I’ve come across many accountancy professionals over the years and after asking them what they do I sometimes get the response “I’m an Accountant”. Some people are probably thinking “fair enough” but I want to discuss why it makes sense for accountants to go into a bit more detail about their ideal clients.
Over time an accountant will experience working with many different types of businesses and business owners and this should give them the opportunity to build up a preference about what interests them and who they like to work with. It’s true that when you’re trying to start a business you just need as many clients as possible so that you can earn a crust, but after a point you can drastically improve the way you do things by focussing on an industry sector or type of person you work well with.
Accountants like many other professionals will only be able to acquire and retain a certain amount of knowledge, this means that it’s absolutely vital that they focus on the issues that are most likely to impact their clients when it comes to professional development. This could include understanding special tax treatments within a particular industry, it could mean adapting their customer service to deal with a particular type of client and it could even involve building up the right network of industry contacts to help them better support their clients.
If that wasn’t enough reason for an accountant to specialise than consider this question. When are you most productive? Is it when you are doing a job for money or is it when you are doing something you love doing. Unsurprisingly most people’s answer to this question would be the latter and it makes sense when you consider time flies when you’re having fun, but my counter point is why can’t you do both at the same time?
For example I love working with entrepreneurs who are building a business around a hobby, they will generally have an unconventional idea that they firmly believe will be the next big thing and a significant amount of energy to boot. Some people might say that this is a bit generic but the type of client I’m looking for isn’t located in a particular industry, they have a particular attitude that will connect really well with my style of doing business.
These entrepreneurs need a different type of accountant who can stay in touch on a regular basis, this means that they discuss upcoming events to get the tax side of it right from the beginning and receive some help when it comes to financially validating their ideas. As they often experience more change than any other types of businesses they require more attention by someone who takes the time to understand not just what they say they need but also what they are trying to achieve.
I have worked hard to build up my list of contacts to ensure that my clients have access to other professionals who can give them tailored advice when it comes to things like marketing, legal matters and many other areas. These other professionals are screened thoroughly to ensure they share similar values to my business and want to work with my clients for the right reasons.
However by far the most important aspect that qualifies an accountant to work with entrepreneurs is being one themselves, and once you look past the financial side of it there is a huge emotional pressure that a new business owner endures. Behind the scenes a lot of work goes in to maintaining a client’s confidence levels, not just in their accountant but also in themselves and this requires a particular skillset in its own right.
If you are based in Northampton or in the surrounding areas and are in you first couple of years of business, then please get in touch and find out how we can provide you with the support you need to create your own success story.