The Secret To Retaining Your Accounting Clients

Most owners of accounting practices have one fear above all others – losing clients.

Yet…they ignore their fiduciary responsibility to help their clients become profitable!

Sound over the top? Let’s backtrack a little.

First, we are talking about business clients of course. Business clients are where the real money is in an accounting practice. Businesses need all kinds of services that a consumer will never need and businesses can generate revenue to pay for those services (and write them off).

Now many, if not the majority, of accounting practices do a disservice to their business clients. They offer tax returns or bookkeeping services or maybe payroll. Lost cost, low-profit services that are being furnished by low cost oversees providers or, in the future, by AI (artificial intelligence) software. These practices are often characterized by low profits and low hourly billing rates.

All while ignoring the fact that their clients want and need help in growing revenue and increasing profits.

Moreover, business owners view accountants as a group as being “experts” at business.

But, do they view you as that expert?

More importantly, do you view yourself as that expert?

Because if you did, you would believe that you, as that expert, have a fiduciary responsibility to help your business clients become more profitable.

When you view yourself as having that fiduciary responsibility, you don’t just enroll clients in tax filing or bookkeeping services.

You insist that as your client they need to be enrolled in monthly advisory services where you review their P&L, help them understand their margins and break-even points, review their long term tax strategies, debt and investment plans and even guide their revenue growth.

Many accounting practice owners are afraid to charge for advisory services or promote their expertise to their business clients other than saying “we offer XYZ service”.

And clients look at your “presentation” and think to themselves “you can’t help me”.

Here’s the mistake you as the practice owner are making. You are not anchoring the value of what you offer to the investment in your advisory services.

Here’s an example.  Let’s say you can find an additional $50K in profit in a company that has 7 figures of annual revenue. Maybe this is through inventory management, recovering more A/R, a better tax strategy or a better product mix. Over a 5-year period, this is $250K in additional profit. With your expertise, this is not hard to do.

Let’s say you offer advisory services for $20K a year.  What is the ROI for an investment of $20K that yields $250K? If your best friend knew you could get that return but withheld the information, would they still be your best friend?

You have the knowledge on how to create a better life for your business clients and with that knowledge comes your fiduciary responsibility to help them.

And what would be the result of that effort? A profitable, life-long client, which is what you want the most.

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