It’s good for business and considerate to clients. by Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide Tax season is a business and businesses need to be paid. It is harder to justify prices when providing services rather than products. Products are usually priced before delivery while many times services are priced after delivery, i.e. performance. More on busy season management: Tax Season Trends, Issues and Opportunities Many accountants price returns before they are worked on, usually basing the fee on last year, or a rate schedule. Sending a bill with the return establishes the relationship that you should be paid promptly for the work done.
Clients say: Not as long as you think. If you’re a finance manager on the client side, what do you say? by Rick Telberg Are most CPAs fooling themselves? If you ask a CPA, as CPA Trendlines has been doing since 2006, how long they typically keep a client, you’ll get a fairly consistent answer through the years. If you ask a client how long they’ve worked with their current CPA firm, you’ll also get a fairly consistent answer. The problem is: The CPA and the client disagree.
Dazzle them with the pre-meeting meeting…
One of the key ways to improve client and workplace relationships is by showing appreciation. “Too often” Leo Buscaglia, the author, once said, “we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” We can extend appreciation anywhere and everywhere — at home, at work, at school, and wherever you want to acknowledge those who make your life brighter. Here are a few ideas that might work for accounting firms:
What we know that clients don’t even know they need. By Sandi Smith, CPA Accountant’s Accelerator I’m pretty sure that I am not the only accountant who has made the following mistakes with clients. Here are a couple of ideas to help us remember what we know that the client doesn’t and why it costs us when we forget. 1. Clients do not know how to evaluate our technical skills. If you need to hire an accountant, chances are you don’t know a lot about accounting. It just follows that you’re not going to be perfect at hiring an accountant. As accountants, we need to remember that it’s not our technical prowess that gets us the job since the client [...]
Choosing a CRM system can be tricky. Here are some pointers. by Becky Livingston Royal Apple Marketing When Do You Need CRM? You know you need CRM when your list of contacts has outgrown your Rolodex. You remember what a Rolodex is right? Another indication is when you begin to forget important information about your clients, or you notice your communication with them has dwindled. Click here to see more from Becky Livingston on CPA Trendlines. Also consider CRM when you are looking to increase sales as well as relationships with clients, in the end positively affecting the bottom line. Lastly, if you find yourself personalizing emails manually and/or do not have a clear idea of where you customer or lead is [...]
Use all five senses. By Sandi Smith, CPA Accountant’s Accelerator You don’t have to be the Ritz-Carlton or Mercedes to provide your customer with a great experience. Just a little forethought and planning will make a huge difference. Here are five tips for your consideration:
Good clients don’t leave their CPA on the basis of fees alone. In fact, money factors in only when the relationship isn’t valued and the difference you make is not evident. You and your team can impact that directly by delivering exceptional client service on a consistent basis.
And dozens of possible solutions from staffers… At a recent staff workshop, there was a brainstorming session to answer some key questions about what constitutes excellence in client service. Four questions were placed on the table: 1. How can we make it easier for our clients to do business with us?
Anticipate. Anticipate. Anticipate… Then follow through.
The Great Recession is shifting client desires and expectations in some interesting and counter-intuitive ways…
Fight for the client, and win! Enrolled agent Thomas Blair has built a thriving practice and solid reputation as a taxpayer’s advocate in IRS cases. Here are a few of Blair’s stories, in his own words:
More firms see the problem. But fewer are doing anything about it. by Rick Telberg Just at a time when accounting firms are struggling to gain new clients and hold on to the ones they already have, client satisfaction ratings appear to be dropping.
The 14 strategies to build better business relationships. It’s been said that when you look for the good in others, you discover the best in yourself. It’s nowhere so true as in the accounting business. Contrary to the cliche, accounting is a people business — most accountants spend a lot of time working directly with staffers, colleagues, superiors, clients and maybe-clients.
Getting new clients may be many firms’ chief concern these days. But for most firms, there’s un-mined gold in their current clients. The accounting business may not be the same in five years. Today’s standard products and services are evolving quickly. How long, for instance, will simple 1040 tax prep last with the speed of data aggregation? But if you still have the same clients, you will still have cash flows. The Bottom Line:
From the December 2010 issue of Accounting Office Management & Administration Report via Texas Society of CPAs. Attracting and retaining clients has taken on new importance for CPAs whose firms have taken a hit in the last few years. “In this recession, CPAs have had some whoop-ass put on them, mostly because the number of clients is dissolving,” says Rick Telberg, president and chief executive of East Hampton, N.Y.-based Bay Street Group LLC, advisers in marketing, management, and strategy for the tax, accounting, and finance industries. The biggest way to land new clients is through referrals, Telberg says, and these days it’s happening online. “What we’ve found is that the firms that are doing something—anything—are making progress,” he says.