The traditional accountant-client relationship revolves around tax season. If you want your firm to stand out, strive to become your clients’ trusted advisor by delivering value throughout the year, says Firm of the Future finalist Steven M. Ellard CPA.
Here are five ways you can become a trusted advisor to your clients
#1: Teach them to use cloud-based integrations
Using traditional methods, businesses waste many valuable hours of labor manually entering data for functions, such as sales transactions, inventory management and expense reporting. With today’s cloud-based accounting tools and app integrations, businesses have the technological capability to dramatically decrease their data entry time.
They can integrate programs, such as QuickBooks® Online, with other apps that automate bookkeeping-related business functions. For instance, businesses can cut expense reporting expenditures up to 40 percent by implementing mobile solutions, according to Aberdeen Group.
Cloud-based integrations can also save your clients time on other bookkeeping-related administrative tasks, such as calculating payroll taxes or sending out invoices. Showing your client how to use cloud-based tools to reduce their labor on these kinds of tasks will save them time and win trust.
#2: Create valuable financial reports
Some small businesses that use financial software may only be using the most basic functions, without realizing the full value that today’s tools can provide. While your client may only be using their accounting app as an electronic bookkeeping tool, your firm’s more detailed knowledge of accounting software’s full capability can enable you to produce valuable financial reports for your client.
You can easily support your clients throughout the year by providing standard reports, such as income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements. You can also use business intelligence tools to create customized financial reports geared toward the information that’s most important to your clients. This will save your clients time, while also building their appreciation for you.