While Accountants attract clients with their knowledge and expertise, what they’re actually selling is their time. Whether they’re charging a fixed fee or an hourly rate, their service model is based on the time it takes to do a given task. So obviously their ability to perform these tasks efficiently is a vital part of meeting budgets and achieving profitability.
And yet a lot of accountants still complain about the level of write offs they incur, and how clients don’t understand the amount of work involved in preparing their financials and tax returns.
When delving into these issues, it seems the number one issue is the quality of the files that the client delivers. And while the cloud and packages such as Xero certainly improve the situation, the ‘garbage in, garbage out’ principle still applies.
Meanwhile, the client thinks they’ve done everything right, and that all the accountant needs to do is fill in the tax return and lodge it. So it comes as quite a shock when they receive a huge bill for the time it took the accountant to sort out their files.
Understandably, many firms are now starting to incorporate bookkeeping into their services to improve their productivity by improving the quality of the data. Some choose to simply refer their clients to a local bookkeeper. However, we often hear of external bookkeepers quickly reaching capacity and not being able to scale to meet the firm’s growth. The firm then needs to find another bookkeeper, which can lead to problems with consistency.
That’s why a lot of firms are now starting to incorporate bookkeeping as part of a fixed fee package that covers bookkeeping, BAS, management reporting and tax compliance. They then either do the work in-house (by recruiting bookkeepers for their team) or outsource the work to a reliable service.
Whatever option they choose, the goal is to consistently receive high-quality files from their clients to improve the firm’s productivity and profitability. And here are four ways a bookkeeping service can help them do just that.
- Improving the quality of the data being delivered means they spend less time on the file at year end addressing the data inadequacies, which leads to better productivity and a higher hourly rate.
- Spending less time on fixing the data means they can spend more time analysing it, and be able to give the client quality feedback and advice within their budget.
- Providing this feedback increases the chances of the client requesting additional services to help address any issues.
- Having the bookkeeping done on a regular basis means the accountant can provide real advice in real time based on real data throughout the year—not just at year end.
By addressing the quality issue at its source (i.e. the client), accounting firms can:
- improve the efficiency of their practice
- free up capacity
- provide more relevant and timely advice to their clients.
All of which will lead to more referrals and growth in their business.
To find out more about how a bookkeeping service can help your accounting firm, get in touch with us here at ZeroBooks.