Needless to say, the professional credibility of a Chartered Accountant is often gauged and evaluated by the number of clients he or she is working with. Although, CA, as a profession is a high paying career choice, there are many aspects that need to be taken care of for an individual to get hold of more clients, especially the ones that are looking to hire chartered accountants and even willing to pay generously. To begin with, CAs must start realising the fact that in this digital age, a lot of companies and individuals are searching for chartered accountants online which points to the fact that CA professionals must strengthen their online presence. However, as a code of conduct CAs are generally refrained to advertise their expertise and even clients as an unwritten code; thereby making it slightly trickier for them to get hold of a decent clientele from digital channel.
However, in the subsequent sections, we shall look at 5 things which every Chartered Accountant can and must do to increase the number of active clients.
1. Add in Partners and Convert Standalone Practice into a Full-Fledged Firm
Needless to say, clients usually hire accountants that are associated with a reputed CA firm. Therefore, for a CA to get hold of more clients, it is essential for him or her to expand his standalone practice. However, the firm looks commendable only if there are partners working together in unison. In case of Chartered Accountancy, it is often hard to add in professionals as everybody else is looking to create his or her own identity.
One way of approaching this would be to prepare a dedicated revenue sharing structure which looks beneficial to all the interested parties. However, every aspect needs to be segregated on the basis of the shared workload, capital contributed and even the valid work experience. Another lucrative way of approaching this would be to create a profit-sharing model, on the basis of clientele and deliverables.
2. Concentrate on Online Portals and Social Platforms
For a CA, it eventually boils down to the existing fee structure and the willingness of the clients to pay a desired sum of money. However, as there is a lot of pre-existing competition around, CAs must look to upgrade their expertise by learning new tricks of the trade. In addition to that, it is necessary to demonstrate their expertise in the form of relevant articles over online professional portals. In addition to that, having a decent social following also comes in handy in generating awareness. Next 20 years are all about marketplaces and on-demand services. We are talking about globally internet connected workforce and how CAs and other business professionals adapt to technology and these digital platforms will determine how Legal & Tax Industry serves the next million or billion. Moreover, Accounting and Legal Process outsourcing are a huge industry in India given the cheap workforce cost, therefore, robust digital marketplaces will provide CAs exposure to international business opportunities as well.
3. Create a Niche Market is a better
There are many Chartered Accountants that fail to carve out a niche arena and end up spending hours in order to communicate with clients with diverse requirements. While networking is an extremely potent tool when it comes to getting a lot of customers, CAs must realize that delving into every micro area of work isn’t something that’s expected to pay dividends. Instead, a CA working on a specific niche is better placed when it comes to getting recommendations even from professionals pertaining to different sectors. For example, if a CA specializes in bookkeeping services, he or she must start promoting this niche in order to get more clients instead of concentrating on multiple specializations.
4. Be Dedicated and Keep Updated
A dedicated Chartered Accountant must be more than willing to put in the hard yards. Firstly, he or she must look to learn new things each day, which can be something on the lines of intricate taxation and company compliance or something as simple as bookkeeping services. Every piece of knowledge is therefore essential when it comes to attracting clients and making it easier for them to search for chartered accountants online and even across offline channels.
Nothing beats knowledge when it comes to getting hold of a larger clientele. Therefore, Chartered Accountants who are looking to acquire more clients must make arrangements to update their existing knowledge sets, precisely for staying relevant. For someone looking to hire chartered accountants, upgraded knowledge sets are necessary criteria. That said, CAs that have upgraded skill sets must also make them public, in order to reach a wider audience base.
5. Strong Ethics and Professionalism
With repeated news of financial mismanagement in large and small organizations and repeated breaches of ethical codes, CA’s are under regulatory watch now more than ever. Upholding strong ethical values is a must have an attribute for every CA. They must keep them abreast of new developments in Accounting sphere especially when it comes to ethical codes and standards.So they must routinely track websites of think tanks and regulatory bodies to enroll in workshops for this sphere. Adherence to the ICAS motto 'Quaere Verum' which means 'seek the truth' should be a must for every CA.
It goes without saying that a CA is a supreme commander when it comes to handling a client’s Tax & Accounting needs. However, as the competition is increasing with each passing day, it has become even more important for the upcoming and even existing CAs to follow the mentioned strategies in order to expand their existing client base and stay relevant.