On demand and one-stop shops
Millennials it seems, just don’t have the time or inclination to meet these needs alone.
Indeed, in the same report is a list of critical accounting firm traits ranked by millennials.
Third in their list?
"Is versatile and able to provide a wide range of accounting, tax and financial services"
Put short, modern business owners are looking for a one-stop shop of
What is a one-stop shop?
A one-stop shop is a company that offers its customers a multitude of products or services.2
And the award for the most obvious answer to a question goes to...
What it means to be a one-stop shop has changed dramatically in recent years though.
Think supermarkets – one of the original one-stop shops. Love them or hate them, most of us turned our backs on high street shopping for the convenience of having all our groceries available under one roof. But who would’ve thought that one day you’d be able to pick up a new credit card and house insurance with your meat and veg?
Increasingly, consumers are looking for the same level of convenience in their professional services. As the bill.com study shows, the new age of business owners wants a single point of contact for a wide range of their needs.
Technology is facilitating the ability of accountants and bookkeepers to fill that role, offering personalised and real-time answers, either independently or through cooperative models, with other companies.3
While integrating these services may cause short-term disruption to current structures and practices, but it could also present a significant competitive advantage.
A 2015 Accenture report4 showed that banking customers are increasingly looking for services beyond those of traditional banking. There is little to suggest this attitude won’t cross over into their choice of other professional services if it makes it easier for them to control their finances.
Jack of all trades, or master of none?
A convenience truth
So that’s that then, expertise wins over choice.
Well, not quite. There are reasons why larger firms undertake aggressive acquisition strategies and why they’re looking at more and more niche service providers. Primarily, because it seems to be what clients want.
Beaton Research and Consulting surveyed 25,000 people to try and understand if they prefer a one-stop shop. And it seems they do. In the world of accounting, they found that client satisfaction rose with each new line of service offering they were exposed to up to 5 lines.
"It’s really interesting to see that clients enjoy cross buying, we have the first incontrovertible evidence of this"
George Beaton, Executive Chairman, Beaton Research and Consulting 5
But what’s in it for me?
One-stop shop or expert advice. Which is it?
There will always be a home for experts. Even in the world of one-stop shops, many different disciplines and skill sets are required to meet all the service-offering requirements that clients have.
While building your own one-stop shop may seem like a lot of work, it will save time and frustration in the long run.7 The next generation of business owners will demand one-stop shopping for their financial services, and it would be irresponsible not to consider how your firm is going to meet those demands.
As the bill.com study showed, future clients are going to seek out firms who can offer a wide range of services and it would be a challenge for anyone to meet all of those needs without building scale.8
Perhaps you’re lucky enough to have the time and resources to consider a plan to build your own one-stop shop? If not, it may be time to consider partnering with an accountant, bookkeeper or financial planner to meet your clients’ demands together.
"I do believe that in the next five to seven years, we will see a convergence between the financial planning profession and the accounting profession. I believe that clients will pay for this type of advice because they are looking for a one-stop shop."
Matthew Rowe, MyAccounts Executive Director 9
Speak to your clients. Find out what they want. Aspire to be their
key advisor. Be the person your client thinks of first when a decision
needs to be made about their business – and make sure you’re giving
them what they need. In a world where they can get insurance, a credit
card, and a bunch of bananas in the same place, who knows where they
might turn for advice if you don’t?