Tax season can be long, stressful and demanding for both clients and accounting firms. For most clients, they can’t wait to get it over with so they can get on with the rest of their lives. For accounting firms, this is usually the peak period they get to service their clients. Ultimately, this season also offers a great opportunity for accounting firms to grow post tax season.
If you are serious about growing your accounting firm, now is the time to pay attention to more than just filing taxes. Yes, most of the work you do involves helping clients with their tax returns. However, it’s also a great time to plan ahead for the year, after the music stops- when tax season ends. Here are great ways you can position your accounting firm for growth post tax season.
Understand Your Clients Better for the Long Run
During tax season, your firm gets to do a lot of work with both new and existing clients. This is a great period to take an insider look into how your clients operate and who they are exactly. The better you know your clients, the better positioned you will be to deliver excellent services.
Data is critical for an accounting firm. Gather as much data as you can about clients and keep your client’s profile constantly updated. You can use the information gathered to innovate and create tailor-fit solutions to other challenges they may have beyond filing taxes. Think ahead for them. Think broad and think innovation.
Consider scheduling meetings to discuss these areas and give them the opportunity to think over the offers and solutions you have come up with. This helps to foster trust and a strong relationship between your firm and your clients.
Stay in Touch
Strong relationships are built on great communication structures. Accounting is a very competitive field that requires you to constantly be in the faces of your clients and potential clients. You don’t want to be the firm that only remembers their clients or seeks out new ones when tax season is approaching. No, you want to be the first name they think of when they want any accounting done.
Study how your clients operate.Are they more traditional in operation or are more technological? What would be the best way to stay in touch? How do I reach out to prospective clients and not come off as unsubstantial?
Use this opportunity to pitch your other services that they may not be familiar with. Use newsletters, emails, structured and periodic calls and visits. Offer free but valuable information that will genuinely help your clients.
Clean Your House
As much as you focus on holding the attention of your clients, it is also important that you ensure that your accounting firm is poised to deliver when necessary. Constantly review the way you work and how efficient your structures are in delivery. You must innovate and keep your firm one step ahead with relevant management structures and systems.
It’s time to automate your services as well. Technology makes life easier, faster and better. If your accounting firm is to grow, use the opportunity and knowledge gained to automate your services so you can deliver more efficiently. Always ask yourself “Do you have the right structures and systems to manage more clients?” In positioning for growth in your accounting firm, think long term. But start now.
Empower for Growth
This is a great period to start empowering your employees to become more than just staff. If you are going to grow as an accounting firm, you must develop more leaders and innovative thinkers than managers. When this is done, you will find employees taking the ball in your firm. Use the period to teach, train on tax services and beyond. Being that your accounting firm offers active service, you will also have a great platform to test run and reach for more.
Growth is never assumed. It is always intentional. For your accounting firm, you must use the period to plan and structure ahead for growth. When you fail to plan, you are inevitably planning to fail. While other firms are catching their breath after tax season, you would be up and running ahead of your competition. Strengthen your management structures and service your client relationships better to see the growth you desire in your accounting firm.