Going Beyond Tax Preparation: The Forward Thinking CPA

Filed under: The Advisor's Blog

As a CPA, it may be easy to sometimes lose yourself in balance sheets and tax returns. But at the end of the day, what you’re really doing is providing a service that helps people. And the best way to stay in touch with clients and bring in new business is not always to concentrate on the exact services that your firm provides. CPAs often find that once they begin thinking more broadly, in terms of their clients’ pressing needs or concerns, they provide more value and increase client loyalty.

Man with lanternIf you’re looking for ways to increase client engagement, try the following five solutions offered by the AICPA in their May 5 article.

1. Ask questions. It’s a popular sales technique, but it’s also an effective way to learn about a person’s thoughts and concerns. As an accountant, your clients mostly present you with their questions about taxes or finances. But often they don’t realize that other problems have an impact on their financial lives, and that sharing their worries with you can actually lead to improved problem solving.

2. Network with other high-quality service providers. Get to know other financial service providers in your area, and choose a few whose expertise you trust. When clients present a problem or concern that is outside of your area of practice, now you have a way to answer their questions. Introduce them to someone in your network who can help them. Indirectly, you have solved your client’s problem, and you are now even more valuable in their eyes.

3. Partner with industry leaders to reach out to your clients. Use those networking connections to put together programs that address your clients’ needs. Even if the topic matter of these events falls a bit outside of your firm’s scope of service, you will be providing for your clients in more involved, proactive way.

4. Review your firm’s services with your clients. Often your clients will think of your services in terms of what they are currently receiving from you, and may be unaware that you can actually help them in other areas. Make sure they know what you can do for them. Avoid sounding like you’re issuing a sales pitch by pointing out these additional services in response to their concerns.

5. Stay involved with the industry. At times, we all view our jobs as a collection of daily tasks we must accomplish before we can clock out and relax. But it’s important to stay involved with your industry by reading blogs or participating in LinkedIn discussions. Find out what trends and topics are becoming popular. Even if these things don’t concern your clients now, they probably will at some point in the near future. When you’re prepared for those questions when they do arise, your clients will see you as a dependable, well-informed guide worthy of their trust.

Investment Advisory Services offered through John P. Dubots Capital Management, LLC, CA License # 0822926