Accountants are cited as the most trusted advisor to business owners according to a 2008 survey by Greenwich Associates, and SunTrust business owner research finds that many business owners respond positively to receiving additional advice from their accountants.
Changes in technology and an uncertain economy have created a greater need for the type of services accountants offer. As more businesses adopt electronic-payment processing, online treasury services and other online banking tools, accountants are the go-to source for helping you confidently make the conversion to automated financial systems and bookkeeping.
According to SunTrust business owner research, accountants can address unmet needs for many business owners by doing the following:
Helping owners save time by structuring and automating low-value tasks. Finding free time is one of the top issues that keep owners up at night.
Showing owners how to maximize cash flow — 38 percent are worried about running out of cash as credit tightens.
Acting as a “watchdog” that protects business assets from crime and fraud. Over 70 percent of owners have experienced attempted fraud and crime.
Helping clients budget and better manage expenses.
Ensuring clients have the capital they need to grow.
Many financial professionals have a hard time growing their practices because they struggle to capture a “fee” value for advice. Innovative accountants have packaged value by:
Leveraging technology to deliver services online and “on call” as a “virtual CFO.”
Delivering and integrating systems that save clients time, energy, money and stress, which is an effective and sustainable way to extend professional value.
Bundling solutions in the form of capital planning and financial/retirement planning.
About SunTrust Business Owner Research:
SunTrust surveys small business owners and advisors as part of its ongoing business seminars and symposiums. The small business owners attending these events include both SunTrust client and non-client business owners and are representative of the broad spectrum of businesses located in the SunTrust markets. The research cited in this report is extracted from these 5,425 small business owner surveys collected between 2007 and 2011.
This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.
Most financial professionals are more comfortable delivering services than promoting them. At the end of the day, demand generation — your ability to generate interest, inquiries, new leads and proposals — is a good thing for your practice and your reputation.