Accounting firm clients want simplicity and trust that what CPAs do is complex and time consuming. Clients understand that there are many business factors, laws and exclusions that affect their accounting practices and taxes. In most cases your clients do not have the knowledge or time to handle their accounting and taxes on their own, which is why they have come to you. The ins and outs of the accounting & tax process are details that can be overly complicated and unnecessary for them.
Business owners want an accounting firm that can take complex issues and present them simply and clearly in a way that helps them make better decisions.
Here are a few tips to cultivate and nurture open and clear communication between your CPAs and your firm’s clients.
Tips to help you communicate with your CPA clients
Ask Pertinent Questions
Asking the right questions at the right time helps you get to know your client’s business’ financial goals, needs and concerns as well as build trust with them. Your questions and information gathering helps them see how knowledgeable you are and that you take all factors in consideration to provide them with the best advice possible.
Understanding your client and your clients business through frequent and well thought questions, will help you provide a custom solution and accounting plan that best suits them.
Combine Narrative with Data
Individuals in the financial industry are used to looking at and analyzing data to tell a story. Accountants can look at the numbers and see a very clear picture of what has happened, what is happening and what will happen in the future. This is a unique skill that comes with time and practice. Most accounting firm clients do not share this same skill set.
This is a large factor in cutting through the complexity of accounting and taxes. Communicate with your clients by providing scenarios and real world examples that they can follow and picture for themselves. Then show them the data that supports these scenarios so that they can weigh each one properly. A successful accountant should be able to look at the “rough draft” and clearly communicate a “well told story”.
Adapt to Client Preferences
Every client is an individual and will communicate differently. You will find that your client’s communication and learning styles vary greatly. To be a successful communicator and help provide simple solutions for complex issues, you must be able to adapt to each client’s preference. Take note of your clients communication style, see how they respond and react to you and your style. Every client appreciates a CPA that they feel comfortable with and understand clearly.
At Poe Group we take pride in our clear communications with our clients. Working with us is simple and effective. If you have questions on buying or selling a CPA firm, we’re here to help.