If you’ve recently started your own accounting firm then you know how challenging it can be to attract new clientele. This is especially the case if you’ve spent most of your time on traditional marketing efforts. A lot of firm owners don’t understand the power of establishing an online presence. Specifically, they’re not aware of how much new business a website can generate. Let’s discuss the challenges the accounting industry is currently facing as well as a few strategies that you should use when designing your own website.
Challenges the Accounting Industry Faces
Accountancy can be a satisfying career. However, there are a few issues that everyone in the industry has to deal with. Here are a few of the most common.
1. Keeping Up With Tax Changes
Accountants are responsible for remaining up to date on tax laws. Whether it requires you to raise more revenue or consider loopholes, these changes are constantly taking place. Even if the changes are small, they can often affect a lot of taxpayers. Not only that but these updates can sometimes be very complex. And it can be difficult to advise your clients about what steps they should take next.
2. Strict Deadlines
Accountants are often required to move from one strict deadlined to the next. As the volume grows there’s barely any room for downtime. And this can often lead to their feeling overwhelmed and burntout.
3. Keeping Clients Up to Date About New Technology
As with most industries, technology is always evolving. While new technology can create more opportunities for accountants, it can be a challenge to keep clients informed about these types of changes. This is especially the case when it comes to investing.
4. Sustaining the Practice
Not only can it be a challenge to grow your accounting business, but it can also be difficult to simply sustain it. Deadlines can make it hard to innovate. Time constraints may also make it hard to be transparent with your clients and practice effective communication.
5. Do It Yourself Technology
One of the biggest challenges facing the accounting industry is technology that helps clients do the work on their own. Financial software can help clients to record their income and expenses, work out their taxes as well as create a spreadsheet for all of their future expenses. In fact, there are certain types of software packages that can handle most of the bookkeeping that accountants are typically known to manage. In order to remain competitive accountants have to be willing to take on large roles and more responsibilities.
Accounting Firm Web Design Strategies
One of the best ways to gain credibility in your industry is to create your own website. This is especially true for small firms. Here are seven things that every accounting firm should include in their web design.
There’s hardly a better way to attract new customers to your firm than with a special tool. It may be something as simple as a calculator that helps your clients figure out a specific tax issue. The benefit of creating this type of tool is that it makes your website a resource for people–one that they repeatedly use. And this can bring in a lot of business. The idea of creating a tool may seem like a lot of work, especially if you don’t have any coding skills. But the good news is you can always hire a developer to create the tool that you need.
Another great resource for your potential clients is a blog. Sometimes a calculator won’t provide them the answers that they need. And this is where you can fill in the gaps for people. Create a blog on your page that answers accounting questions. For instance, you may create a post that addresses tax write-offs for daycare owners. What type of deduction can real estate agents expect? You may create a post that updates people on recent tax changes. This can help to establish more credibility with your audience.
When you’re dealing with someone else’s finances, it takes a tremendous amount of trust. You can help to facilitate this trust by including an About section on your page. You can include information about when your firm was founded. You can talk about the number of years of experience you have in this industry. Let your clients know if you’re up-to-date on all of the latest technology. State your values when it comes to integrity and collaboration. The more information you offer, the more likely your visitors will be willing to work with you.
When visitors come to your page, they need to know what types of services you offer. So include a section with a list of services that they can come to you for. Do you perform single audits? Does your firm offer compliance reviews? Do you do reviews of internal control systems? Make sure that you offer give a brief description of each service as well as their benefits.
Sometimes an About page isn’t enough. In some instances, your clients are going to want to know more about the people who work in your firm. So include a page that talks about the most valuable members of your team. Include headshots of these individuals as well as their titles. Share what each person does at the firm and how much experience they have in the finance industry. You may even include shots of your office and your team collaborating on a specific project. By offering a behind the scenes look at your firm, the visitor will feel more of a personal connection.
6. Client Access
If you want to offer your clients a bit of convenience, then you should consider designing a client access section on your website. A client access area will allow your current clients to access their files and records directly from your website. This way, they’ll be able to get live updates about the progress that’s being made on your end. The best thing about this feature is that it encourages communication. However, if you add this feature to your website, you need to make sure that you stress security.
It’s also important that you include a contact page on your website. This can make it easy for someone to get in touch with you whenever they have a question about their records or the firm in general. The best contact pages include the phone number, physical address of the firm, and your email address. You can also include a fax number to make it easier for your clients to send information over to you. You can make the contact process easy for your visitors by including a form that allows them to send a message to you directly from your website. Just remember to keep the form as simple as possible.
Admittedly, the accounting industry can sometimes be challenging. However, it doesn’t have to be difficult to attract new customers. You just have to be willing to invest time and thought into your web design. Ultimately, each element that you choose to include could get you one step closer to securing another account.