How would you feel?

Imagine that you are not an accountant in practice. Instead, imagine that you are one of your clients that wants accounts and tax sorted each year. A basic compliance package.

As a client, you can see there might be some value in having your tax affairs handled by a professional, but being required to prepare and file annual accounts seems like you are having to pay for help to obey the law.

These feelings of being the victim of red-tape only increases when you are told that any “planning advice”, tax or business development, is extra…

Your practice is facilitated by legislation

It is worth entering the world-view of your clients from time to time as this is the nearest you will get to objectivity; how you would feel if required to add costs to your business just to comply with red-tape, with legal requirements?

From your perspective, much of the work selling your compliance services to the business community is done for you. Legislation sets out regulations that demand an annual response to stay compliant; which means when you win a client you are winning a recurring income stream.

Your clients, on the other hand, have to market and sell in order to win customers. Most cannot rely on the need to meet regulatory dictate to create a market place for them.

The compliance advisory conundrum

Many practitioners have reported that their clients just want a basic compliance service and show no interest in buying advisory services. For some, this is a pragmatic reaction to your fees, which they see as a required cost determined by legislation, and one they desire to keep to a minimum.

Clients in this position will push at the boundaries, wanting free telephone calls or any other complimentary assistance they perceive as diluting the cost impact of your services.

We are entering a new era…

Perhaps advisers, being aware of these factors, could reshape their services and place their advisory skills at the top of their “this is how we can support you” services list, when they first meet clients as prospects?

Instead of offering a paid for compliance package, why not offer a business support and tax planning package and throw in the compliance aspects as free, no charge. This would position your firm as a much needed adviser rather than a “grudge purchase” bean counter.

Landmark’s resources will help you make this transition

At Landmark, we support this point of view. Our services, particularly Fee Builder and Spotlight, provide a wealth of development material and at low cost. Make a start on your practice transition today, take a look.

Bob Edwards

Bob has been working with practices across the UK offering novel ways to improve cross-sales and increase new client acquisitions. He is also interested in "step changes" in legislation that offer challenges, and therefore opportunities, for practitioners to provide new recurring and one-off support services to clients.

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