Firms of the future report
Capitalise has published new research following an independent poll of 500 UK accountants in practice. Their Firms of the Future report delves into the new face of client relationships and unpacks some of the biggest frustrations being felt in the industry. The report covers questions around pricing, attitudes towards advisory as well as plans for the next 12 months.
Here’s a quick look at some of the key stats and what they could mean for your firm.
Accountant-client relationships: stronger than ever
Capitalise’s Firms of the Future report demonstrates a clear change – for the better – in the way accountants are choosing to connect with clients. With more regular contact as a priority for many firms, accounting professionals have become key players in their clients’ businesses.
Relationships have deepened to a much more personal level and small business reliance on accountants has never been stronger. As socio-political factors stir up new uncertainties, 67% of firms are reaching out to their clients to discuss the impact these may have on their businesses.
Are you talking to your clients about socio-political factors such as rising inflation, the lasting impact of Covid-19 and Brexit or ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine? You might consider:
- Asking what impact they’re already feeling in their business and how you can help them manage it.
- Pointing out potential risks on the horizon and suggesting ways they can get ahead of them.
- Simply acting as a sounding board, listening to and empathising with any worries or concerns.
People challenges: staff turnover and client retention
According to the report, high staff turnover and concerns about client retention are among the biggest frustrations for 45% of firms. As with most industries in the last 12 months, accounting is feeling the effects of The Great Resignation. Firms are under pressure to keep staff engaged and to find new ways to stand out from their closest competitors. Capitalise research suggests that offering more services will be a key strategy for the majority of accounting practices in the months ahead.
Is staff retention on your mind at the moment? Think about:
- Your firm’s social media presence – this is the quickest point of comparison between the firm accountants currently work for and others in the region. Are you shouting about your culture and values?
- The trainees on your team – are they getting enough development opportunities?
- Your service offering – is there a wide enough range of engagements for ambitious qualified employees to work on?
Prioritising and pricing services: a numbers game
Capitalise’s research suggests that advisory services are quickly becoming the norm for most accountants in practice. This marks a shift in the conversation from whether firms will offer these services to how they’ll expand or enhance them in 2022.
According to the Firms of the Future report, 58% of accountants are prioritising conversations about credit improvement and funding with their clients. As small businesses re-focus their attention on growth and long-term goals, they’re looking for trusted advice about business finance.
Is funding and credit improvement on the agenda in your client meetings? Here are some ways you can get those conversations started:
- Find out if they know their business credit score, what it means for their access to funding and wider implications such as winning new customers and negotiating with suppliers.
- Explain the different funding solutions available, covering only those most suited to their needs as too many choices can be overwhelming
Download the Firms of the Future report for a closer look at the results covered here and a wide range of other accounting insights. See how you compare to accountants across the country when it comes to pricing your services, planning for the next 12 months and building a firm that stands out from the crowd.
You might also be interested in
Your capital advisory service, ready-made. Go beyond the numbers and help your clients get their balance sheet match fit.