DEMONSTRATE VALUE

How accountants can demonstrate value

Lynette Ntuli.jpg

Recent research by Intuit QuickBooks in South Africa revealed that demonstrating value is one of the biggest challenges for local accountants. They also struggle with believing they are providing good service at a fair price.

This is according to Kayur Desai, Head of Marketing and Sales, Emerging Markets at Intuit QuickBooks, who spoke at the recent Get Connected by QuickBooks event. “It is vital for accountants to first define what is of value to their clients and how they can provide this.”

To assist South African accountants with this, below are three tips highlighted at the event from industry trailblazers:

Stay relevant

Zipho Sikhakhane, CEO and Founder of EMZ Advisory, says that it is vital for anyone in business to consider how to remain relevant at a global scale, even if their focus is local. “To do this it is key to find ways to disrupt yourself first, such as implementing new technologies and automation in your business, even if it scares you, to remain competitive,” she adds. “If you don't disrupt yourself, someone else will, it's that simple.”

Invest in tech

Digital transformation is moving business leaders and owners into an age where we have to analyse how technology in our critical functional areas can streamline processes; as well as free up our time and capacity to offer added value to clients, says Lynette Ntuli, CEO of Innate Invest Solutions.

“Instead of accountants spending 80% of their time working through transactions, manually updating data and ensuring its accuracy, technology gives us back that time to really discover, interrogate, dissect and integrate the stories behind the numbers and reports our businesses generate. That strategic oversight and insight on performance and metrics is critical to innovation, efficiency, sustainability and building value” she adds. 

Switch to advisory

Using the above steps, Jason Blumer, CEO at United States firm, THRIVEal CPAs, moved from hourly billing to value pricing. To do this, his firm had to drill down to discover how they could offer their clients an advisory service.

“We wanted to go deeper and build relationships with our clients because we love working with people and are committed to growing their businesses through our expertise,” Blumer says. “Essentially they are paying for your attention and when you give people your attention they get the best of what you can offer and you are able to make the most impact.”

This is because your insights are valuable, he points out. “Insights are knowledge-based understandings that you teach clients. They wouldn't know these things if they weren't in a room with you. The client can't see the wood for the trees, but you can, because you have something that they don't have - objectivity.”  “However, if you want to do this, it is vital that you narrow your niche and become a market expert in a certain sector. This allows advisory services to be set at a higher price because of the insight you are offering and value you are providing.”

“It is crucial for local accounting firm owners to realise that anything of value has a price,” he continues. “You are at the point where you now have the tools to be able to sell a lot more than accounting and submission to your clients. You can now sell them freedom from fear by giving them your attention, focus, and access to your expertise,” Blumer concludes.

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