Can technology win clients?

Attracting and winning clients is a key part of a firm’s growth strategy – and, according research, it’s a number one priority for firms in 2018:

  • 41 per cent of accountants say acquiring new clients is their top priority this year.
  • A further 23 per cent see increasing their use of technology as a key goal.

There is clearly some synergy between these two aims. Marketing technology like email automation software and business development tools can help you find, reach and convert new clients for example. But technology has a broader role to play in client acquisition. It can help you service more clients in a scalable way and help you attract the right clients.

Financial technology sets the foundations for scaling up

Embracing technology isn’t just about moving to a cloud-based accounting platform. Using the right software will certainly increase efficiency, but tech also has a big role to play in growth.

By setting up the right systems and software, you create the foundations for scaleability and enable your firm to take on more clients without increasing staff and/or overheads.

It’s an opportunity to refine your key processes, upgrade and revitalise the underlying workflows of the practice and embrace the latest plug-in apps and fintech solutions.

  • Firms with more online accounting clients grow faster and have an easier time signing up new clients, according to recent research by Xero.  With all the tech now available, accounting firms are serving more clients than ever. Smaller online firms with two to four employees add more than four times as many clients as other similarly-sized practices. And in our new GoCardless Accountants Benchmarking Survey, 36 per cent of firms serviced more than 150 clients in the past 12 months (with many of these firms having only 1-5 staff).

With apps such as Receipt Bank automating client’s bookkeeping (saving about one hour per client per week), Chaser and Fluidly automating debtor tracking and GoCardless automating cash collection, the time taken to service each client is reduced – and that reduction in time allows more clients to be serviced, and larger revenues brought in.

Technology led services attract the right clients

What businesses want from their accountant has changed. Modern business owners are increasingly tech-savvy and will look for a business adviser who understands technology, knows how to set up efficient systems and can use this tech to offer the best possible advice.

Key advantages of putting tech at the heart of your services include:

    • Working in the cloud improves productivity for both you and your client – the basics of bookkeeping, bank reconciliation and accounting are all done faster, allowing your clients to focus on their business and work more closely with you and your team.
    • Online working improves client communication – you and your clients have access to their key numbers at any time, making it easier to answer queries, flag up issues and deliver an increased level of client service.
    • Automating payments improves cash flow for clients – using payment technology to automatically collect clients’ invoice payments improves the stability of their cash flow – providing the liquid cash they need to fund investment and growth plans.
    • Deeper relationships bring increased value – with tech covering the basic compliance duties, you have more free time to spend with clients. So you know more about their business, can offer better advice and can offer value-add services more easily.

Drive your growth through smart use of tech

Adopting technology successfully is key to winning clients, and creating the basis for your firm’s growth.

Come and hear more about how technology and automation support your firm at our ‘Cloud Lifestyle’ panel chat – 11am, Wednesday 23 May, How To Theatre.

GoCardless will be at Accountex next week on stand 740.

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About the Author

Nicola Anderson, VP marketing, at GoCardless

VP marketing, at GoCardless

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