Can Build Better Customer Relationships
JULY 2005 - CPAs can use the time saved by automation of rote
tasks to deepen client relationships. According to recent
studies in the accounting profession, up to 70% of business
owners view their accountant as their most important advisor.
Yet, according to a Rockefeller study, in a survey that asked
business clients why they switched CPA firms, an astonishing
61% said it was because they thought the CPA “did not
care” about them or their business. Only 6% left because
of price considerations, and only 4% left because of lack
There are practical ways that accountants can use technology
to advance their practices and deepen customer relationships:
Use technology tools to contact clients more
often and in more meaningful ways. Even simple
and common systems like ACT and Salesforce.com can be a
huge help in managing contacts and prospect lists. Customer
relationship management (CRM) systems are typically easy
to use and inexpensive. Notes can be made for each account,
and accounts can be grouped by priority.
Produce reports and information that are of
tangible value to your clients. Advisors should
help businesses understand their financial information.
Intuit offers a subscription-based product (www.expertanalysis.net)
that enables the user to produce financial analysis reports
in plain and easy-to-understand language.
Regulatory compliance. Accountants
can leverage their unique knowledge by using technology-based
compliance tools to help deepen client relationships.
Brian Hamilton is CEO and leader of the
management team for Sageworks, Inc., the company that develops
an application that aids accountants in communicating with