How to stand out on the competitive market of accounting offices? At the beginning of 2014, the accounting profession was deregulated. Currently, no permissions are required to start an accounting office. As in the case of other deregulated industries, such as real estate, opinions on the appropriateness of lifting licenses are also divided in the accounting industry. On the one hand, easier access to the profession may reduce the quality of services offered by new companies, lower prices and lower confidence in the entire industry. On the other hand, it is an opportunity for many young entrepreneurs who want to try their hand at business. Regardless of opinions, everyone agrees on one thing – competition in the market has increased. How to make your accounting office stand out?
Price works wonders?
A dozen or so years ago, the main factor of choice was the price. The lower it was, the more customers it attracted. Currently, this trend has changed significantly, customers more and more often decide to cooperate with a company offering higher prices, expecting higher quality in return. So it is not worth assuming in advance that if we offer the lowest rates for a service on the local market, we will become its most serious player. It is worth establishing clearly defined price ranges for a specific scope of the service and at the same time maintaining a lot of flexibility. Larger clients appreciate an individual approach and individual pricing.
Range of services
Accounting offices it’s been a long time since they only offer accounting services. It is still a basic form of activity for many entities, good mainly for start-up companies. As the company grows and gains new customers, the scope of services should be expanded. What additional services do accounting offices offer to clients? The basic addition is running the HR and payroll departments, i.e. recording the working time of employees and settling them in the Social Insurance Institution and the Tax Office. More extensive companies offer clients legal and tax advice and assistance. Large companies that are looking for tax savings are very eager to use it. More and more accounting offices also offer their services to individual clients, advising them on credits or loans and even keeping personal accounting.
Qualifications and training
Although the legislator has abolished the obligation to have accounting certificates issued by the Ministry of Finance, it is worth participating in qualification processes and training. The financial industry is very difficult, the applicable regulations often change, hence the need to regularly participate in courses or industry meetings. In addition to the acquired qualifications or acquired knowledge, we get the opportunity to show off certificates among customers. This has a very positive effect on the opinion about the accounting office, which may be of great importance to a potential client. The prices of such training courses range from several hundred to even several thousand with more complex problems.
If you run a sole proprietorship, do it yourself and have only a few trusted clients, this point can be omitted. However, if you run a larger company and want to gain large customers, you should surround yourself with them. As in the case of other services from the financial sector, also in the case of accounting offices, an attractive location in the city center will increase the prestige of the company itself. Despite the rapid development of technology, e-mail and telephone contact, many customers still prefer face-to-face meetings. It is therefore worth making it easier for him to reach the accounting office.
Bet on advertising
In order to stand out in competitive markets, you need good or effective advertising. What media should we choose so that our message reaches potential customers? First of all, you should define your target group well. If the group of our clients consists mainly of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, it is necessary to focus on local advertising. The owners of such companies most often want to contact an accounting office, hence they most often decide to cooperate with a company from the same city. Therefore, it is worth using press advertisements or appropriately targeted advertisements in social media. To this should be added other internet marketing tools such as SEM or SEO. The search for an accounting office usually begins with entering the appropriate phrase in the Google search engine.
The abolition of the obligation to have an accountant’s license has resulted in the emergence of new accounting offices like mushrooms after the rain. This causes a lot of competition in this market, which many entrepreneurs complain about. However, it should be remembered that if the services we offer are performed with the appropriate quality and diligence, customers will always come to us. It is worth improving your skills on an ongoing basis during trainings, conferences or by investing in further postgraduate studies. In order for our accounting office to be noticed, advertising and marketing expenses are also necessary. A properly structured message will encourage many entrepreneurs to sign a cooperation agreement.