How to Sell Small Business Accounting to a Sceptic

Greg Atkinson
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Does your accounting firm have an effective elevator pitch? In a world where time is definitely money, it’s crucial for your business to successfully sell itself to would-be clients succinctly, persuasively and, ideally, within less than half a minute.

Many small business owners and start-up entrepreneurs are reluctant to invest in professional accounting services, largely because they’re focused on the extra expense this investment generates. It can often be challenging to convince the average business owner that the benefits of retaining the services of a qualified accountant far outweigh the costs involved. You, your partners and staff, and all of your marketing endeavours need to adopt a proactive, informative stance, both online and off. Knowing just what to say whenever the brief opportunity arises will go a long way toward attracting new business clients, and encouraging them to come on board with your company.

Here are some of the key areas you should consider promoting whenever the opportunity presents itself to explain exactly how your firm can help a potential client’s business navigate its way through uncharted territory, or an uncertain economy, which is more necessary now than ever

Streamlined accounting services

Whether you’re pitching to a limited company, a partnership, or a sole trader, accurate accounting is vital for the management and control of that business. Entrepreneurs are passionate people who can’t afford to squander valuable time on tasks that fall outside their core focus. Make it clear that the time and energy they’ll save by enlisting your help can manifest in higher profits, and in a better life-balance, because your company:

  • Takes the time to get to know them and their business, and tailors its approach accordingly
  • Ensures that it’s always up to date on the latest budgets, tax laws and mandatory accounting requirements in order to provide maximum tax savings and real-time management reports

On-going business support

It’s important to emphasize that your firm offers effective assistance with far more than just year-end tax preparations. Helping new businesses to grow takes professional day-to-day, month-to-month, and year-to-year guidance. Be prepared to describe how a qualified accountant can help to take the heavy lifting out of many different aspects of running a small business, including:

  • Employee payroll services
  • Preparation of sales tax accounts and other government remittances
  • Provision of regular management reports, designed to help the business owner create, drive, and monitor more effective financial goals
  • Industry and business-specific advice regarding the most suitable in-house accounting software

Tailored tax solutions

One of the areas where accountants really have the chance to shine is through their ability to provide innovative tax solutions, tailored specifically to the client. Nothing is likely to impress a business owner more than the sourcing of unexpected funds, whether it’s through missed expense deductions or the proposal of a more lucrative business structure.

Many start-ups and smaller companies, for example, are born and bred within the walls of a home office, but the average entrepreneur isn’t always clear on the pros and cons of such a set-up, including the most typical ones you’ll find outlined here:

Multi-purpose auditing

Audits are a less than glamorous but inevitable part of running a business. Take advantage of this opportunity to promote the concept of team in your marketing efforts, by assuring small business owners of your experience, expertise, and availability in performing both voluntary and statutory audits. Potential clients need to know they won’t be alone when it comes time to open their books to public or governmental scrutiny. They also need to understand that the audit process comes with an unexpected upside, in terms of:

  • Managing risk
  • Reviewing a company’s financial trends
  • Confirming accounting compliance
  • Managing budgets, cash flow projections, and identifying potential tax problems and savings

Those little extras

This is where you get to demonstrate why chartered and certified accountants are indispensible to the small business owner. Beyond the crunching of numbers and preparation of reports lies an entire world of business services that the qualified accountant is well-equipped to offer. Whether it’s advising on the most lucrative way to draw a salary, or the most effective way to take advantage of today’s bookkeeping technology, accountants are irreplaceable when it comes to:

  • Devising business plans for bank loans
  • Drafting shareholders’ agreements and share transfer documentation
  • Creating company pension schemes
  • Offering profitable tax solutions for more complex industries

Can a young business exist without the help of a qualified accounting firm? Quite possibly. But if you want to entice those companies looking to thrive rather than just survive, it’s up to you to make it abundantly clear that your know-how is the necessary catalyst.

About Greg Atkinson


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