Each year, it gets harder to find ways to reduce client tax bills through reliefs, allowances and loopholes, so you need to find better and more sustainable ways to add value to their business.
To continue winning new clients, accountants need to get creative and think about services that go beyond tax planning alone.
But what exactly can accountancy firms do to continue adding value to their clients?
Niche your firm
Although it might feel there are fewer reliefs and allowances available these days, the truth is they will never truly be gone.
After all, the Government will always want to entice businesses and individuals towards certain behaviours with tax reliefs, credits and allowances.
The trouble is you’ve got to make sure you’re saving clients a significant amount of money to justify your fees.
One way to do that is by specialising so you can help specific types of clients save a lot more money with techniques that a general firm would not have the expertise to pull off.
For instance, the construction industry is notoriously complicated when it comes to tax, so adding value to these clients will be easier to do if you specialise in tax for construction firms and have an in-depth understanding of relevant reliefs and allowances.
If you’re interested in specialising, read our previous blog article for more information and advice.
Automate your and your client’s systems
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to automate your processes, especially the ones that take up the most of your time but nevertheless are valuable for businesses.
For instance, payroll software can be used to automatically calculate wages, pension payments and other deductions, while bank transfers can be fully automated, too.
You can upload receipts and invoices at the push of a button, and view them just as quickly.
If you still work with paper, just think about how much time you spend rummaging through documents and data. All that can be saved with cloud-based accounting systems (which will be required when Making Tax Digital for income tax rolls out).
By getting back lost time, you can put greater focus onto your clients, working harder on methods to increase their value.
Meanwhile, because your clients will have access to the same databases as you do, they save time as well, improving their productivity and promising to increase the value of their business.
Consider branching out into advisory services
It’s a debate that has been raging in the accountancy sector for a while now: do accountants have to offer advisory services to survive or is compliance work enough?
Opinion is split over whether it’s absolutely necessary, but if you’re looking to take your firm to the next level, branching out into advisory is a great way to add value to your services and your clients.
It’s what a lot of business owners will expect after the COVID-19 pandemic, with 61% listing their accountant as one of their main sources of business advice, according to a recent survey. In other words, the demand is there.
And, if you’ve implemented automated solutions to your compliance services, you can use the data you’ve collected for your clients to produce forecast reports and management accounts for them, which in turn you could use to form the basis of your advice.
Don’t forget about your compliance services, though, as there are some easy ways to add value there – one that often gets overlooked is a good company secretarial service.
Talk to us about adding value to your clients’ firms.