Search our Blog
RSS feed
AccountantsWorld on Twitter (@PowerAccountant)
Friday
Jan202017

How to Develop an Accounting Firm Marketing Message That (Really) Works

By Hitendra Patil

How do you develop a marketing message for your accounting firm that really works? Here's a hint: Ask Gillette!

According to CampaignLive, Gillette’s 2016 Father’s Day ad achieved an extremely rare 709 Ace Score. Less than 1% of ads receive an Ace Score over 700.

It further explains that the ad’s biggest strengths are:

  1. being liked, and
  2. being relevant.

Nearly 65% of the viewers thought the single best aspect of this ad was the “message”. Not the visuals, music, characters, etc.

Why? Because the message is completely relevant to what is going on in the world today.

Don’t believe me? Come back to the rest of this post after watching the ad.

(Welcome back!)

Inspired by this awesomely clever yet simple video ad, we have some ideas that you can use in your firm’s marketing plan.

 

1. Be relevant to your target clients.

The “message” you deliver to to attract your ideal clients needs to be relevant to their lives.

Question for you: 

What is really relevant to your target clients? (Hopefully, you have defined your target clients very precisely).

 

2. Compare to show wisdom and expertise.

Yes, accounting is a bit more (okay, a lot more) complex than shaving. But that's the point.

The key marketing principle here is contrast. When you show what is difficult, the easier option is understood better, in a comparative sense.

Question for you:

Which stressful results can you show your clients if, for instance, they did their own accounting and taxes? 

Now show them the results you can produce, without that stress.

 

3. Connect via context.

Some viewers felt that the story was great but the content was not that well related to the product.

When you deliver the context, your target audience should connect your story (message) with your services.

Question for you

Here's an example: Can you figure out the most common entries that go into “Ask My Accountant” and WHY? 

Answers to these WHYs can be your context that clients will quickly relate to.

 

So what's next?

Giant corporations can spend millions to do market research and demographic studies. They pay a lot to creative ad agencies and media producers to create such awesome ads. 

It is not easy for accounting firms to do the same. And it is rare to see mass video ads in the accounting profession.

But your message can still deliver the same type of impact - on your website, in your personal interactions with prospects, in your emails, perhaps via videos on your website. 

I look forward to your thoughts!

Hitendra Patil is director of practice development at AccountantsWorld. In this role, Hitendra helps accountants leverage AccountantsWorld's solutions more powerfully, advancing the company's leadership in cloud solutions for accountants. He can be reached at HPatil@accountantsworld.com.

Friday
Jan062017

Payroll Relief’s new 401(k) program is here! Attend a webinar next week.

As announced in December 2016, Payroll Relief has launched a new “Payroll Relief 401(k) Retirement Program” that you can now offer to your small business payroll clients.

We view this program as both a new revenue stream for each of you, and as another tool to help retain your clients by serving more of their needs. The Payroll Relief 401(k) Program can also help you and your employees save for retirement.

PLUS our program offers you a $1,000 bonus for each referral that closes.

The Payroll Relief 401(k) Retirement Program leverages group pricing and outsourced administration to reduce both cost and complexity. Click here to find more information about the program.

How do I learn more?

We hosted educational webinars in December, but for those of you who haven’t had a chance to learn about the Payroll Relief 401(k) Program, we are pleased to offer two more webinars. To bring you top-notch financial advice on 401(k) plan, Payroll Relief has partnered with Merrill Lynch and a team of Financial Advisors.

The 20-minute webinar will introduce you to the Payroll Relief 401(k) Retirement program and explain how it's different from other 401(k) offerings available to small businesses.

Here are the dates and times:

Wednesday 1/11- 2:00 PM ESTClick here to add to your calendar
Thursday 1/12- 2:00 PM EST-Click here to add to your calendar

Please click the link to select your preferred webinar time.

Wednesday
Jan042017

Accountants: Last chance to vote in the Readers' Choice Awards

CPA Practice Advisor is conducting its annual Readers’ Choice Awards, inviting accountants like you to vote for the technologies and vendors you use and trust. Voting closes Friday, January 6.

AccountantsWorld is nominated in the following categories:

  • 1099 / W-2 Compliance (ATF Payroll)
  • Accounting / Client Write-up and Small Business Accounting (Accounting Power)
  • Payroll (Payroll Relief)
  • Practice Management (Practice Relief)
  • Client Portals, Document Management and Workflow (Cloud Cabinet)
  • Website Builders (Website Relief)

Please take a few minutes to vote for your favorites, including AccountantsWorld's award-winning solutions.

CAST YOUR VOTE »


Thursday
Dec152016

AccountantsWorld Welcomes New Director of Practice Development

AccountantsWorld, the leader in cloud-based solutions for accountants, is delighted to announce today the appointment of Hitendra R. Patil as director of practice development.

In this role, Hitendra will be responsible for helping accountants leverage AccountantsWorld's solutions more powerfully, advancing the company's leadership in cloud solutions for accountants and positioning the company for its next phase of growth.

