Whether it’s working remotely, using innovative technology or communicating with colleagues across the globe, your clients are changing the way they work.
Not only that, their expectations of you as their accountant are also changing. Ninety-three percent of small business owners now value accountants as their source of business advice, according to the International Federation of Accountants.
Here’s five of the most important things clients are now looking for in their accountant:
- Clients are searching for advisors who understand change
Today’s entrepreneurs are going into business for different reasons than previous generations. Sage research reveals 34% of millennials start their own business to be master of their own identity, while only 21% do so to make money. Accountants must meet these changing aspirations with a new approach – by moving away from traditional accounting services and providing more advice-based, consultative services. Listening to the needs of Sage customers, we’ve found that failing to give proactive advice is a major reason clients leave their accountant.
- Clients need their accountants to keep up with technology
One way to keep up is to always look ‘over the horizon’ for technology that could redefine the profession. It’s something Chas Roy-Chowdhury, Head of Taxation at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, believes all accountants should be doing.
“I get emails all the time about how to keep up with the profession, and I reckon a lot of accountants may put them in the junk file,” says Chowdhury.
“I really encourage people to continue learning and reading, particularly literature about changes in IT. There is always an emphasis on change – I think people need to be fully up-to-speed and aware about what’s going to happen.”
- Clients are looking for accountants that can work anywhere, anytime
In a Sage survey of 7,400 entrepreneurs, almost half said they believe everyone will work remotely via a mobile device in the future. Your clients will increasingly expect the same anywhere, anytime service they receive from other businesses, so as their strategic business adviser, you need to have the technology that caters to their expectations. Cloud-based accounting solutions that allow accountants and their clients to share data in real time can help you closely monitor and stay in touch with your clients whenever they need you.
- Clients want a faster, easier way to manage their business finances
From employment and tax laws to data protection regulations, there’s a lot of red tape for business owners to wade through. With cloud-based accounting technology, anything that’s a legal requirement is built in to your solution and updated in real time as compliance changes happen. By combining smart technology with your years of expertise, you’ll be able to power through red tape for your clients twice as fast.
Discover how Sage solutions for accounting professionals can help your practice leverage the cloud to deliver faster, anytime, anywhere service to your clients.