It's no secret: accounting firms are shifting to offer higher-value services as they adapt to accounting technology and elevate client expectations. While some are still trying to promote services compilations, tax planning, and fractional CFO services, others have recognized that the competitive landscape has changed. CPAs are competing not on financial skills, (still critical!) but on streamlined processes.
These have become key to delivering exceptional client experiences and the higher-value services people expect.
The Importance of Processes in Accounting Services
Processes are the backbone of service quality. When you consistently do things in the most efficient way, you make clients happier and the firm more profitable.
Streamlined processes reduce errors, ensure met deadlines, save the client and employee time, and enhance transparency. Firms can handle more clients and offer each client valuable services and financial insights.
This attracts and retains key high-value accounts.
It's not enough to say you're dedicated to delivering quality customer service and tailored financial advice - you're expected to show it.
However, this can feel daunting. So, here's where to start.
Areas Where Strong Processes Lead to Higher-Value Services
Start where you have the greatest impact. These areas will deliver the quick wins you need to elevate client experiences with strong processes systematically.
A robust client onboarding process sets clients and the team members working with them up for success from day one. It gets everyone on the same page, providing reasonable expectations and clear boundaries. These processes ensure the clients understand how the partnership should operate.
However, with business software tools client onboarding processes are seamless.
Introduce new clients to tools that make their lives easier. These include digital doc submission, verification e-signatures, and online payments, which will keep their financial services on track and help them get the most out of what they're paying for. You can also set them up with automated client information gathering so they get reminders when important docs are due.
Data Entry and Accuracy for Data-Driven Decisions
End mindless and repetitive data entry and field cross-population with automation.
- Improves accuracy
- Save time
- Keeps records more up-to-date for decision-making
- Improve team morale
Its mind-numbing nature can cause people to check out mentally. Introducing automation can energize teams and improve the experience they provide to clients.
Communication is an essential piece to every successful business. Whether it’s external (clients and partners) or internal, keeping it concise and centralized contributes to a smoother process.
With the right tools, you can see all of your communication from multiple channels in a single easy-to-use inbox.
Next, it's time to allow for easier collaborative work environments. Secure cloud platforms enable team members to communicate and share files. They can work together on projects in real-time and from anywhere with the Internet.
At the same time, clients can safely upload sensitive documents and review and e-sign statements. Clients feel more connected to their financial outcomes when they can upload and see progress when they want.
All of this prompts clients to perceive your services as a higher value.
Advanced-Data Analysis for Advisory Services
To implement better services, it is important to use business intelligence tools for analyzing data. You can see which services clients use most and where they get stuck, which gives you the information you need to make decisions that improve the client experience.
Business intelligence technology, like Thryv, lets you:
- Identify client, firm, and industry trends your team must adapt to
- Deliver strategic insights and financial forecasts with advanced analytics
- Get AI-powered recommendations to prioritize improvement projects.
When your clients succeed, you keep their business and grow your firm.
Ability to Tailor Services with Client Relationship Management (CRM)
Because you're tracking client interactions and preferences, you can cut services they don't use or re-educate clients on the value of underutilized tools to improve outcomes.
It also allows you to invest your time and money where it matters most to client relationships and your bottom line.
By customizing services based on the client's past experiences and preferences, you show your dedication to their success.
Leverage Business Software Tools to Streamline Processes and Add Higher-Value Services
Accounting firms no longer compete based on their financial offerings or customer service promises. Clients today expect higher-value services that come through streamlined processes.
These are only possible with the right technology because it allows you to:
- Enhance client onboarding
- Automate data entry
- Optimize workflows
- Collaborate online
- Customize client services
You've already got a phenomenal team and you’re determined to deliver the high-value services modern clients expect. Leveraging business software can help make that possible.
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