Why your competitors are not other accounting firms

James AshfordCEO & Founder, GoProposal

If you only compare your accounting firm to other accounting firms, then you’re operating at a dangerously low level.

The bar is set so much higher now. But most accounting firm owners have never even looked up to see where it is.

Many firm owners are still stuck wondering whether they should move to cloud software, or using the failing systems that their multi-partner firms are ‘used to’, or obsessing over the Letters of Engagement in case things went wrong. 

Whilst they’re stuck pondering… the world has changed on them.

The bar has been dramatically raised and many other practices are now flying over it. 

Now, put yourself in your clients’ shoes

Your clients are not comparing you to other accountants. They’re comparing you to anything they want to compare you to.

They might be comparing you to the fact that they can order a book on Amazon on a Saturday and be reading it with their coffee on Sunday morning.

They’re comparing you to the fact that they can call their bank at 10pm on a Sunday and speak to a human being and get all their questions answered. 

That’s the exceptional, world-class service that your clients now expect. From everywhere. 

So, what are the world-class accountants doing for their clients?

The accounting firms that are delivering the best service today are producing Monthly Management Reports within a week of month-end. And they are sending it to their clients via video, ahead of their monthly meeting.

They complete Annual Accounts within 30 days of year-end. They have all of this year’s tax returns completed at the end of last year. They know their clients’ business and personal goals. And they reference them in every report they provide them with.

The best accounting firms have their client’s name printed on a parking space when they arrive. Then it appears again on a screen as they walk in the door. Everyone greets the client by name, and their favorite drink is waiting for them, made to their liking (because they asked them what they wanted when they booked the meeting).

How do I know this?

Because I’ve just described My Accountancy Place—the firm that I’m a Director of. As well as many other firms of forward-thinking accountants that I’m privileged to work with.

When I first met My Accountancy Place, it certainly wasn’t like this at all. They had one person meeting prospects and existing clients, who were being asked to agree on fees presented on a complicated Excel spreadsheet. This was then emailed to a part-time staff member, who created a version of a proposal and Letter of Engagement. Finally, this ended up in the client’s inbox a couple of days later.

What was all that about?!

Your clients value their time above everything else, and they don’t expect to wait for anything.

Today at My Accountancy Place, we work hard to make sure a world-class standard is displayed throughout all of our client relationships. We use full systemization of our firm including our own app, GoProposal, constant staff training, bringing our clients in to talk to the team, and many other innovations.

Look beyond competitors

So rather than just comparing your business to other accounting firms, there are other places you need to look at. 

You need to look at what your clients really want, what they expect, and what some of the world’s leading businesses are doing.

Today, there are services you can use to answer your phones 24/7 by people who know your business and can help clients or potential clients while you sleep.

You can use the right technology that serves your clients and your business at a world-class level.

If you’re modeling your firm on what other accountants are doing, make sure they are the very best out there. And I don’t mean biggest, I mean the ones who are getting the results.

The world has changed. The bar is now higher, and it’s constantly rising. The leading accounting firms are playing a different game to most.

Which game are you playing?

James Ashford
CEO & Founder, GoProposal

Working with leading firms around the world, James helps practices become more profitable and systemize their processes to deliver maximum value and memorable service to their clients. He does this through challenging outdated pricing methods and mindsets, implementing powerful pricing and proposal systems and leveraging entire firms to sell more through consultative sales techniques.

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