The last two seasons have been endless for most practitioners. From PPP, unemployment, ERC and more, the tax and accounting industry has been plagued with constant change and challenges through the COVID-19 pandemic. 95% of the practitioners I speak with feel they were overworked, underpaid, and simply undervalued by their clients throughout the pandemic. However, only a mere 15% have a plan moving forward to cut down their client base, enhance their billing structure, and move their practice forward.
Scope creep on engagements is the leading cause of lost revenue, burnout, and a handful of other things. That 5-10 minute ‘client quick question,’ may save your client thousands of dollars in tax liability down the line, but what revenue is your firm generating from that? Most firms I connect with share they don’t want to nickel and dime their clients just because they are seeking advice from their tax and accounting professional. You may be thinking, is there a way to capture this revenue? What am I doing wrong that other practitioners may be doing?
I’m sure you have clients that have pre-existing, built relationships with your firm. You also have clients that take up more of your time than they add value to your practice. I want you to ask yourself, how am I outlining my engagements? Are my clients paying me for a deliverable? Am I leaving money on the table within my existing relationships?
Instead of being reactive to your clients quick questions, why not take a proactive approach and act as the trusted advisor your client is searching for? Gone is the day of giving away your knowledge for the price of a tax return. Gone is the day of having to add more clients just to increase the revenue of your firm. You are a professional helping individuals and businesses make educated tax and accounting decisions. It is time the industry steps out of its comfort zone and begins capturing the revenue they have left on the table for years.
“What if I propose a new engagement to a client and I lose business?” Think of it this way, if said client is not willing to sign the new engagement for whatever reason, did they ever value you or the firm in the first place? Work with the clients who excite you, who value you, and who want your knowledge for more than the price of a simple tax return. Package your services in a way the client understands what they are receiving. Communicate your value and your story to your clients. You will be on your way to making a future proof firm.