The answer to this intriguing question boils down to one word: Diversification. In an accounting industry amidst massive disruption, this one word can be the difference to winning or losing the future game. You will find out why below.
SHIFT IN STATUS QUO
For the longest time, accountants have been considered to be the ‘trusted advisors’ to their clients. But, while this may ring true at some point in time, research now shows that clients would much rather ask for advice from friends and/or family than from their accountants. Perhaps the reason may be that they don’t want to get charged for it but there’s a deeper underlying reason. Accountants don’t have the time to really connect and build a stronger relationship with their clients. They don’t really talk that much so the trust aspect is not there.
More often than not, clients talk to their bookkeepers to discuss their day-to-days. So there is rapport built and trust developed. And now, with rapid disruptive change caused by technology taking hold of not only the financial industry but the entire global economy as a whole, bookkeeping firms are wising up. They are diversifying their product portfolios to offer business advisory and other value-added services. So where do the clients go? They go to where there is higher value for money. Unlucky for the accountant whose clients have already established great relationships with their bookkeepers. So how do accounting firms fight back this paradigm shift?
WHEN IN ROME
No, accountants don’t need to fight this change. Rather they need to get on the same boat as the bookkeepers who have realized that there is much to be had from diversification. Also, there’s much to be said about building stronger relationships with but we’ll cross that bridge when we get there. First, accounting firms need to build their own bookkeeping teams. Why? Accountants can leverage the opportunity of tapping into the abundant revenue stream that bookkeeping services can provide. They will not only double or even triple revenue from a wider product portfolio but also boost profit margins by adding value to their compliance work. But there’s a catch. The cost of hiring professionals locally is too steep of a price to pay. Again, diversification is the answer. Accountants can build offshore teams with highly qualified professionals who can deliver high-quality work at a fraction of the price. By doing this, they can free up the time and the capacity to focus on what matters most – building stronger relationships with clients. The question now becomes: How feasible is it really?
INCREASING THE ODDS
The accounting firm’s key to building a successful offshore bookkeeping team is aligning themselves with a company that can deliver the results they want. It should be a company with years of experience and know-how as well as tons of happy and satisfied clients to boot. This is where we, The Outsourced Accountant, comes in. We have loads of case studies of accounting firms, large and small, who have pursued what at first can seem to be a daunting task. All of them have worked hand in hand with us and pushed forward to see their revenue, profits and businesses grow exponentially. The Outsourced Accountant’s chairman, Nick Sinclair, is living proof of exactly how to build a truly sustainable bookkeeping business by assembling his own offshore team. From the growth of that business, he has now has built a company with almost unlimited growth potential.