How CPAs can Offer Additional Services to their Clients – – >
A modern CPA accounting firm offers their clients more than just tax preparation.
Businesses need additional services all year long regarding their day-to-day operations and their planning for the short and long-term future.
There are many ways to offer additional services. Two of the most effective ways are in the areas of technology and training.
One thing every business owner wants is more time. Your clients end their days with a half-finished to-do-list. Offering your clients technology with the promise of giving them more time entices them to brave the learning curve and adopt modern strategies to do business. When you and your client use technology together, you can both save time. Your communication with each other will be more efficient and more effective.
Apps are especially useful for giving your clients more time – but not all apps are created equal. Stick to the ones that increase efficiency and truly save time and money.
Examples of technology apps:
Hubdoc can automatically retrieve bank statements, and sometimes even check and deposit images, as well as credit card statements – and even Amazon orders! This can be a big time-saver for your clients so they don’t have to log into their various online bank sites to provide statements to you at the end of the month.
Getting images of receipts is not on the top of anyone’s “fun” list – but it is necessary. Not only can Receipt Bank make this easy with just a picture, but it can read the information and pre-populate the accounting app. Their Practice Platform also allows you to keep on top of the processes to ensure you don’t miss a thing.
Managing Accounts Payable for a client can be tedious and time-consuming waiting on approvals. Bill.com can be a powerful tool to automate this workflow. Vendors can be paid via ACH or check, but the entire process is done from smartphones and online, allowing you to more effectively manage this process.
Technology is only useful to your clients if they know how to use it.
Select a person in your firm to become the expert in a particular technology app or system. You may want to set up your firm as an accounting department, having someone specialize in managing AP or AR for clients, or perhaps you have a “techy” person who just naturally enjoys working with apps. Either way, your firm needs to leverage the talents of your team, and the technology that can make their job – and your clients’ job – easier and more accurate. Then teach your clients how to use these tools to work better with your firm, and make their own record-keeping more efficient.
You can provide the training online or even in small seminars at the office.
For some clients, you can even go to them, and potentially market it as a mini-roadshow of sorts. Have fun with it, with the idea of training your clients and providing value to their business.
One tip on the training – whether you charge your clients for the training or not, make sure you discuss the value of the services you are providing. Remember: there is no value until you tell them. If you decide to charge the client, don’t charge by the hour – make it a set fee. If you decide not to charge, tell them how much you are NOT charging them.
If you need guidance using technology in your own firm, or you need feedback on how to offer technology training to your clients, get in touch.
The team at Caldwell Consulting & Training has experience in a wide variety of technology and accounting systems, as well as the processes within a firm. As an independent consultant, we can help you select the right apps to meet your needs, and help you implement it successfully with your team.