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Vendors vs firms and the battle for client service
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It used to be simple. An accounting firm would own the relationship with their small business client, process their tax returns before moving into providing other services. Vendors would provide the technology that increasingly powered the services the accountant offered but the relationships stayed between the accountant and their clients.
In 2021: all change. With the all-pervasive cloud offering 24/7 customer service from the vendor direct to the business, the old relationships have been broken down forever.
For the accountant, what's their new role? How do they keep clients loyal to them? Should they even bother trying? Why would you recommend a vendor? What is the partnership between accountant and vendor in 2021? Are accountants simply there to market vendors' products? What has the vendor taken away - a painful part of their job or a crucial part of their relationship?
For the vendor, what's their new role? Bigger vendors may be able to offer 24/7 support but what about the smaller ones? What are the ramifications when customer service is bad? What relationship do you have with the accountant - and why? How do you keep accountants on side for when a business's questions get technical not technological.
Our guests from all sides of the fence debate this sensitive issue, looking for how the partnership between vendors and accountants is being reshaped for the 2022 and beyond.
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