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3 Top Benefits of Relationship Mapping for Accounting Firms


As more and more medium and small businesses bring accounting tasks in-house, accounting firms are struggling to stay in the game, let alone grow. But it’s not all doom and gloom. 

Jan 29th 2020
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Accounting firms can get by—and thrive—with a little help from their friends, contacts, extended network and new technology. Relationship mapping helps provide critical relationship insights that can help these firms win new business, grow existing accounts and provide a higher level of proactive support.

Here are the top three ways:

1. Quickly Gauge Relationship Strength 

Relationship mapping provides accounting firms with a deeper understanding of the relationship strength of all of its connections with a prospective client company—providing a 360-degree view of relationship strength both at an individual and firm-level. 
Not all relationships bear the same weight. That’s why relationship intelligence accounts for nuances such as:

  • Seniority of the contact
  • Type of relationship
  • Strength of relationship
  • Depth of the relationship at an organizational level
  • Recency of the relationship
  • Type of shared activity 

These insights can help firms identify the strongest relationships that will provide the best client experience. Relationship mapping can also help identify if the firm/client relationship is too dependent on a single connection and provide the impetus to fortify additional relationships. 

Based on this knowledge, accounting firms can take relationships to new levels of profitability.  This is key as 25 to 40 percent of new business is the typical result of cross-selling to existing clients.

2. Automate Collaboration, Boost Referrals 

Simply put, referrals add up to new business. In fact, just one referral factors heavily into the decision-making process for more than 80 percent of B2B professionals. 

Relationship mapping helps accounting professionals identify the individuals in your firm’s extended network who may be able to provide a warm introduction at a company that could benefit from your services. Relationship mapping also provides value beyond just showing who knows who.

Based on the insights uncovered using relationship automation, accounting firms can also discover who knows who best. In this way, accounting firms can fast-track results by focusing their attention on mutual connections with the strongest relationships and the most promising prospects. 

3. Proactively Spot Relationship Issues 

Small businesses expect accounting firms to anticipate their needs. According to one survey, 72 percent of small business owners have changed their CPA or accounting firm because the firm “did not give proactive advice, only reactive service.” 

High on the list for proactive support is guidance on emerging technology. Ironically, businesses believe that most accounting groups are falling behind on technology adoption; only 13 percent of the surveyed businesses believe their CPA is ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. 

While technological needs undoubtedly vary across clients, one thing is clear: With relationship mapping powered by AI-powered software, firms can both position themselves as technology leaders as well as provide proactive service.

Relationship mapping provides critical insights on the relationship trends, providing relationship scoring that measures the engagement of accountant/client relationships. If issues arise, you are proactively alerted to weakening or at-risk relationships so your accountants or client support teams can step in and take corrective action before it’s too late.

Additionally, sharing client data across the firm can enable better client support. Instead of having to wait for the CPA assigned to the account, the client can get the answers they need on their schedule—not on yours.

Final Thoughts

With the right insight to build, nurture, and grow client and prospect relationships, accounting firms can survive and thrive in the changing business landscape. And that’s where relationship mapping, using a dedicated software platform, can be an incredible help.

The original article appeared on the JD Supra LLC site.

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