Client accounting advisory involves a LOT of work. When it comes to working, we like predictability. No one likes to show up to the office and find a mountain of surprises waiting on their desk. So how do we avoid nasty little surprises? Systemization.
Systemizing your advisory services can help you make sure your clients are satisfied and you don’t forget a single step in your advisory processes.
Find your niche
One of the first steps to systemizing your advisory services is finding your niche. If you’ve already developed your advisory service packages, you might have a clear understanding of what your specialties are. If not, don’t fear. Start by taking a look at the work you’re already doing. Do your tasks tend to skew more towards succession advisory or operations advisory? Do your clients tend to have a lot of things in common, like type of business or yearly income? Find the similarities, and use those to be specific about the services you offer. Once you’ve found your niche, it will be much easier to write down each step of your unique advisory process.
We know. We talk about checklists a lot. But the best way to ensure client satisfaction is to be consistent. You want to do your job well AND do it the same way every time. We like predictability, remember? Systemize your advisory services by documenting each step you need to do. This documentation will serve as a guide next time you find yourself encountering the same task. Creating checklists also creates a blueprint for your team to follow so that, if you have many accountants working at your firm on separate accounts, there won’t be any discrepancies in the quality of the services your firm is providing.
Center client experience
Perhaps the most important element in successful systemization is centering your clients. It is incredibly helpful to put yourself in your clients’ shoes. What parts of your processes will they anticipate or understand? What aspects will be more confusing to them or completely foreign? How can you make your client’s experience as painless as possible? Always use this framework when systemizing your services. At the end of the day, the key thing is client satisfaction – if you’ve got a good client, you’re going to want to keep them around. Just remember: your client doesn’t need to understand EVERY part of your planning or administrative processes.
Have a plan to improve
It’s hard to get things right on the first try. We seldom do. But if something is amiss in your systemization, you want to have a plan in place to make things right. Create a correction process so that you and your team have a map to follow if corrective action needs to be taken. Whether an important step was forgotten in your checklists or you’ve simply discovered a better way to perform your duties, you want to be sure that there is an official route for changing policy so that the new directions for your processes are clear.
Systemizing your client accounting advisory services might sound like climbing Everest, but it’s as simple as figuring out what you do most, how you get those tasks done, and what information your client will need as you deliver your services.