Clarifying your client’s needs as you get more involved
As a bookkeeping tutor or trainer, just as when you are working as a bookkeeper, you need to make sure that you have a clear understanding of exactly what your client needs are, right from the outset.
Once you have established your client’s precise needs, you are more able to deliver a value for money service, as well as understand fully the parameters of the job.
Or, if your client’s needs go beyond what you’re capable of delivering, with an understanding of what they are after, you can provide direction, and refer them to a colleague within your referral network.
How to uncover your client’s unique needs
As you get more involved in a client’s business you can start to see areas where you can provide extra help they might need.
These areas are usually focused on your client’s
- business type and Industry, its
- Procedures and systems, and the
- degree of knowledge and experience your client and current staff have.
Your opportunity could come because they lack expertise, systems or resources.
Industry or Niche Integrations
Knowing your client’s industry is important. If they work in an industry with specific or unique needs that you are not familiar with, you will be able to identify this right from the outset, and then refer them on, within your own network.
If you enrol into a Bookkeeping Course which includes
Industry Connect you might find you have the knowledge to explore these niches yourself.
Become a Value Add
Consultant with Xero Skills
Some new clients will find it difficult to articulate their understanding of their systems and software.
Once you begin performing work for them you can much easily ascertain their level of experience and expertise, and also how complex their bookkeeping needs may be, which can give you a clearer idea of the services you can perform to do more work for them.
If you have studied how to use some of the powerful Xero Integrations you might be able to help the business improve their procedures and systems. Clients sometimes pay a higher rate for this type of work.
Xero accounting software started as a cloud accounting program and built it’s reputation on the fact that it could integrate with hundreds and now thousands of other online applications.
When you learn how to use Xero you also open up the opportunity to help businesses migrate away from MYOB or QuickBooks.
What are you behind with?
There is very often at least one area where a business is “under resourced” and needs help and by identifying it and bringing it into the conversation you can use your specialist skills or recommend someone in your referral network.
This could be:
- Bank Recs and ATO Compliance lodgements
- Follow-up up accounts receivable and debtors
- Managing the Rosters and Timesheets for staff
Take a look at some of the ways that bookkeeping businesses package their services. It’s a great way to differentiate your services and even charge different rates for different bookkeeping tasks – or just increase your earnings overall.
Have you thought about migrating to Xero?
This question can be an introduction to the benefits of Xero’s Cloud Accounting Software that they may not be aware of, and a way to start a conversation about integrations (that you will be able to guide them in).
Remember that Xero enables you to perform most of your work remotely from home and it also enables multiple staff to login and use it at the same time.
Are you confident in each of the Xero dashboards?
Identify your client’s information gaps by discussing the software in more detail, and the highlighting benefits and disadvantages in the context of their business.
This is an opportunity to make them aware of benefits that they may be missing out on, and to show them the practical difference you can make in the day to day running of their business.
Are you spending too much time on certain tasks?
Find out whether your client is labouring over simple tasks due to a lack of understanding about efficient alternatives. Focus your assistance and problem solving in this area.
What tasks, if any, do you undertake manually?
Have a discussion about the benefits of automation, and focus your tutoring around the tasks that your client still performs manually.
Do you need help understanding apps, software or integrations?
Asking about this can enable you to give your client an idea of the range of solutions that can simplify their business operations.
More often than not software integrations convert manual steps into a systemised set of procedures that are all managed in the cloud.
Become their Bookkeeping Advisor
When you identify needs of a business and have a solution to satisfy those needs you become a valuable resource to that business.
It is up to you now to determine whether you want to be more involved in the day to day work for your client or to try to elevate yourself to an advisor/consultant who sets new systems and procedures in place.