How to ensure your accounting firm’s best busy season ever
The work schedule is set and everyone at your accounting practice is organized and pumped up to dominate the workload this busy season. Nevertheless, it’s not too late to take some steps that will make this your best busy season ever:
1. Track cross-selling opportunities. Many clients meeting with you this time of year will bring up questions or concerns about their finances. If they don’t, you can take the opportunity to ask a few, pointed questions that lay the groundwork for providing additional services later in the year. Obviously, time is very limited this time of year, so tracking opportunities for follow up is critical. The AICPA’s Journal of Accountancy has a matrix to help you track cross-selling opportunities, but you can also create one that matches your firm’s specific services.
2. Schedule a post-tax season staff meeting. Schedule a meeting for soon after busy season ends. Tell partners and staff you will use the time to discuss opportunities uncovered during busy season and to make a plan for tackling those leads. When people know they are going to be asked to report, they are more likely to be prepared to answer.
3. Recognize that clients value insight and foresight more than hindsight. When you use a system that translates your clients’ previous financial statements into management tools for this year, you can print out a brief narrative report providing a snapshot of the client’s financial position and areas for improvement. Offer to let them take the report with them as a free sample and let the client know you can provide more in-depth and updated advice later in the year for a small fee.
These steps can help you begin to transition or make great strides toward transitioning from a historically focused, compliance-based service model to one partnering in your clients’ future success. Being more than “just the tax guy/gal” or “just the auditor” provides CPA firms with more opportunities for quality growth later in the year and is also important for recruiting quality staff.
After all, don’t you want to be even more productive during the next busy season?
For more information on cross-selling services to your existing client base, listen to the on-demand webinar, “Cross-sell accounting services.”