Five Things Accountants Take for Granted That Cost Them Revenue

I’m pretty sure that I am not the only accountant who has made the following mistakes with clients.  Here are a couple of ideas to help us remember what we know that the client doesn’t and why it costs us when we forget.

1. Clients do not know how to evaluate our technical skills.

If you need to hire an accountant, chances are you don’t know a lot about accounting.  It just follows that you’re not going to be perfect at hiring an accountant.  As accountants, we need to remember that it’s not our technical prowess that gets us the job since the client has no way of evaluating that piece.

What gets us the job is when the client decides they LIKE and TRUST us.   We need to stop doing behaviors like talking over our clients’ heads and answering all their technical questions for free.

2. Clients often do not know the difference between what a CPA, an EA, and a bookkeeper can and should do for them.

Most clients have no idea what level of person is needed to do what they’re asking for when it comes to accounting tasks.  The client could be over- or underpaying for the skills they need.  We need to help educate clients on all of the different levels of accounting skills required to run a small business.

This is where some huge revenue potential lurks, especially when there is a whole role not getting done in the business.

3.  Accountants are too quick to judge whether a prospect can afford their accounting services.

Lots of missed opportunities happen this way.

4. Clients have no idea how to use accountants.

When I first hired a Virtual Assistant, I was lucky that she knew how to train me.  She and I talked about what she could take over from me so I wouldn’t have to do it.  I needed her help to know how to pay her money!

Accountants who realize the story is the same with their clients will do very well.    And I’ll make a bold statement here:   I believe that if accountants were more proactive in this area, they could actually help more small businesses stay in business and do their part to make a big dent in reviving the economy.

I truly believe we have such valuable skills that there are millions of people who really need us right now, if only we would speak up just a bit more.

5. Clients have no idea about the financial risks they are taking.

Do you have clients who have one bookkeeper that goes to the bank, reconciles the account, and posts the transactions?  If you do, you have an opportunity (and many would say a responsibility) to explain to the client the concept of segregation of duties, explain the risks of fraud and theft, and propose a solution.

That’s just one of many examples of how we can help our clients further, if only we would take the time to educate them.

When you can turn these missed opportunities into structured conversations with the client, you will begin to expand and deepen the relationship and the trust the client has with you.  You’ll have served your clients better, while expanding revenues for yourself.