22nd June 2016
Choosing an accountant isn’t usually something most people think about. Often times, it’s something they don’t think about until it’s leading up to tax day (or the day before). When the time comes to see an accountant, some people simply go to whoever is closest and don’t consider any of the qualities that make a good accountant in the decision process. However, most of these people don’t realize is just how much the person they trust with their financial and tax matters, well, matters.
At the same time there are quite a few things an accountancy firm can do to keep smiles on their current customers, who know and trust them, while herding in new clients, who are finally looking for a quality accounting experience. There are the obvious things: an assiduous work-ethic, a good tableside manner, and overall professionalism are all traits that come with a good accountant. Here are a few more ideas for how to improve your accountancy business and give your customers, whether old or new, exactly what they want.
Communication is the key to any great relationship. While it is obvious that communication will happen naturally throughout the process of working on your client’s taxes, it is nice to set a few ground rules when it comes to when and how frequently each party should hear from the other. If the expectations aren’t made clear early the chance of a communication breakdown increases and may result in either or both refusing to work with the other. If a client calls every day with time consuming questions, it might cause problems. On the other hand, if there’s no communication until the day before the return is due, that won’t work either. It is important to discuss how you expect to communicate with your clients and to solidify a timeline you can both live with.
Clients are often drawn to the whole package—comfortable office, knowledgeable people, and a personalized touch. Another thing customers are becoming more and more attracted to is tax audit insurance. Firms using Audit Shield from Accountancy Insurance are able to give their clients a little bit more peace of mind that while everything will probably be fine, in case it doesn’t, they are covered. Having tax audit insurance in place is a huge selling point for informed clients.
3. HAVE YOU MET THE MAN?
Another question a lot of customers have for their accountant is ‘how much experience with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) do you have?’ Being contacted by the Canada Revenue Agency can be a nerve-racking experience full of uncertainty. Clients want to know that if they are ever issued a notice, that they will be in the hands of an experienced and professional accountant who knows what they are doing. They need the consul and expertise of an experienced and knowledgeable accountant in their corner.
Some other qualities an accountant might want to push to the forefront when courting new clients is their experience in business, their tax planning experience, and their relationship to other clients.