Accounting is a popular term, especially during tax season. It is essential in every business, irrespective of size and type, and for individuals. With business growth in the country, accountants will get ample market opportunity to grow their industry.
Most accountants expect to bring in new clients and expand their business, but the reality is that no one has taught them how to do so.
This accounting growth guide is for those accounting professionals who want to create revenue and obtain better career opportunities.
Here is something you can do every day to generate new revenue for your firm and get wealthier, more promotable, and more valuable to clients.
- Enhance your personal qualities
- Develop a CRM system
- Advance with emerging accounting technologies
- How do accountants advance with emerging technologies?
- Change your marketing strategy
- Become a trusted advisor
Enhance your personal qualities
Business owners and individuals look for several qualities in an accountant. These include professional accreditation, experience, knowledge of technology, and soft skills.
Get a certificate
Getting a certificate for accounting practice is unnecessary for some services, but if you want to climb up the ladder in your industry, you may need a state license at basic. The term “accountant” is not legally restricted, and anyone who can crunch numbers can use it. But to make it a professional, you must get a degree and training.
An accountant in the UK can complete AAT, ACA, ACCA, CIMA, and CIPFA degrees and gain sufficient experience before engaging in public practice.
AAT qualifications have three levels:
- The AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting
- The AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting
- The AAT Professional Diploma in Accounting.
AAT is a beginner’s course that offers positions like
- Senior finance officers
- Indirect tax managers
- Cost accountant
- Commercial analyst and
- VAT accountants.
For a “Chartered accountant” status, you need to complete either of these degrees in the UK:
● The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
● The Association of Chartered Accountants (ACA)
● The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
● The Chartered Institute of Public and Finance Accountancy (CIPFA)
● The Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland (ICAS).
Develop soft skills
Modern accounting firms look for different skills other than technical and educational knowledge. These are soft skills that help accountants develop good relationships with clients.
Some of these skills are:
- Time management
- Attention to detail
- OrganisationOrganisation skill
- Active learning
- Numerical reasoning
- System analysis
- Clerical knowledge
- Critical thinking
Some of the technical skills that accountants must master in using the following software or tools:
- Account reconciliation
- Compliance management
- Financial reporting and analysis
- Financial statements creation
- Tax preparation
- Spreadsheets software
- Project management software
- Resource planning software
- Database reporting software
Gain market experience
After receiving a degree, you can choose to work as a public accountant or a private. Working as a public accountant gives you exposure to different clients’ issues simultaneously, while as a private accountant, you work internally within an organisation.
The entry-level accounting jobs available for you are:
- Junior accountant
- Staff accountant
- Clerk managing accounts payable/receivable
- Financial analyst
- Audit associate
Once you gain experience in the field, you can look forward to mid-level accounting jobs under the title:
- Accounting manager
- Accounting analyst
- Cost accountant
- Audit manager
With years of experience in a particular industry, accountants develop a sense of understanding of every business requirement and find solutions to resolve any issue or fraud.
Business owners look for accountants with previous experience working in their industry type. Therefore, you must develop expertise in working with different industries to attract potential clients.
Choose accounting specialism
After completing your mid-level accounting jobs, you can try specialising in cost accounting, tax accounting, or some other accounting stream. To grow professionally, one can choose from plenty of specialities.
Some of the standard senior-level accounting job titles are:
- Senior accountant
- Chief Financial Officer
- Accounting manager
- Tax manager
- Audit director
- Accounting Analyst
You can also choose a niche market to increase revenue and stop taking in clients that don’t fit your specialisation.
Develop a CRM system
CRM, or a Client Relationship Management system, is an important business tool that helps you manage interaction with clients and sales prospects. This system uses technology to organise, automate, and sync business activities, including marketing, sales, and customer support.
A CRM provides the following benefits to accounting firms and clients:
- Immediate self-service online portals (for clients)
- Gain insights into sales marketing performance
- Capture lead details
- The entire view of every client, from lead generation to repeat purchase
- MaximiseMaximise productivity by automating challenging tasks.
Advance with emerging accounting technologies
Emerging accounting technology
If you want to stay on the cutting edge of the accounting industry, you need to advance with the new technologies in the sector. The following are the latest accounting technologies:
Cloud computing is a trending accounting technology where you work in the cloud. The cloud permits you to access data and computing capabilities instantly. One significant advantage is the continual updating of information in the cloud, which allows clients and accountants to access and analyse data anytime and make necessary decisions depending on them.
Automated accounting tasks
Accountants’ challenging tasks are no longer manual: new technologies and software or tools automate tax preparation, audit, payroll, and banking services.
Artificial intelligence creates self-learning systems that automatically integrate accounting tasks to automatically complete repetitive and time-consuming jobs.
Blockchain technology is trending in the accounting sector and expects to have a massive demand shortly. It is a computer-based recording system using cryptocurrency within a user-to-user network. There is a possibility of new accounting ledger creation with blockchain technology, where the network updates information continuously and verifies the data. Additionally, there are the slightest data alterations and corruption threats in the system.
Credit: Journal of Accountancy
How do accountants advance with emerging technologies?
Accountants must be technology savvy to survive in the changing industry and stand out from the crowd. As more and more companies accept intelligent technology, information will move to cloud systems. Accountants need to become proficient in using the technology and understand how the cloud works to offer the best accounting services to clients.
The future of accountancy will require skills to perform administrative, managerial, and analytical tasks. Additionally, Accountants may take up an advisory role with skills to analyse big data and spot patterns and trends. Knowledge of data mining and data science techniques will be a plus point for future accountants.
These professionals will need to learn how to use data visualisation strategies and algorithms for data translation into insights for clients. That includes soft skills like predictive analytics and forecasting.
Change your marketing strategy
Though “word of mouth” is still a good marketing strategy for accounting firms, presence on social media platforms and search engines is trending. Almost 4 billion people use Google to find the best services near them. It brings more clients than referrals.
You can do the following to generate leads and change them to potential buyers.
- Use the Search Engine OptimisationOptimisation technique to easily find on Google by entering relative keywords in the search bar.
- Get Google reviews to provide your services with a rank. Better the rank, the higher your position on local search results.
- Publish blogs and articles regarding your services on social media platforms to attract clients.
- Spread out a marketing plan that clearly states what services you provide and your costs.
Become a trusted advisor
An accountant needs to become a trusted advisor for a business. It means you must be committed to understanding your client’s businesses, goals, challenges, opportunities, and risks.
Additionally, you must stay updated with the country’s regulatory landscape at the state and federal levels and proactively bring potential threats and opportunities to your customer’s attention.
Research shows around 80000 vacancies for accountants in the UK by 2050. So it is an excellent opportunity for individuals looking forward to taking accounting as a career option and for practitioners to grow their businesses.
With the advancement of technologies, besides applying for a degree course, it is time to adapt to new accounting technologies to survive the competition. You can start working at a firm or as an independent accountant to gain experience and open the door to opportunities shortly.
Remember to satisfy clients with quality services, as they are the main contributors to your business’s growth and expansion.