"I am absolutely thrilled to be joining AccountantsWorld," said Hitendra. "What inspired me the most about the company is their deep belief in the role accountants have to create a better world and their genuine commitment to accounting professionals. It is highly fulfilling to align myself with a future-creating organization that is using the cloud to help accountants expand their services, create growth for their practices, nurture stronger bonds with their clients, and experience deeper, professional fulfilment."

Hitendra has served the accounting profession for over 12 years and the technology-enabled financial services industry for 25 years in numerous capacities across multiple countries. Prior to AccountantsWorld, he worked as the chief operating officer of Pransform, Inc., a processing solutions provider for small- to medium-sized accounting, CPA and tax firms in the U.S. Before joining Pransform, Hitendra was the assistant vice president of global financial services at Viteos Technologies. He's also the author of the critically acclaimed book, "Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant," devoted to helping accountants become more entrepreneurial in their quest for robust and profitable growth.

"AccountantsWorld's purpose is unique in putting Accountants First™ as we unflinchingly believe that accountants have immense potential to positively impact lives of their clients. It is a pioneering movement that helps individuals and small business owners enhance their financial lives by better leveraging their most trusted advisors: their accountants," said Chandra Bhansali, CEO of AccountantsWorld. "To position AccountantsWorld for continued and accelerated growth in the coming years, we needed a passionate leader who shares our belief in the power of accountants. Hitendra brings a strong and unique combination of leadership, highly relevant industry expertise and a deep understanding on how to leverage behavioral science to enhance accountants' success. He is an ideal addition for strengthening both the success of our accounting partners and our core mission."

Professionals in the accounting industry are also responding with excitement to the announcement.

"Hitendra has a strong intuitive sense of how technology should empower accounting firms," said Rick Telberg of CPA Trendlines, a visionary and thought leader in the accounting profession. "As the publisher of his book and his numerous thought-provoking articles at CPA Trendlines for a few years now, I have had the privilege of having extensive interactions with Hitendra. He is laser-focused on delivering his depth and breadth of knowledge and experience to enhance the accounting profession. I am sure that Hitendra will help accountants benefit more from the suite of cloud-based solutions from AccountantsWorld."

Wednesday
Dec072016

Put accountants back in control of accounting

This byline was originally published on Business2Community.

Small business accounting is dominated by over-the-counter DIY (Do It Yourself) solutions catered to business owners. This environment creates significant pain for both accountants and their clients. If you were to ask your clients if they love doing accounting, how many would say yes? Hardly any.

It stands to reason that small business owners would rather spend their time focused on their businesses, and not accounting work. In fact, according to a survey by SCORE, 40 percent of small business owners said dealing with bookkeeping and taxes are the single worst parts of owning a company. Compounding the problem is that the more clients are involved in bookkeeping (without any accounting knowledge), the more mistakes accountants are left cleaning up.

Despite these challenges, DIY software was the best and most widely-used option before the cloud, but now things are different. Today, cloud-based professional accounting systems give accountants the control they need through two important capabilities they haven’t had before.

Making the most of the cloud

First, professional cloud-based solutions like Accounting Power enable accountants’ staff to do all of the work that their clients or clients’ staff performs, only faster, easier and more accurately, without leaving the office. Second, these solutions allow accountants and their clients to collaborate, while accountants maintain full control over the data. Because of the cloud, accountants can customize their services for each individual client, based on their needs and preferences. For those who prefer not to do anything, accountants can completely eliminate the need for clients to perform any accounting work. For those clients who prefer some involvement, accountants can set up the system to give their clients access to specific functions they can perform comfortably without making errors.

For example, clients who crave some involvement may only want to use Accounting Power to write checks and enter deposits. Accountants can tailor the program to let them perform those functions quickly. Clients who want another level of involvement may want the ability to handle account receivables and account payables. Accountants can personalize the solution to meet the needs of both the hands-off and engaged client.

Either way a client decides to go on their level of involvement, the accountant’s time is freed up to focus on providing value, such as identifying growth opportunities or flagging discrepancies or threats to the client’s business.

Strengthening the client relationship beyond bookkeeping and taxes

Accountants can continue to demonstrate their value to their clients by offering complete accounting and payroll services. By making the most of collaborative cloud-based solutions, accountants can analyze the whole picture of a client’s finances to offer real-time strategic advice, and provide significantly deeper value beyond preparing simple financials and doing taxes.

The more high-value services that an accountant can offer their client, the stronger their client relationships will be, which can boost retention and create a strong referral network for the accounting firm amongst existing clients.

DIY accounting systems may have been the norm for the past several years, but cloud-based professional accounting systems like Accounting Power have shifted the balance of power back to accountants and created an opportunity for small businesses to get back to doing what they love most - running their businesses, and not dealing with the headaches of bookkeeping, taxes and payroll. Cloud solutions benefit both accountants and their clients, and empower accountants to offer more strategic value to their clients’ businesses.

Learn more about how Accounting Power puts accountants like you back in control of accounting, and get a free demonstration today.