Grow an accounting practice during the pandemic

How to Grow An Accounting Practice During the Pandemic

You might think a global pandemic and economic downturn as not the best time to grow an accounting practice. Many companies are struggling to stay afloat and cutting expenses left and right. One expense that is difficult to cut– or even worth bringing on– is the guidance and support of a good accountant.

These companies and small business owners are navigating an unstable market while trying to understand new tax regulations and relief programs. Accountants are in a unique position to help these business survive these challenging times. The right strategies can grow an accounting practice while providing a much-needed service to struggling businesses.

Remember, the accounting industry was doing quite well before the pandemic. That kind of growth can be reattained by firms willing to push forward. If you’re trying to grow an accounting practice during the pandemic, consider this advice.

Grow an accounting practice during the pandemic 2

Revisit Your Accounts and Operations

As an accountant, this should come naturally. Analyze where you’re spending your resources and strike out anything non-essential. Trimming the fat in your budget will enable you to stay afloat in tough times and give you the budget to try out new revenue-producing activities.

You’ll also want to review your firm’s operations. Are things running smoothly? Is productivity reasonably high? The working environment is different now. You may need to revisit tools and processes to ensure the adequate infrastructure is in place.

Take what you can and invest it into whatever your company needs. That might mean an increased marketing budget for social media or a new cloud-based practice management solution. The market has been shaken up– this is the time to revamp and try new things.

Grow an accounting practice during the pandemic 3

Reach Out To Help

The economy might be hurting, but that has only increased many companies’ need for a good accountant. Businesses large and small are struggling to navigate new tax regulations and relief options. Many have suffered severe revenue loss and need to fiscally reorganize to stay afloat. Overworked business owners who may have handled their finances and taxes themselves in the past will need extra help this year.

Get extremely well-versed in COVID-related concerns and opportunities. Be ready to answer clients’ questions. For which relief funds do they qualify? How many employees can they keep on? Where might they be able to cut costs? 

Reaching out to current and prospective clients right now is a must. Not only for your firm, but for the clients. You can grow an accounting practice while helping others keep the lights on through this crisis.

By the way, an accounting practice management solution like TPS Cloud Axis will simplify client mass mailing and emailing. You can also maintain client historical logs to keep client notes, invoices, emails, and workflow all in one place. Small conveniences like this can add up to a lot when it comes to systemizing and optimizing your firm’s client outreach process.

Grow an accounting practice during the pandemic 4

Brush Up Your Skill Set

If you want to grow an accounting firm, you will have to grow along with it. Take advantage of the extra time at home to brush up on your skill set. Even if you’re an industry veteran, you need to continue learning new things if you want to stay sharp and relevant. Some ideas for enhancing your expertise include: 

Make sure you’re up to date on all things COVID-19. Your clients want to know you can successfully help them navigate this difficult situation. You want to be their first and only call when it comes to applying for new loans, debt forgiveness, freezing mortgages and so on.

Grow an accounting practice during the pandemic 5

Invest in Marketing

Marketing may seem like a luxury right now, but in times like these it is essential. As noted above, many companies and small business owners are going to be in need of additional help this year. Getting your firm in front of them with the right messaging is key to growth. 

A good marketing strategy will enable you to reach new prospects while also staying front-of-mind for current or former clients. You can use any combination of digital marketing, print advertising, social media, or good ole fashioned email or direct mail. 

You might also want to update your website and add a specific page or section for COVID-related accounting news, concerns, and opportunities. This will showcase your firm’s expertise and ability to help with COVID-related issues.

Create valuable content that shows off your skills and demonstrates that you are a valuable asset. People need help right now, they just want to know you’re worth investing in before they take the leap.

In the end, effective marketing will always require a time and financial investment. Done well, marketing will be helpful to you clients while positioning your firm as the experts.

Grow an accounting practice during the pandemic 6

Show Up For Your Clients

If you have loyal customers that can afford to keep you on, do not fail to recognize the significance of that. Times are tough, and while accounting tend to be more protected during budget cuts, any third party team is typically considered for the axe.

Good clients are rare, and they’re worth your time and attention. Just because they’re not the squeaky wheel right now doesn’t mean they don’t need some grease. Offer to hop on a Zoom call (yes, a Zoom call, not a phone call) so that you can have some face to face time with your clients. Be proactive about tracking down information or opportunities that might be helpful to them. Do your best to not miss a single deadline. Go the extra mile if you can afford it– whether that’s providing a little more than expected or sending a good old fashioned gift basket.

Remember, existing clients are more than current revenue– they can also be your top marketers. For many firms, a large chunk of revenue comes from referral business. Make sure your clients have no problem dropping your name when someone asks “hey, do you know of a good accountant?

Consider Payment Plans

If you have current or perspective clients who are struggling to make ends meet, consider providing more flexible payment options. We’re not saying to slash prices in the long-term but evaluate your client agreements, your own finances, and consider offering or restructuring payment plans if needed.

This is an important gesture to a client who is going through difficult times. It shows that you actually care if their business succeeds– it’s not only and always about the money. This will foster a sense of loyalty and turn these clients into raving (and possibly referring) fans.

Obviously, this is not a long term solution to keeping clients. Special arrangements should be the exception– never the rule. Doing the occcasional pro bono work is great, but don’t let it be by accident.

Grow an accounting practice during the pandemic 6

Communication is Key

With face to face communications cut down to a bare minimum, it’s extra important to keep open channels between you, your clients, employees, and business partners. 

Make sure you don’t drop the ball and scare any of your customers with radio silence. Clients want to know you are the expert they need you to be, and while you don’t have ALL the answers, you do have ideas and the skills to keep their businesses safe. Communicating with your clients shows that you’re thinking about them and proactively working to help them survive this insane period we’re living through. 

Your team also needs to know that you’re there for them, and that they don’t need to be looking for employment elsewhere. Just imagine the nightmare of interviewing job candidates right now! They may even have fresh ideas that can help keep you profitable, so be open and honest with your team — remember that two heads are always better than one.

By the way, an accounting practice management solution like TPS Cloud Axis will simplify client mass mailing and emailing. You can also maintain client historical logs to keep client notes, invoices, emails, and workflow all in one place. Small conveniences like this can add up to a lot when it comes to systemizing and optimizing your firm’s client outreach process.

Can You Grow an Accounting Practice During the Pandemic?

In times of crisis there also tends to be opportunity. Accounting firms are in a unique position to sustain and even grow during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeking out new client opportunities, trying out new tools and technology, investing in marketing, enhancing your own skill set are all great ways to grow an accounting practice during a pandemic.

Will your accounting firm be one of the companies to sink or swim during the pandemic? That’s mainly up to you.

Level up your accounting practice with TPS Cloud Axis– starting at $10/month.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *