20th September, 2021
The nature of customer service has changed now that accounting technologies have moved online. Here are three things clients are asking for.
The new generation of cloud-based accounting platforms has empowered business operators to take control of a range of functions they may have once outsourced.
As your clients get to grips with cloud-based platforms, they’re learning about accounting methods that were previously foreign. Just as importantly, they’re coming to appreciate the benefits of centrally managing business functions on one platform.
The result: clients are willing and able to do more for themselves. However, they still need your help in this streamlined era.
“Overall, we have more contact with our clients than we did previously,” says Sue Tayler, an MYOB Certified Consultant and founder of Effective Services, an accounting and bookkeeping firm in Sydney. “But we’re talking to them about different things.”
Tayler highlights what she believes are three essential services that accountants should offer clients today.
READ: Accounting basics: Terms, statements & steps to get started
Today, many clients are taking care of tasks such as coding their bank feeds and processing their expenses by logging in to the same cloud-based platforms that their accountants use. Most of the time, says Tayler, clients can manage on their own.
“They’re doing 90 per cent of it themselves, but if they get stuck they call us for tech support.”
IT troubleshooting is fundamentally new territory for many accountants and requires good knowledge of the platform itself, not just the accounting procedure in question.
To keep clients satisfied, it’s important to know the solution to common client-side problems.
Familiarising yourself with your platform’s help manuals and support services is essential, too.
Clients using cloud-based platforms now have a wealth of financial information at their fingertips.
As a result, says Tayler, many of them want to be able to access human expertise with similar ease, whether it’s for troubleshooting or strategic advice.
“They want to be able to call me or shoot me an email and receive a response more-or-less on the spot,” she said.
While it’s important to set boundaries and not become a slave to your smartphone, this new era does demand that you make yourself available, within reason, to answer all sorts of questions.
Now that clients can perform many tasks for themselves, it’s tempting to encourage them to do more and more while you focus on advisory services and other high-paying jobs.
But Tayler says there’s a limit to what clients can and should do.
“At the end of the day, they are not accountants, and they don’t always grasp the detail,” she said.
“Payroll, for example, is something that we don’t let our clients touch.”
Maintaining control of the more complicated tasks reduces the likelihood of mistakes being made, and your clients will be grateful for your oversight.
Help more clients get good busy with a single system that automates everyday tasks, provides great insights and makes compliance easy. Discover more about MYOB Business today.