5 ideas to boost your accounting business through diversification
Promoted by lend.com.au.
If you’ve been in the accounting business for a while, you might have noticed that the landscape is changing.
This has to do with a variety of things, including changing clients’ needs and the influx of new accounting software that’s available to business owners.
But that doesn’t mean your accounting business will suffer. It only has to keep pace with these changing trends.
So what’s the answer?
For many firms, it’s diversification.
How to diversify your accounting business
If you’ve noticed that your client base is changing, it’s important to change with them. Many small business owners are hiring bookkeepers in-house, because accounting software like Quickbooks makes it easy to do so.
And to be honest…
That’s sometimes better (and sometimes not).
When clients can control their information and see the benefits of keeping clean books, your job gets a lot less frustrating. When they can’t, well, that’s another story.
Instead of looking at it in terms of lost business, think about the opportunities. You can now focus your time and energy on new endeavours. And you can tailor those endeavours to your wants and needs – choose a challenging new project, or opt for something easy to bring in extra cash.
There are a lot of possibilities.
Five ways to diversify your accounting business
Offer cash flow finance referrals
When your client has a huge tax bill, what do they need most? Cash. To grow their business, train staff, develop new service offerings, invest in marketing - cash, every time. Xero just released a new report showing that 53% of big businesses are paying invoices late.
But finding the right business loan can be tricky. The positive news is that there is a growing amount of non bank lenders who can assist your clients with different finance products.
Lend offers a great way for accountants to refer through their market leading referral partner program. Lend can assist you with small business term loans with (unsecured options), invoice and equipment finance. Learn more about small business loans with Lend.
You receive a referral fee on every loan you close. The loan agreement remains between the lender and the client, so the money you can make is practically effortless.
Become a virtual CFO
If you’re already serving small and growing businesses, you can probably find an opportunity to act as a virtual CFO. The business would save money, because they won’t have to hire a full-time C-level employee – and you’ll get a steady stream of income from your part-time work.
Plus, if this is already a client, you’re probably intimately aware of their business practices and finances, so the transition to CFO will be an easy one.
Offer valuation services
If you aren’t already doing so, consider adding accounting valuation services to your repertoire. This is an important service that values a company’s assets and liabilities for financial reporting purposes. This service will be extremely helpful for your business clients who are looking for investors – but also helpful for individuals going through a divorce or the estate planning process.
Add new business services through partnerships
By offering services specifically for new businesses you can get your foot in the door with many people who are just starting out. And this is a great place to be – because they will inevitably need an accounting firm to handle their taxes and finances going forward.
Here are a few ideas for value-adding services you can offer through your accounting firm:
Business plan advice – A good business plan will contain financial forecasts for various scenarios, and you can help clients create an accurate picture of their company’s financial success. If they’re using the plan to attract investors or apply for funding, your involvement will lend useful credibility to their plans and proposals.
Corporate entity advice and formation – Choosing the wrong kind of business entity can spell disaster for a new company. These things are difficult to change later, so it’s best to get it right from the start, and you have the expertise to help entrepreneurs make the right choices.
Financial planning – Every business needs a solid foundation of financial planning, and this is especially true in the start-up and growth phases. At this point, a financial plan can make or break a company, so it’s an important job, and one you are perfectly placed to help with.
Succession planning – What if the worst happens and the CEO or sole proprietor can’t show up for work anymore? How will an entrepreneur get value for all their hard work when they are ready to exit the company and retire or move on. A succession plan is kind of like a will for a business. It outlines who is next in line to perform key roles in the company. Helping companies to make realistic, workable plans for the future is a great way to add value.
Cash flow budgeting – Cash is king in any business, and cash flow budgeting can be a sticky issue for many small business owners. It definitely helps to have a skilled accountant involved in the process. If nothing else, you’ll be an objective voice of reason!
Introduce your clients to technology
Choose one to three software as a service (SaaS) programs to recommend to your clients and become an affiliate or reseller of those programs. Depending on the deal, you may need someone who is tech savvy to install the programs on your clients’ computers, but this is a relatively simple job and almost effortless money.
Think about it this way: your clients probably need these programs anyway, so you’ll be helping them while creating a new revenue stream for yourself.
Regardless of your business or niche, diversification is the way of the future. It’s the best way to protect your accounting business from hardship, make sure you stay relevant in an evolving market, and keep things interesting in your day-to-day work.