Accountants and bookkeepers who decide to open their own practice do so with a variety of goals in mind. Some may find the freedom and flexibility that come with running a successful business attractive in terms of trying to best manage their personal lives, especially if they have a family. Others want to chart their own course and be their own boss.
No matter what the reason for starting a business, accountants and bookkeepers often share one common objective: to deliver the best possible services for their clients.
Your first client may be your sole focus when you start your business, giving you ample time to answer questions and deliver results. However, with each new client added to your roster, it becomes more difficult to maintain the same high level of service and individualized attention.
That being said, having more clients doesn’t mean it's okay to let anyone feel underserved, since continuing to meet their expectations as you scale up is critical to both ensuring their satisfaction as well as making sure your business continues to grow via referrals.
Maintaining high standards and quality shouldn’t be left up to chance. Here are three strategies you can deploy at your growing accounting or bookkeeping practice to deliver exceptional results to your clients:
1. Hire Additional Help
Ultimately, there are only so many hours in the day. As your business grows, there may come a point when you can’t reasonably take on any additional new clients without compromising the quality of service you deliver. For this reason, it’s a good idea to start thinking about hiring before you need extra help. You can consider bringing in someone for occasional assistance with certain projects or with specific tasks, or you can employ a part-time assistant to offer more regular help.
2. Streamline Processes
The more clients on your roster, the more moving parts you have to manage—and the easier it is for something to fall through the cracks. At a certain point, you’ll want to upgrade your project management approach from keeping a few things written down on notes on your desk. Consider ways to streamline the steps you go through for each client, from onboarding through deliverables to project post-mortems.
3. Centralize Important Client Information
One of the most challenging parts about managing clients is that information is everywhere. You might have a spreadsheet with data, or your client might have a stack of receipts at home they keep meaning to send you. Maybe you have an inbox full of forwarded expense reports from clients and their employees. Instead of managing each piece of information one by one and risking the chance of something falling through the cracks, consider centralizing all of your client’s important information in a single cloud-based accounting and bookkeeping software program.
Just because your business is growing doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your standards. To ensure it remains sustainable, make the necessary changes to accommodate the larger client roster.
Kevin Miller joined the Neat Company in April, 2017. He currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer overseeing all of Neat's brand, marketing and revenue operations. Prior to joining Neat, Kevin was a co-founder and CMO at Salesfusion, a SaaS marketing automation solution for Mid Market companies.