3 ways accountants can provide greater value
It’s a transitory time for the accountancy world. Rapid changes in accounting technology and the remote work revolution have made it harder for firms to stand out. As many clamber to replace commoditised services with advisory offerings, they now also have to contend with a whole new way of working. It’s no longer enough for firms to be able to differentiate themselves at a local level. They’re now competing with thousands of practices working remotely.
This is all on top of having to get quickly up-to-speed with CBILS, CJRS, the job support scheme and a raft of ever changing concerns. Jeez…
So how can firms continue to demonstrate value to their clients in this new world we find ourselves in?
Here’s three ways some of our customers are using Connect4 to do just that.
1. Software onboarding & training
Cloud accounting software should make lives easier. So why doesn’t it always feel that way? Software is often only effective if it’s widely adopted by clients. That’s where onboarding comes in.
Many of our clients use Connect4 pods as dedicated spaces for software training:
- Set a series of recurring meetings to cover a training ‘syllabus’.
- Fill the pod with necessary shared resources:
- Software documentation
- App logins
- Training videos
- Walk-through videos recorded with Loom
- Set a targeted agenda for each training session.
- Meet via reliable video connection and share each other screens to support learning.
- Save and distribute a meeting summary. Yes, you can set homework!
- Allow your client to dip in and out of your pod’s meeting room to ask quick questions. You can jump in to Connect4 pods at any time.
One of the many benefits of using Connect4 to onboard clients is that if personnel change (on either side), new members can simply be invited into the pod. They can access a full archive of everything that has already been discussed and decided upon, ready to hit the ground running.
2. New business / prospective clients
Do you use Zoom for new client meetings? Are you sure that’s the best platform? Our clients love using Connect4 for prospective clients as it enables them to differentiate themselves from everyone else:
- Add your own branding to pods. Your physical meeting space doesn’t look the same as everyone else’s, so why should your remote meeting room?
- Populate this space with specific resources that will help ‘sell’ your business to a particular client. Guests can come back to review these resources at any time.
- Leave detailed notes about your proposals as meeting notes and video summaries.
- Arrange a follow-up meeting with your prospect at the end of your first meeting.
Connect4 pods are unique client-centric spaces that are not only tailored to your firm’s needs but prospective client’s too.
3. Virtual CFO
The Virtual CFO or Virtual FD has become an essential role within many smaller businesses. As traditional bookkeeping services have become increasingly commoditised through automated software packages, businesses are looking to accountants for more strategic advice. Virtual Finance Directors bring high levels of expertise and experience to businesses that don’t need somebody full time just yet.
The key to a fruitful relationship between businesses and vCFOs is high quality, recurring communication. vCFOs should be very much part of the businesses they work with; they’re not simply service providers. Connect4 pods bring these relationships closer together.
- Set recurring meetings — weekly, monthly or quarterly — to ensure you’re always on the same page.
- Keep track of all communications. Having an archive of everything that you’ve discussed with your clients is important for lots of reasons:
- Keep an audit trail for every decision that is made in the form of meeting notes and recordings.
- Demonstrate your value by making it clear just how much advice you’re providing.
- Monitor the time you’re spending with each client and bill accordingly.
- Pods are one central place for all parties to keep track of all shared documents and reports.
- Invite expert advisors and other parties into breakout pods that are specific to particular projects.
The new way of working with clients
Connect4 is specifically designed to help facilitate the changing roles and working environments of many accountants. In an increasingly competitive and remote-oriented industry, new processes are needed to help stand out. Connect4 provides a platform from which you can clearly communicate your value to clients and build stronger, longer lasting working relationships.
Get in touch if you’d like to find out more.
Rory is Connect4’s Head of Design. He leads the design of the app as well as all things related to the Connect4 brand.