5 Things SMEs Look For in an Accountant

Small businesses, micro businesses and freelancers all rely on their accountants heavily. Not only do they require technical accounting support, but often they will come to their accountant when they’re in need of financial advice concerning their business.

This change in relationship is in part due to the steps the industry has taken in technology, which has allowed accountants to take a more advisory role with their clients. With such a huge amount of trust placed in accountants by SMEs, it’s important you cater to their and help their business thrive.

1. Advice

Rather than just being a number cruncher, accountants have countless other roles to fulfil. From advice on forecasting cash flow to choosing the right business structure, there are numerous advisory roles SMEs ask their accountants to take.

Small businesses like to be assured that they’ll face the minimum penalties possible (hopefully none) and will have the best accountant in the case of a tax investigation, which is why you should make a note of your

2. Technological know-how

The importance of technology in accounting is growing. With the upcoming Making Tax Digital initiative currently due to come into action in 2020, the connection between accountant and technology is expected to become closer than ever.

In order to keep up with technology and keep your clients, you should make it clear that your accountancy firm is ready for any changes to the accounting industry that may happen in the future. A good way to advertise this to potential clients is to make a cloud accounting software available as part of your accounting package.

3. Tax efficiency

Becoming tax efficient is a huge part of the reason a client looks for an accountant. Your knowledge of tax legislation allows you to advise clients on becoming as tax efficient as possible, and help them save in areas where they would otherwise be unnecessarily losing money from their business.

Being aware of on industry news is an important part of keeping your knowledge of tax legislation up to date. You’ll then be informed of any changes to legislation and you’ll also have foresight into anything that may affect your clients businesses.

4. Communication

Whether it’s over the phone, face to face or on over email – small businesses find value in being able to chat to their accountant when they have questions concerning their accounts. A great phone manner is vital in ensuring clients have faith in your ability, and proving that you’re doing the best you can for their business.

Having certain hours that clients can contact you in or getting back to emails promptly can help SMEs see that you’re great at communicating with clients and welcome questions and feedback.

5. Genuine care for their business

When you’re dealing with tens, hundreds or even thousands of clients each day, it can be easy to detach yourself from the owners and instead see only a set of accounts. However, small business owners value an accountant that genuinely cares about the success of their business, so it’s important to take extra steps to ensure you take note of the person behind the accounts.

When possible, speak to your clients on the phone and try to have a face to face meeting with them – even if it’s just once. This way you’re able to put a human to the numbers and care about the success of their business and the impact it has on them as a person.

Do you offer your SME clients everything on the list? Or are there points you think your accountancy firm could work on? Share your experiences in the comment section below!



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