I see a lot of reasons why accountancy firms need to shift their business thinking.
The Cloud. It has changed the way businesses do business.
Social Media. It has changed the way businesses do business.
Digital Marketing. It has changed the way businesses do business.
Accounting Firms. Still marketing the same way since 1664.
The compliance era is over and accountancy firms are having to move from compliance to an advisory role, which means that new skills and tools are needed to make this transition.
So what is changing?
You Don’t Own Your Territory
As an accountant your competitor used to be other accountants in the same village as you. Now almost every accountant in the world can serve your clients. Which means your clients and prospects are shopping around. In fact, I have never met face to face with our accountant, our meetings are done over Skype. My accounts are stored in Xero and get pinged at the end of the year. They are based 2 hours away from where I live, and they were not chosen on price, they were chosen because they positioned themselves in the market as a progressive and youthful accountancy, perfect for my growing business.
Niche Practices Will Get The Clients
The above leads me to this point. My accountant is a niche practice. What I mean by this is that they specialise in helping entrepreneurial small businesses. They have positioned themselves in the market place as the perfect solution to my needs, and I chose them because they spoke to me and my pains. I have seen this with other practices too – ones that specialise in a certain kind of client – property, small business, online business etc… As I study these accountants it is clear that they own their niche and are thriving.
Differentiation In The Marketplace
If you have seen one accountant, you have seen them all. Each business has a set of year-end accounts that need completing, corporation tax that needs paying, payroll that needs processing and invoices that need sending.
There is the right way to complete these tasks – and the wrong way. And to date most accountants have differentiated by price, and grow their practice by referral. Unfortunately this cannot continue and as we see progressive accountants embracing new trends and concentrating on differentiating themselves in the market place, we see traditional accountants suffering. If you treat accountancy like a commodity, it will stay a commodity…
But you can differentiate yourself by being more than an accountant. In fact it is one of the key things on which I speak when I talk about the Boost Profit Formula™.
Differentiation comes when you position yourself in the marketplace as an advisor, and when you combine this with niching you will quickly carve out a piece of the market and get referrals. No longer will you be a commodity.
Systems = Efficiency Which Increases Your Profitability
Another key trend I am seeing in the market place is the implementation of systems. One of the biggest difficulties an Accountant has is coping with the months October – February. These key months are super busy for the industry and leave accountants burnt out and stressed.
But with time being allocated to get some systems put into the business, procedures documented and a strategy for each action, this stressful and busy time can flow. If you have a team that can help complete the year end returns you may find yourself no busier in this time than the rest of the year… You will find that you will have time to market your business and be home in time for the evening meal with your family.
I was listening to a podcast the other day where Tax Expert Diane Gardner was being interviewed during this peak time. She has created systems in her business and procedures for her team so if they were stuck they could refer to the procedures manual. She wasn’t needed in the office; she had standardisation which enabled her to get the job done correctly and efficiently.
These systems enable you to do a higher quality job for your clients and it frees up your time.
Systems will also enable you to move to flat rate fees easily, as you will understand your numbers better. And what accountant doesn’t want to understand their numbers?
Out of these key changes to the accountancy profession, which one can you implement immediately to change your business?
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What do we do at TwentyTwo?
At TwentyTwo Agency we specialise in helping you create a strategy, attract ideal prospects, convert them into clients and get remembered and referred. Our specialities include content marketing, blog writing, email newsletter management and social media management. We are a content marketing and digital experience agency for accounting firms. We ensure you get remembered, recommended and referred.
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