Having a fixed price agreement actually makes the clients less price sensitive because it encourages them to be more involved with the process.

We actually are fairly new in this whole process. It was following Scaling New Heights 2015 in New Orleans. I got back and we changed everything. If we can do it, you can too. It really just takes the dedication and yes, it's a bit of hard work but jump. Take the leap. It is worth it