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Top 5 ways an accountant can add value

For accountancy practices, the key to success is finding ways to offer customers added value. You can create added value by offering additional benefits on top of your standard services and products. It is these additional benefits that distinguish you from your competitors, which in turn can help you to gain more customers.

In a recent social media campaign, and with the help of our partner the ICAEW, we asked accountants how they go beyond the call of duty for their clients. Here are some of the most popular responses:

1. Sharing ideas without charging
Charging clients for every bit of advice you give them might give the impression that you're only in it for the money, which can prevent you from forming solid, long-term relationships with them. On the other hand, regularly sharing insight with clients for free demonstrates that you're personally committed to them and their business, which helps create added value and builds trust.

2. Investing in the long-term
Recently there has been a move away from a 'chargeable hours' culture, with accountants now being more involved in their clients' business processes, and on a more regular basis. Doing this demonstrates commitment and improves communication; both of which are key factors in creating added value and ensuring your clients are less likely to go to the competition.

A short-termist approach will most likely only result in short-term success. If you are focused on always getting in new business, rather than investing in the clients you already have, you are unlikely to flourish. As with everything else in life, Pereto's rule will probably apply... 20% of your clients provide you with 80% of your business; therefore it's imperative you invest in these existing relationships.

3. Free webinars
Free webinars are an effective way for accountants to give business insight, tips and expert advice to their customers. These online seminars are easy to set-up and are a great way for accountants to impart free, professional advice without having to meet each client face-to-face.

4. Writing and sharing articles
Many accountants are writing insightful, informative articles to share with their customers. Doing this creates added value because it provides an additional way for accountants to engage with clients, whilst helping accountants to assert themselves as industry leaders. These posts can then be shared in various ways for example; posted on the company website, on a blog site, on LinkedIn, on Twitter and other social media accounts and via email to your existing customer base. By sharing your own content, and other industry content you are building awareness and adding value not only in your existing customer base, but also among potential future clients.

5. Consultation services
Accountants are now starting to offer clients additional consultancy services that go beyond their specialist accountancy services. This is a great way to give customers the added value they deserve as they are effectively able to refer a trusted supplier into the mix to solve a clients problem. Wesleyan Bank's referral process, for example, allows you to create added value for your customers by introducing them to the benefits of our flexible finance options. Find out more about referring your customers here.

Read: Referral Services for Accountants

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