If you don’t ask, you can’t know. If not now, when? By Jean Marie Caragher The 90-Day Marketing Plan for CPA Firms Tax season is the perfect time to identify cross-selling opportunities, strengthen client relationships and ensure client satisfaction. Consider asking your clients the following 14 questions this tax season. You may discover a new gold nugget of opportunity:
Take this quiz to see whether you’re phoning it in. Do you seek out opportunities to learn new things that will help your clients overcome their most difficult challenges? Selling value-creation advisory services is truly a slam dunk with most modern business owners, according MentorPlus. The bad news is that, although most CPAs would say they are their clients’ most trusted advisor, few could answer the following questions in the affirmative.
Turn the habits of everyday friendship into business skills. By Jean Marie Caragher The 90-Day Marketing Plan for CPA Firms Since strong client relationships contribute to client satisfaction, longevity and lead generation, partners often encourage their managers and staff to build relationships with their clients. But these managers and staff look at the relationships their firm’s partners have built over time and think it’s impossible to replicate their results. Building relationships with clients can be done using the same behaviors that we use when building friendships and courting our spouse or significant other. Consider these 12 tips to build client relationships, especially during tax season, prime time for in-person client contact.
Accountants relieve their worst headaches. CPA Trendlines sources are reporting on how much time and money small businesses spend each year on accounting and tax preparation and each month on payroll administration. The data should support practitioners’ value proposition to small business owners: Some 40 percent say bookkeeping and taxes are the worst part of being in business. Owners were also surveyed on their opinions of the most burdensome small business management tasks. Next time you talk to your clients — or prospective clients — these pain points might be worth including in the conversation…
We’ve found at least 50 items. What would you add? By Ed Mendlowitz The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor QUESTION: What type of information should be kept in, or as, permanent files? RESPONSE: A permanent file should be maintained for each of your clients. This would include the following: Engagement letters Representation letters – I would keep these in the permanent file. An example is that a claim could be made after you no longer have the work paper file associated with the matter. This is especially so with estate planning consultations where a claim could arise many years after a gift tax return was filed. I would keep copies of Crummey letters in the file for the gift tax returns, if […]
Use these busy days to get to know your clients better. With a few quick questions, every client meeting can turn into a new relationship-building opportunity. Ask how the firm is doing as a whole to assess satisfaction. Ask some open-ended questions about the client’s current situation, challenges and goals for the year. Delve a little deeper into potential specific services, such as multi-state tax requirements or pension plan audits. Request referrals. Keep it short and be sure to have a mechanism in place to follow up on the information that you learn from these interactions.
Try these 6 ideas to stop losing business to competitors. By Sandi Smith Leyva The Accountant’s Accelerator It’s rare that I lose business to competitors, and it’s also not an accident. If you are losing business to your competitors, here are some strategies you can use to “become a category of one,” as they say in marketing.
How clients value the intangibles. By Hitendra Patil Pransform Inc. “What leader has the most positive influence in your daily life?” The answers to that Gallup Poll question may be astoundingly important for CPAs who strive to make a positive difference in the lives of their clients.
Becoming a ‘trusted advisor.’ By Sandi Smith Leyva The Accountant’s Accelerator Here’s a question: What portion of your revenues are derived from compliance work – e.g., tax preparation and IRS representation; bookkeeping; QuickBooks setup, cleanup and training; payroll; and audit work – versus value-added work, e.g., revenue improvement, business consulting, profit margin analysis and workflow improvement projects? If you answered 100 percent compliance work and no value-added services, you’re not alone. There’s a lot of lip service about moving from compliance services to becoming a “trusted advisor.” There’s an equal amount of confusion in how to get started. Here are a few tips to help those of you who want to move in that direction.