As an accountant, you have the power to select which clients you serve. Of course, in a perfect world all of your clients would possess the following 12 qualities, making your life and accounting business a breeze. We understand that not all clients can possess all of these qualities, but you get to choose which clients you will work with, so the following qualities should be those you look for in your clients:
What Qualities Does Your Ideal Accounting Client Possess?
1. Decent fees. Experience shows that a client who has previously made a decent investment with you is more likely to increase his or her investment with you in the future.
2. Affordability – strong revenue with good profit margins. Business advisory work done properly doesn’t come cheap. As such, you should prioritize clients with the ability to pay you for the value they will receive from your services.
3. Interest in Advancement. Once you help a client identify the key drivers of revenue and profit in his or her business, and then engineer systems to extract that data so that it can be monitored and acted upon in a timely manner, the numbers will start to improve. Having a client who is willing to let you help improve their business and the way they operate is always a win-win situation.
4. Desire to improve. It’s all very well you identify how you might help a client, but he or she needs to want it as well. Clients who are enthusiastic and open to collaboration to improve their business trump those who are apathetic and happy with their lot. There will come a time when that improvement will dwindle and you need to step in and take action to drive them to the next level, but scope for improvement in management reporting systems is a big opportunity waiting for your expertise to unlock it.
5. Takes advice. We suggest you work with a client who has a track record of implementing your advice. Think back to previous meetings with the client. When you offered advice, what happened as a result of it?
6. Positive mindset. Having a client who is not negative and looks on the bright side of things makes your job so much easier. Try to find clients who are at least upbeat about life and especially about business.
7. Referrer or potential to refer in the future. So much new work for accountants comes from client referrals that it makes sense to prioritize those with a track record of sending new clients your way. Do not exclude a client who has not yet referred; however, it may be your fault if you have never asked.
8. Good payer. The last thing you want is to find your mental energy absorbed with debt recovery when you should be 100 percent focused on helping the client achieve his or her goals.
9. Case study/testimonial. Utilize video testimonials from clients on your website. Call your top 10 clients and ask them if they would mind you writing a case study about the work you have done together or providing you with a written testimonial for use in your marketing. Your favorite clients will not refuse.
10. Well-known in the community. This is important especially if you are in a remote or regional location. Clients who are well-connected can be heavily influential in you winning quality new work.
11. You like them. This may sound simplified, but it really is important that you at least have basic respect for your clients, and hopefully even like them.
12. Your team likes them. Not to be overlooked, having clients that your team members at your accounting firm like has half the battle won when having your team handle that clients books.
Hopefully use can use the list of qualities above as a litmus test for having a cache of clients who are easier and more pleasant to work with.