You know the client – the one who’s never been comfortable with everything going online, who prefers all their paperwork in physical form and would take a phone call over a Zoom call any day.
But whether they like it or not, the reality is that digitalisation will soon be a requirement for most business owners as new phases of Making Tax Digital (MTD) are brought in over the next few years.
For those clients, the ones who have always been reluctant to make their processes digital, the upcoming deadlines are starting to feel like more of a threat than anything else.
As an accountant, it’s likely you’re already familiar with the benefits technology can bring to your practice – not just for the purposes of MTD, but as a way of making all aspects of your work more efficient and productive.
You’ve been able to see first-hand how much time you save when you have the right digital solution to reduce manual work and lower the risk of errors. If you’ve introduced clients to digital tools in the past, you’ve also been able to see the difference it made for them.
With that knowledge, you’re in an ideal position to help your clients make the most of technology in their business, with measurable performance results.
Address their fears
First of all, it’s easy enough to talk about how great technology is when you’re already used to using it.
But for those clients who aren’t as familiar with digital ways of working, it’s not as simple as opening up a new piece of software and having a play around.
Many people feel genuinely confused or frustrated when they’re trying to get their head around new systems. That’s not to mention other concerns they may have around security and cost.
Because of that, your first step to bring your clients into the digital world should be to talk through it with them – find out what exactly is putting them off, and where their worries lie.
If their main concern is that accounting software will be too complicated and time consuming to get used to, you can step in to show them the ropes, and take them through the specific processes they’ll need to know about.
If they’re worried about putting their personal financial data online, you can explain to them the security measures in place for cloud storage systems.
Most major accounting software providers – Capium included – use secure server locations and encrypted data to keep everything confidential. When you think about it, that’s actually a lot safer than having it on your own laptop or on a bit of paper.
And, if they’re reluctant to pay high monthly subscription fees with the threat of those increasing as their requirements grow, you can take them through the specific pricing plan for the package you’re using and explain what they’re paying for.
If you’re using Capium, this conversation will be even easier, as our platform offers free access to end clients allowing your clients to begin their journey to cloud-based record keeping at no extra cost.
Taking the time to talk things through means you can approach the topic of digitalisation from a place of trust, rather than making your client feel dictated to. It’s about removing any barriers so they can feel more confident about bringing new technology into their business.
Show them how it helps
With your client’s fears allayed, you can then focus on the positives – the various advantages digitalisation has for businesses.
Sometimes, when you’re trying to explain the benefits of a piece of software, it’s easy to end up reeling off a list of features. Even worse, you might find yourself slipping into jargon and buzzwords that only serve to alienate your client further.
The trick is to make sure you’re looking at things from your client’s perspective, not your own. Rather than listing all the benefits, talk about why the software will benefit them, specifically.
Consider the problems and frustrations they might encounter in their day-to-day life, whether that’s cashflow worries or wishing they had more time away from work to spend with their family.
Then explain to them how digital technology will help them to overcome those problems, referring to real-life examples where you’ve seen this happen where possible.
The likelihood is, once your clients are set up with the right digital tools, they’ll start to see the same results themselves through time savings, easier processes, and more accurate information.
Your ongoing support should mean they make the most of this – after all, better results for your clients mean better results for your firm, through improved client retention and increased take-up of higher-value services.
Capium offers a full suite of practice management and accounting software, designed to give both accountants and their clients access to the many benefits digital working has to offer.
Our comprehensive support database includes easy-to-understand videos and guides, to help your clients with all their day-to-day bookkeeping tasks.
Get in touch to find out more.