Magazine article The CPA Journal

Acquire Clients by Stressing These 40 Benefits of Accounting Services

Magazine article The CPA Journal

Acquire Clients by Stressing These 40 Benefits of Accounting Services

Article excerpt

In a previous article published in this column ("Taking the Fear out of Getting New Clients." July 1998), a number of tactics were discussed for marketing accounting services to small businesses. These tactics were developed over 20 years of experience assisting accountants that target the small business market. They have worked in a variety of contexts, and are particularly useful for practitioners just beginning to acquire clients.

One of the primary tactics that was discussed was to emphasize the benefits of the accounting services being offered.

The following list of more than 40 ways to increase the cash flow and profits of a small business through accounting services was developed in response to requests for specifics. They are grouped into sections based upon the procedures that generate them. Some of these benefits will appear obvious to those with strong financial backgrounds, but to small business owners they are often not apparent.

The benefits can be used in a variety of marketing efforts. They can be incorporated in brochures to prospective small business clients or in newsletters to existing clients that have not yet decided to take advantage of accounting services. They can be the focus of presentations to local trade and industry groups. They can also be used to train staff to help clients better appreciate the accounting services they already receive, or to promote additional accounting services. Small business owners and managers quickly see the relevance of the benefits. They are written in plain English, avoid technical accounting terminology, and are phrased as if the accountant were speaking directly to the small business owner.

Benefits of Accurate Records of Accounts Receivable

You will know which customers are behind in paying you, so you can communicate with them on a timely basis.

You can accurately calculate interest and co lect it from overdue accounts.

You can send out professional-looking customer statements on time that increase the likelihood you will be paid on time.

You will no longer lose track of customer invoices.

You will stop making sales to customers that haven't paid their bills.

You will not risk losing customers because you didn't record their payments properly, or on time.

You will reduce your need to borrow due to poor cash flow.

Benefits of Maintaining Perpetual Inventory

You won't lose sales because you're out of stock on fast-selling items.

You will avoid rush delivery charges to obtain out-of-stock items.

You won't waste funds buying more of what is not in demand.

You will reduce the need to sell a product at a loss because you didn't take markdowns on time.

You will be able to set your selling prices based on profit goals instead of by guessing what the consumer is willing to pay.

You will be able to concentrate on selling the most profitable items instead of those that are the easiest to sell.

You will be able to reward your sales force based on the profits it generates for your business, rather than on gross sales or units sold.

You will be able to identify profitable cross-selling opportunities.

You will know which product lines to expand because they're profitable and which lines to drop because they're not.

You will be able to find out if you have a theft problem before it threatens your business.

Benefits of Accurate Records of Current Liabilities

You will never pay a bill twice by mistake.

You will reduce the amount of discounts lost from paying vendors late.

You will be able to plan for payment due dates and reduce the need to borrow from a bank or personal funds.

You will be able to obtain better credit terms based on a good payment history. …

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