What if merging with another accounting firm the best alternative?

by Roberto Dias Duarte

In the accounting services market, the entrepreneur should, among other things, leverage himself and execute the business process; engage in the development of a differentiated, competent and innovative team; plan and control operational processes; think about market strategies, etc.

But how to do it all by yourself?

I will conduct your reflection through these challenges…

The value proposition of your accounting firm should be one of the main pillars of your company – and of any company that has left the youth stage! This will determine the benefits of the services offered to your customers and it differentiates your company from its competitors. Obviously, the value of proposition offered to clients will be directly linked to its purpose as an accounting entrepreneur. And it’s your passion for these services that will help you move your business.

Once you’ve defined your value proposition and offers, you go into the sales process.

Do you find it strange to hear the words “process” and “sales” in the same sentence? Well, we have a point of attention there.

Your accounting firm needs rather well-defined marketing and sales (commercial) processes, because only this way you’ll have the predictability you need when it comes to the expected results of these fronts in your office.

With these clear and objective processes, you correctly capture the clients and you strengthen a more clear and transparent relationship. Consequently, your client will have a better experience with your brand.

Attracting, maintaining and growing alongside the clients of your accounting firm.

You might think that concepts like customer experience and focus on the relationship and customer support is something that only happens in “big companies”.

You’re wrong. With actions in this direction, you can also follow the success of the customer (customer success) in relation to its services. Customer success becomes a priority for your accounting firm as competition increases, as well as the customers’ demands.

That’s right. If you market advisory services or packages, knowing if the customer is getting the benefits of this engagement and reaching their goals is essential for the establishment of loyalty. You accompany the client for a while, and you can see if he/she needs an additional service.

Tracking your customers’ success, driven by the internet and cloud systems, can create the opportunity for new businesses through known techniques, such as upselling and cross-selling.

These are applied when the client is already in your base and has the goal of increasing the average ticket of your businesses.

  • Cross-selling: it consists on offering your client other services related to what he/she already enjoys in his/her office. For example, you provide tax planning services for a particular company. Throughout the months of coexistence, you realize that you are entering an important period for succession planning. What a great opportunity to offer your services to help this transition, am I right?
  • Upselling: it is not uncommon for a customer of yours, who has a very simple – and cheap – service package, to have the desire to hire something bigger. But your budget doesn’t always allow that to happen. If you or your team realize this, you may offer an experimental trial period, for example, changing packages now. This can work just fine.

If you succeeded, with the professionalization of your accounting office, on obtaining a well-defined technology and value proposition of the accounting firm, on achieving a beautiful client portfolio, then that’s excellent!

A successful accounting firm cares about the success of its clients!

What you should do, through customer success, is realize the growth of your customers. You have conquered and retained them, there’s nothing farer than growing alongside them.

Of course! As companies grow, they need more services and consultative support. And your office, with its conquered credibility and confidence, will be the ideal partner for this.

However, don’t forget that as customers grow, your office needs to be structed in order to serve them. A high-performance team, high value-added technology and services will need to be on your radar!

But seriously: what if merging with another accounting firm is the best alternative?

That’s right. A lot of times, in order to put your purpose in practice, some allies are necessary. It’s not always possible to offer it all by yourself. Or it’s not always possible to deliver what you desire, whether it’s because of the necessity of investment or because of lack of knowledge, or even time.

Afterall, you need to structure more fronts in your company in order for it to grow in a sustainable way:

  • Accounting marketing;
  • A lot of technology;
  • Proposal of value and the definition of offers;
  • Sales process;
  • Customer service;
  • Technical activities and accounting, tax and tributary compliance; among others.

Beyond the financial management of your business! It really is a lot. And, sometimes, you won’t be able to handle everything on your own. Especially, if you still need to be very involved.

And there’s room for an evaluation here. Does your office have a professional to take on some of these activities, like a technical coordinator, for example? If you don’t have anyone you can count on, the union of forces with another office might be a good option.

When I talk about strategic management in accounting, I’m also referring to: data analysis and facts around you and directing your actions for more results.

The professionalization of the accounting services market in the world is already a reality!

In the accounting services market, the entrepreneur should, among other things, leverage himself and execute the business process of the company, in other words, he should be getting his hands dirty. At the same time, you also need to engage in the development of a differentiated, competitive and innovative team, in which you can trust, among other countless examples I could list.

But is not there another accounting entrepreneur who could balance this equation, bringing other skills, and other “arms”, boosting the results that would be achieved by each company alone?

Every office in the world is going through a very big professionalization. There’s no room for amateurs. And I say this not only in the technical field, but also in the management and strategy field.

For this reason, I’m bringing up the merger issue. If you can’t get organized internally and by yourself, why not seek a merger opportunity to have a more structured company?

In the accounting industry, your business is not accounting, it’s credibility. The customer trusts you. It places at your disposal its patrimony and, indirectly, all that depend on it. More credibility automatically means more clients. And credibility also starts with well-targeted strategic decisions, customer relationship actions, and everything needed to make your office thrive! Think about it!