In this difficult time of Coronavirus pandemic, when almost all the countries of the world are struggling and businesses are facing issues and taken a backseat due to lockdown situation, two of the most important question arises:
- What about the clients?
- How accountants can offer them support in this time of uncertainty?
Some businesses are really searching answer for these questions whereas some businesses are going beyond the limits to help their clients. Helping your clients in this uncertain situation not only creates value and customer building but also makes you a trusted advisor in the eyes of your clients.
5 ways to support your clients
An accountant can offer support to their clients in the following 5 ways –
Helps in providing right knowledge
In this uncertain situation, some clients are having limited knowledge about the areas related to emergency Coronavirus government legislation and in this crucial time an accountant can help them by giving appropriate information about that specific area and fills their knowledge gap. For ex – Staff on furlough may have limited knowledge about the employment & contract law. An accountant not only helps in providing them knowledge about the specific area but also offers advice & suggestions on employment too.
Helps in Providing Clarity Related to Financial Support
In this difficult situation, every business wants to be financially stable and wants to know sources of finance available for them. In this crucial time, an accountant can help their clients by providing them knowledge as well as clarity about the financial support available for them which includes loan & grant schemes, job retention scheme, HMRC’s time to pay etc.
You can also divide your client base on the basis of clients who needs more help or who needs certain kind of funding or want support from the emergency legislation. Webinars and video meetings are also considered as one of the good medium for communicating with clients over how the things will take place?
Loan Application Support
Accountants can also make preparations to offer loan application support to their clients. For example – Financial reports. These loan applications may prove to be a relief giving medicine for your clients so that they can continue their business life in this tough time and remain your customer always.
Giving technical support in this difficult situation will also prove to be a real stress buster for your clients. With client meetings on hold due to lockdown situation, any technical assistance provided in a remote area should be warmly received by your client. It would be easy for you to help your client, if support is required through cloud accounting software.
Regular communication with your clients will not make them feel alone. You can chat daily with your clients on different topics and try to solve their problems as early as possible. You can also share some emotional conversations at intervals with your clients to differentiate it from the conversations you usually do with your clients.
Tips from Accountants on offering support to clients
There are many accountants who are still working for their clients and solving their problems and queries regularly to help them in this difficult situation. We are offering you certain tips which will not only help you in solving client queries and sharing of important information with your clients but also helps in providing support throughout this pandemic.
- Accountant should listen to the queries or problems of their clients properly and offer them valuable advices so that clients are able to survive in this difficult situation.
- We can offer guidance to our clients of business community with the help of video chatting & webinars.
- We are seeing that many of the accountants now a days picking up the phone and saying their clients that “the office is closed”. Is this the solution to the client query or a problem? I think it’s not. It’s better that you solve that query and remain in the good books of your customers.
- Remain in touch of your clients and find different ways to help them in this difficult situation. Make sure that every client has your mobile number or divert your office number to any other number you are picking up.
- Develop the confidence in your client that you are being there for him always. Engage with your clients by e-mail or by putting updates on social media regularly. Update your client’s knowledge on government legislation, grants, loan schemes and assist your client with loan application too. This certainly makes your client happy & relaxed.
- Provide telephonic support to your clients even outside of working hours. Fulfil their requirements of processing grant applications or accessing of loan etc. Make your clients feel that you are standing with them every time in every situation.
- Introduction of cloud accounting technology also make easier for the clients to work from anywhere they want to. Use of any kind of accounting device is what we need for a cloud accounting software. It can be a laptop or a tablet or a standard desktop computer. You will surely find one of these computing devices with your clients. Even some clients are using desktop apps by which you can easily access your desktop PC from any location and view its screen (same as you are operating PC by sitting in front of it). Now windows 10 of Microsoft are having that feature in built. It means technology makes your work easier and you can contact your client with this technology and maintain social distancing too. Few things which you can easily do with the help of cloud accounting software are as follows –
a) Sending payslips to distribute them online
b) Sending invoice & quotes
c) Generation of documents electronically
- Use video conferencing facility to set up branch meeting or to do meeting with your clients but you must take care of the security of the meeting too. Therefore, it would be beneficial if you choose Microsoft office 365 subscription from Microsoft.
- Some clients may need help on working capital and relationships too. Accountant can do cash flow forecasting for the clients and predict their inflow & outflow of cash.
As you know that due to lockdown, many of the compliance services including VAT & income tax have taken a backseat and tax timelines have been extended by the government. Hence, clients really want to know that how much gap they may have in this time to work out how to fill it. For example – Through loans, upfront payments or diversifying.
In this difficult situation, it is very necessary that every accountant should provide support to their clients and offer them perfect piece of advice so that our clients feel happy and relaxed. Our clients who are in a struggling phase right now really need advices & suggestions from the accountants so that they can continue their business efficiently without any problem.