Accountants do more than crunch numbers and complete tax returns — they serve as indispensable tools for their clients. Outside of preparing financial records, analyzing data, completing finance reports, creating budgets, and preparing tax returns, an excellent accountant’s job is quite simply to make the client’s life easier.
As an accountant, Najmi Muhammad of Markham, Ontario, encourages those in the field to look beyond the basics and actively seek opportunities to exceed client expectations. After all, a pleased client is likely to give a referral, and referrals are one of the best ways to gain more business. Today, Najmi Muhammad explains what every client is looking for in an accountant.
Certainty and Composure
Sole traders and business owners have high-stress lives. Those who hire accountants do so because they have other things to focus on and don’t want to lose sleep or energy over details like bookkeeping and taxes, so they choose to outsource to accountants.
According to Najmi Muhammad, that’s why effective accountants gain the client’s trust with certainty and composure. Clients never want to feel pressured to look over shoulders or micromanage the responsibilities they’ve delegated; they’ve chosen to hire an accountant for a reason, after all.
In many ways, serving as an effective accountant requires taking the reins, assuming responsibility, and gaining the client’s trust. Always meet deadlines, exceed expectations, and deliver what you promised. That way, your clients are liberated from worrying about their finances and able to focus on the other things that matter.
Questions and needs sometimes arise at inconvenient times, that’s why clients value having an accountant with flexibility and an open line of communication. To achieve this, make a conscious effort to stay in touch and reachable in whatever ways possible.
An excellent accountant’s clients will feel no hesitation to reach out if any questions should arise regarding their finances. When you can’t be open and available, be timely about returning calls and getting back in contact to answer questions or discuss concerns
According to Najmi Muhammad, the more your client senses an open line of communication between themselves and you, the more likely they are to feel satisfied and at ease about the job you’re doing — which is a sure way to gain approval and rake in referrals.
Transparency and Communication
No one wants to be left in the dark when it comes to their finances. Although clients want to be able to fully trust their accountant, they never want to be out of the loop regarding their money. That’s where transparency and communication come in.
Take the initiative to know and understand client’s expectations. With time-sensitive actions, always communicate clearly about timelines, and adhere to those dates strictly. For example, if you’ve told your client that the new budget or tax return will be completed by a certain date, you need him to rest assured with certainty that you’ll have it done by that time.
Furthermore, when issues or complications arise, stay transparent. Remaining honest and open in your communications will inspire trust, which improves the client-accountant relationship tenfold.