7 tips on how to future proof your practice:
1. You need to get your books in order, too
To genuinely walk the talk, it’s essential your own books are up-to-date. This will give you authenticity and a sense of confidence when you work with clients. It also means you can talk to them from experience, given many accountants’ and bookkeepers’ clients are small businesses themselves.
2. Make the most of the cloud
Yes, clients will occasionally still bring you a shoe box of receipts. But this can be an opportunity to get them to commit to cloud accounting. It’s like starting from scratch. Some of the great tools they will immediately benefit from available through QuickBooks include DEXT, ServiceM8 and Tradify.
As a thought leader in accounting and bookkeeping, you can also lead the way with the cloud, by making the most of QuickBooks’ tools and features. The idea is to use tech to support your business model. The workflow tool is especially useful when it comes to helping you manage your practice and your tasks.
3. Use all the functionality you can
We’re all guilty of only using part of the functionality embedded in the tech we use. So before you invest in new digital tech, there are fantastic opportunities to explore more of the features and plug ins available.
For instance, QuickBooks’ users have powerful tools at their fingertips. Karbon, MailChimp and QuickBooks Tax powered by LodgeiT are great examples. A great pro tip is to use the QuickBooks mobile app to prepare quotes.
Plus, QuickBooks Online Accountant is the most powerful system available to help accountants and bookkeepers manage their practice and grow their business.
4. Be true to yourself
Everything changed with COVID-19. Gone are the days of the stereotypical accountant in a cardigan. Similarly, there’s no longer an expectation from clients that you will turn up in a suit and tie. Or skirt or dress. Casual attire is perfectly acceptable, especially if that’s what your clients wear. The value you add is about the skills you offer and your experience, it’s not about your clothes.
5. Leverage the power of offshoring
Achieving an acceptable balance between your work and personal life is so important for the longevity of your career. One way to achieve this is to divest some of your responsibilities to others. Offshoring some tasks is one way to do this.
Clients are usually very accepting of this approach, especially when it means you can spend more time with them.
6. Recognise the power of reviews
A large number of great online reviews is one of the best ways to generate new business. But encouraging your clients to give you a positive review is all in the timing. It’s an idea to form the habit of asking clients to post a review online at the end of every successful engagement. Expect about one in five to leave a review, so the more often you ask, the more reviews you will receive.
It’s vital to engage with your clients every time they leave a review, positive or not. In fact, it’s even more important to connect with people who leave a three- or four-star review, so you can find out why and turn them into a five-star reviewer down the track.
7. Regularly review your fee structure
The fee structure you adopt in your firm will depend on your own preferences. Some firms use a fixed fee model, others put clients on a retainer or use an hourly rate model. Whatever approach you choose, it’s important to regularly review your client base and make sure each one is a good fit for your business. This will support your profitability and make sure you’re really engaged with all the small businesses you help.
Don’t forget QuickBooks’ functionality is constantly evolving. So make sure you keep up-to-date with all our latest product releases and do regular online training to make the most of everything we have to offer the accounting and bookkeeping community.
Want more resources to help you grow?
Visit the QuickBooks Growth Hub to browse our selection of free guides that can help you find more clients, add new revenue sources, and build a future-fit business.