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Emerging areas: GST, IFRS, valuation, etc.
Analytics, cloud computing and audit technology
Good client liaison and quality customer service
Genuine services at a competitive fee
Making your chartered accountancy practice stand out in the market requires taking care of multiple aspects at the same time. Technical expertise, goodwill in the market, and good liaison with clients go a long way in differentiating your consultancy and ensuring the success of your practice.
Here are 5 secrets to make your CA firm stand out from the rest.
There are plenty of firms offering consultancy in the traditional areas, viz., audit, taxation and other areas like ROC compliance, XBRL, annual returns, etc. However, to foster competitiveness and make a mark for yourself as a CA, you need to think out of the box and cater to emerging areas like:
1. Setting up GST practices and compliance with the new rules
2. Companies Bill, 2012
3. International taxation
4. Direct tax
7. Forensic accounting
8. Entry strategies for overseas companies
The growing number of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) coupled with mandatory GST compliance rules, open a plethora of opportunities for CAs to leverage.
Metro cities are extremely competitive registering a majority of CAs. Firms today can leverage technology like cloud computing to broaden their client base and reach out to clients across multiple locations including developing areas.
Today, apart from having a deep knowledge of tax and accounting, a modern CA needs to be well-versed with modern technologies like analytics, cloud computing and audit technology. To cater to a large clientele and integrate the best practices in tax and accounting, it is becoming increasingly essential that you have accounting software like Tally ERP 9. The cost of the Gold Edition of the software is around Rs. 54,000.
As a CA, you also need to be proficient in risk assessment process, test of controls and substantive procedures. Data analytics can help you in this. With the help of data analytics, you can correctly analyse client data and enhance the overall quality of audit. You will also help your clients better understand their financial data to improve their financial performance and efficiency.
The cost of learning data analytics can go as high as Rs.4 lakh. Hiring a Data Analytic professional can cost you Rs.8-9 lakh per annum.
Today, apart from having subject matter knowledge, being technically competent boosts your skills and establishes you as a thoughtful-expert in your client’s view. A chartered accountant loan gives you the money to deploy the latest software, learn advanced skills and hire quality talent to make your practice more competitive.
In a dynamic economic environment, it is your responsibility to keep your clients abreast with the latest developments regarding government regulations and taxation laws on a regular basis. Have a checklist of what's to be done and how long it would take.
Inform your clients about the compliance they need to adhere to, and about the various economic policies that have an effect on their finances. It's not always necessary to communicate with clients over the phone. You can do so through social media or blogs.
Quality customer service is one of the core mantras of success for your chartered accountancy practice. Quality service encompasses:
• Keeping your clients aware of the prevailing accounting and taxation laws and helping them understand the various nitty-gritty
• Protecting your client’s sensitive data by implementing robust cyber security solution
• Computational accuracy
Attending tax and accounting related queries promptly
• Understanding your client's business and improving financial outcome
Using sophisticated tools and technology such as Big Data and Analytics in your practice, you can enhance your customer service manifold. Hiring a competent staff also helps you offer quality services to your clients.
A Flexi Term Loan is a very efficient and smart way to tackle unplanned expenditure. When you opt for a Flexi Loan facility:
- You are given the maximum amount you qualify for.
- You can withdraw the funds you need right now pay interest only on what you borrow, rather than the whole loan amount sanctioned. The rest is available to you when you need it.
- You don’t need to apply for it again, or follow a time-consuming process to access. Just borrow more when the need crops up.
- You can prepay funds when you have excess income at no extra cost. You can even re-avail the prepaid funds if you need them.
- You can choose to pay interest-only EMIs to further reduce your cash flow management and pay off the principal at the end of the tenor.
- You save up to 45% on your regular EMIs.
It is important for you to clearly define your services. Normally, CAs offer the following services:
- GST Consultation
- Business Acquisition
- Transaction Advisory Services
If you don’t offer a particular service, make sure to communicate the same to your client beforehand. This builds trust and goodwill.
To win clients, it’s important for you to charge a competitive fee from your them based on the services offered. Under-quoting puts pressure on your existing finances. It may also lead to losing clients when you hike your fees later. Incorrect billing can trap some practices into a vicious circle of low fees. Receiving low fees can lead to low staff remuneration, inadequate office infrastructure and facilities and low earnings which further adds pressure to your finances. To compensate this, practices resort to undertaking a high volume of low-paid work, which in turn keep your practice from being technically up-to-date and ultimately lead to low-quality services being rendered that again cycles back to receiving low fees.
Hence, it is essential to charge a fee that has the right balance between profits and the fees your clients are willing to pay. Furthermore, to avoid falling into this ‘low-fee trap’ you can avail flexi loans so that irrespective of low fees, you can maintain a healthy working capital and come out of this pitfall.
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