Written by Maureen Holman, CPAAt a recent AICPA Council meeting, one of the presentations was “Growing Client Relationships Through Expanded Services”. This session addressed a CPA’s sometimes missed opportunity of offering additional services to our existing tax clients. Offering additional services can build and solidify an existing client relationship and grow firm revenue.
- if a client has a new baby, this is an opportunity to discuss adjusting withholding, additional life insurance needs, FSA participation and starting a 529 plan;
- if a client expresses an interest in starting a new business, this is an opportunity to discuss providing bookkeeping, payroll and auditing services, discuss establishing a retirement plan, and explaining estimated tax payments;
- if a client is approaching retirement, this is an opportunity to discuss Social Security planning, RMD requirements, cash flow budgeting and investment strategies.
- Some examples given were:
In order to expand client services, we as CPAs need to listen to our clients and understand their situation and needs. This is an opportunity to utilize any additional credentials and skills that we have in addition to tax preparation. Often a team of other professionals is needed, such as an estate planning attorney, an investment advisor, and an insurance agent. This allows even small CPA firms to provide client service in many areas. Be sure that your staff is part of this service expansion as well. Having multiple points of contact and varied levels of knowledge within the firm will ensure that your client service is exceptional.
Create an action plan for each specific client and schedule a non-tax-season follow up appointment. As CPAs, we are our clients’ most trusted advisor and are in a perfect position to provide them service in areas other than just income tax preparation. Don’t miss opportunities to grow your firm, improve your own knowledge base and improve on existing client relationships. For more information log onto the AICPA website.