How to grow your accounting practice in 2024

Written by

Parth Shah

Now that tax season is long over, it’s time to think about the new tax year and how to make it even better for your accountancy practice than the last. You see, the accounting industry is competitive, and client expectations are going up by the day.

But unlike what you might think, scaling an accountancy firm sustainably involves a few simple approaches and best practices that, if done correctly, can be implemented.

Whether you’re looking to onboard new clients, invest in new tech, or attend more conferences to build your brand, several business growth tips for accountants will help you up your game in the tax year 2024-25.

How to grow your accounting practice in 2024

1. Expand your client base with targeted business onboarding

Focus on acquiring clients in sectors where you already have expertise or see potential for growth. Since business returns tend to be more complex and lucrative than individual returns, targeting clients in industries like tech startups, local manufacturers, or non-profits can be particularly beneficial. These clients are much more likely to opt for additional services like bookkeeping, financial analysis, and forecasting in addition to basic tax services. However, to accommodate this growth, assess and upgrade your staff’s capabilities. Conduct training programs for them on advanced tax issues and specialised software. In addition, hire experienced outsourced accountants with industry-specific knowledge. Enhancing your processes through automation and streamlined workflows will also help you handle an increased client load without sacrificing service quality.

2. Enjoy operational efficiency with an integrated tech stack

Clients increasingly prioritise accountancy practices that make the end-to-end client experience smooth.

To meet these expectations, thoroughly evaluate your current technology stack and determine whether upgrading any software or finding a better way to integrate the tools you currently have makes sense.

Find out if there are gaps in client communication, data management, or accessibility. Implement a unified software solution that facilitates smooth, secure interactions across all touchpoints.

For instance, a platform like Xero or QuickBooks Online offers end-to-end features from scheduling and communications to invoicing and reporting, all accessible via client-friendly portals. These tools are also easy to learn and incorporate into your daily routine.

3. Drive revenue with strategic cross-selling

Offering extra services to your existing clients can often be easier than finding and onboarding new clients.

We recommend using data analytics to identify which types of clients to target and the services they are most likely to be interested in. For instance, a client using tax preparation services may benefit from estate planning or financial advisory services.

It’s also vital to pay close attention to client satisfaction at each level of the cross-selling process, as even small changes can have a massive impact on whether or not customers continue to buy.

Implement training programs for your staff to enhance their ability to identify cross-selling opportunities and articulate the benefits effectively to clients.

4. Boost growth through client and partner referrals

Referrals from those who’ve worked with you are a great way to attract new prospects with a positive impression of your accountancy practice.

Consider creating a formal referral program that rewards the referrer and the new client. For example, offer a 10% discount on the next service for each successful referral or introduce a loyalty program for repeated referrals.

In addition, encourage your clients to share written testimonials on Google Business Reviews or your social media pages, as these improve your search ratings and serve as a first line of validation for your prospects.

Communicate the value and impact of these referrals regularly through newsletters or personal emails to keep your network engaged and appreciative of their contributions.

5. Adopt a multi-faceted marketing strategy

Building a successful accounting practice requires you to market consistently. For maximum impact, diversify your tactics to encompass both offline and digital marketing strategies, including:

  • Share high-quality content that positions you as a thought leader, such as articles on tax planning, audit checklists, and personalised financial advice.
  • Utilise video content to explain complex accounting issues in an accessible way and host webinars to reach a wider audience. For example, you can share relevant accounting tips and tricks and industry news through Instagram Reels.
  • Localised SEO strategies can help you target potential clients in your geographical area. Optimise your website and content for local search terms, such as “accountants in [City Name]” or “best tax preparer near me.” Ensure your practice is listed on Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business() and other relevant online directories.
  • Join and be active in professional groups and accounting societies. These can provide valuable networking opportunities, potential client leads, and resources for professional development. To further establish your expertise, offer to speak at society meetings or write articles for their newsletters.
  • Send regular newsletters that provide valuable tax tips, reminders for critical tax deadlines, and updates about changes in tax legislation to keep your clients informed and engaged. Tailoring content to meet the specific needs of different client segments—such as small businesses, individuals, or sectors you specialise in—further personalises the reading experience.

How to implement accounting firm growth tips

1. Reflect on what went well

Too often, we’re caught up in and bogged down by the negative things—like missed deadlines, clients that parted ways, and losses incurred. That’s why you must start on a good note by looking back on your successes during the tax year that just ended.

List them out and allow yourself to feel good about them, whether they involve successfully navigating complex tax law changes, staff professional development and certifications, or successful audits. By celebrating these things, you also remind yourself to aim to repeat those things in the future.

2. Evaluate what can be done better

Having a clear idea of the challenges you face is vital to knowing exactly the problem areas and what you need to work on. In addition to introspecting independently, the best way to see how you can improve is by asking the people around you.

These include:

  • Colleagues – The people you work with will often have fresh insider perspectives on how to smooth things out at work. This will also help ensure that you’re all aligned strategically from the get-go.
  • Communities – Your industry peers can be a great source of support and ideas. Find professional membership groups in your area or online, and read the reviews to ensure they prioritise actual support and have a clear code of conduct.
  • Clients – Talk to your clients about their experience with your practice and ask what improvements they’d like to see. For instance, a standardised onboarding process can save everybody’s time and effort.

As a starting point, the new tax year is an excellent time to re-evaluate your pricing models and see whether you want to increase (or decrease) any of your rates.

3. Plan how to get it done

The best way to achieve the goals you’ve committed to is to craft a feasible plan to work through each. For example, the SMART framework stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

A SMART goal for your accountancy practice could be structured as follows:

  • Specific: Enhance the efficiency of tax filing processes.
  • Measurable: Reduce the average time spent on each tax return by 15%.
  • Achievable: Implement a new tax preparation software and train staff on its use.
  • Relevant: Increasing process efficiency can free up staff time for more complex tasks and client engagement, improving service quality and practice profitability.
  • Time-bound: Accomplish this reduction within the next six months.

When you set goals with all these five attributes, you’re far likelier to accomplish them. And, of course, don’t forget to check in on your progress periodically to see how you’re measuring up against those goals.

Things to remember as you go forward: How to grow your accounting practice

1. The rise of AI

It’s no secret that AI is transforming processes everywhere. In accounting, it can be a game-changer in terms of automating routine tasks, so be sure to research ways to incorporate AI into your accounting workflows.

And if you were worried about AI replacing human jobs, don’t worry – the critical thinking skills and business experience you bring can never be replaced. Think of AI as an assistant that frees up your time for the high-value tasks you excel at.

2. The role of advisory services

As AI takes over routine tasks, the role of accountants is moving increasingly towards advisory services like business strategy and financial planning.

This involves using your expertise and industry experience to understand your clients’ needs and offer them personalised business advice. It might be worthwhile investing in skill-building courses to help you accomplish this better.

3. Upholding professional standards

The emergence of AI-powered technology also has a flip side. In 2024 and beyond, it’ll become more important than ever for accountants to maintain their professional integrity by keeping sensitive client data safe. When using AI, it’s important to be transparent about it and to ensure that decisions made by AI are in line with legal and ethical standards.

Final words

Having a visible and authentic industry presence is more important than ever this tax year. Achieving this requires thoughtful planning, continuous visibility into the client experience, and the right tech stack to keep things moving.

Remember that a little extra strategising now can make all the difference later. And if you need assistance, don’t hesitate to ask Stellaripe experts for outsourcing support. We have the proper knowledge and tools to help you grow your accounting practice.

Call us at 20 3475 3537 or fill out this contact form. We’ll be happy to answer your growth or outsourced-related questions as soon as possible.

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