What CEO’s Want from their Accountants – Part II

An accountant talks with his client.Wouldn’t you like to know what your clients really expect from you? A panel of CEOs told Michael Platt, a management and marketing consultant who works with accounting firms, what they’re looking for in a financial professional. In an article entitled “What CEOs Want from Their CPA Firm: A Perspective from Accounting,” Platt discusses 10 things CEOs want from their accountants, information he received from this panel discussion with this handful of what he calls “A-Level Clients.” Last week we discussed the following five of 10 things these CEOs expect from their accountants:

  1. Practice Basic Business Etiquette
  2. Customize Your Approach
  3. Be Proactive
  4. Work as a Tea.
  5. Add Value

This week we will share the final five qualities these CEO are looking for:

6. Recognize How Valuable Your Client’s Time IsThis says it all. Your clients recognize that time is money which means every minute you seem to waste appears to them as currency going down the drain. And more than that, thoughtlessly wasting a client’s time is disrespectful and may ultimately chase away your clientele.7. Understand Your Client and Their BusinessSometimes it’s profitable to specialize in a particular business type: car dealerships, retail stores, restaurants, or hotels. When you do so you become familiar with their language, concerns, and unique needs. While you don’t necessarily have to specialize in order to understand, doing a little research in order to become familiar with your clients’ businesses will go a long way. In doing so you’ll earn loyalty, and perhaps, lifelong clients.8. Streamline Your CommunicationsDon’t overwhelm your client with excessive emails and phone calls. They have work to do, and just because you can obsess over their financial data all day long doesn’t mean they want to. Make your correspondence clear and concise. And when working with your staff, ensure that you coordinate your communication efforts so clients do not receive duplicate and redundant information.9. Share Additional ServicesLike most people, your clients are looking for ways to make their lives easier. If you offer complimentary services – like tax preparation, QuickBooks consulting, or business assessments – it behooves you and your client to tell them about it. Don’t be shy. You offer valuable services that can enhance your clients’ businesses. The more you can do for them, the more indispensable you become.10. Make Their Lives EasierIt’s important for you to be proactive, to anticipate your clients’ needs before they do. This is what elevates you from a common accountant to a valued profit expert. You provide your clients with the information they need to make wise business choices that improve their profitability.

Whether your client rooster is full of CEOs or mom and pop shops, applying these 10 tips like the 10 commandments of accounting will make you a highly favored financial professional. In no time at all you’ll find your elevated standard for customer service enables you to leap ahead of the competition.ReferencePlatt, Michael T. “What CEOs Want from Their CPA Firm: A Perspective from Accounting.” RainToday.com