Top 4 Issues Facing Accounting FirmsSeptember 20, 2019
Learn about the most common accounting firm struggles.
The accounting industry is changing rapidly. Firms face a variety of challenges. Many are brought on by the advent of new technologies. Changing client expectations, intense price competition, and shifting regulations also contribute to the complex landscape.
Many accounting firms seek technology solutions to ease their burden. When interested firms approach us about ABLE, we ask a few baseline questions prior to presenting our software. One question asks accountants to name the main challenges with which their firm struggles. Today we’re going to take a look at the top four.
Top 4 Accounting Firm Struggles
1. Maintaining a comprehensive and up-to-date pipeline
Firstly, keeping track of business development is an issue for accounting firms, historically. It’s not uncommon for each individual CPA to keep their own records. Firms often lack a unified location where all information is stored. This lack of a central database makes collaboration a challenge. As a result, depending on how organized (or how unorganized) a firm’s professionals are, business opportunities can slip through the cracks.
2. Tracking business development results
The next issue has to do with keeping track of your team members’ efforts to pursue new business. If everyone in your firm is responsible for tracking their own pipeline, then they’re likely also not held accountable for their business development efforts. Business development includes cultivating relationships with clients, prospects, and referral sources. Lack of accountability leads to a lack of tangible evidence that these activities are even happening. This makes it impossible to track the effectiveness of your firm’s overall business development efforts.
3. Building and maintaining strong referral relationships
Next, let’s look at key relationships. There are three types of relationships that your team members should pursue—clients, prospects, and referral sources. Of these three, referral sources are most often neglected. Clients get regular attention because they’re the ones writing you checks. Prospects, too, get more attention because bringing in new business is linked to job performance. Referral sources are key relationships that can help you discover new prospects and bring in new clients. However, they’re easier to neglect, because they don’t always realize immediate returns.
4. Making the shift from compliance to advisory
We’ve written about this final item frequently. As technology continues to advance, computers take on more and more of an accountant’s technical responsibilities. In order to remain relevant, accounting professionals need to shift how clients view them. Rather than simply performing compliance work, accountants need to pivot into an advisory role. Check out this article for further details on the issue.
ABLE Can Help With Your Accounting Firm Struggles
ABLE helps accounting firms practice collaboratively. The system supports accountability when it comes to business development activities. It guides your team in focusing on pursuing strong relationships. It keeps things from falling through the cracks. With ABLE, your firm can make the key pivot from compliance to advisory services.