the disruptors: too busy? raise your prices.
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what do clients – or, as ed kless prefers, customers – want from their accountants? it’s not the tax return or the financial statement but the outcome for the customer, which is most often peace of mind.
to remain relevant in disruptions like online tax preparation and automated bookkeeping tech firms like pilot, accountants need to consider other ancillary services they can provide above and beyond those basic services.
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“when you bill by the hour, when you have to measure your time, and when you tell the customer, ‘pay attention to my efficiency because that’s what i’m going to charge you,’ then they start looking at your efficiency instead of your effectiveness, which is the wrong thing to be looking at,” kless explained.
additionally, kless said cpas who are “too busy” need to raise their fees.
he said, “one of the mantras in pricing is innovating for growth, pricing for profit. when an organization wants to grow, the focus has to be on innovating, creating new things to offer, not necessarily what we used to be called rainmaking, which is getting more customers.”
kless maintains that accountants or cpas should strive to be the first person called, no matter what the customer wants, whether it’s super bowl tickets or a recommendation for the best medical team in an emergency. but experimenting with adding additional services or converting to a subscription-based business model will not be possible for firms that remain wedded to the timesheet, which, kess said, quoting ron baker, is cancer of the accounting profession.
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