From Accountants to Accountancy Partner
Crisis management has always been a small but significant part of what we do with clients – when things go wrong in business then inevitably the accountant is on speed dial. In the profession we have always called this being the trusted adviser - I have always personally liked to think of it like we are the client’s unofficial business partner. It’s who we are – always on their side, always willing to help, and always willing to go that extra mile to bring our skills and experience to bear on a problem.
When I joined the profession way back when there was a great deal of talk (and not a small amount of fear) that we would be replaced over the coming decade or two by the tidal wave of technological advancement that would render our traditional skill set somewhat redundant. What happened instead of course is that we evolved and the parts of the job that took on a greater and greater significance were the kind of things I referred to above. Less calculating and more advising.
Of course, in the last year that part of the job has become even more significant as clients have navigated circumstances that none of us have ever lived through before. And as we reflect on how we coped, what went well, what we learned, and what we might have done differently, the recurring theme for us will be how the pandemic has noticeably accelerated an already overwhelming rush towards a new reality, that clients expect and are entitled to expect an awful lot more from their accountant.
What does that mean for us in practice for the future? First and foremost, it means more than ever that client service and client experience will have to be our number one priority.
It means finding new ways to deliver those services better, more accessibly, applying new technologies, and ensuring that everyone that needs our help gets it.
It means investing the time to speak to clients, getting to grips with their needs, finding out what their ambitions and goals are, really grasping what help they need and what they want and then delivering it.
These are huge changes – we have always many of these things but in the future, we will need to do them even better and we will. We are already investing heavily in becoming the business partner our clients want and more than anything we desperately want to hear from you about your experiences with us, what we can do and what we can do better.