Making your chartered accountancy practice stand out in the market requires taking care of multiple aspects. Technical expertise, market goodwill, and good liaison with clients go a long way in differentiating your consultancy and ensuring the success of your practice.
Here are six secrets of making your CA firm stand out from the rest.
1. Tapping emerging areas
Many firms offer consultancy in traditional areas like audit, taxation, ROC compliance, XBRL and annual returns. 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:
- Setting up GST practices and compliance with the new rules
- Companies Bill, 2012
- International taxation
- Direct tax
- Forensic accounting
- Entry strategies for overseas companies
The growing number of micro, small and medium enterprises and mandatory GST compliance rules have opened many opportunities for CAs.
2. Technical competency
Metro cities are extremely competitive with a large number 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 analytics, cloud computing and audit technology. It is becoming increasingly important that you have accounting software like Tally ERP 9 to cater to a large clientele and integrate the best practices in tax and accounting. The cost of the Gold Edition of this software is around Rs. 54,000.
As a CA, you also need to be proficient in risk assessment processes, tests of controls and substantive procedures. Data analytics can help you 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 performance and efficiency. The cost of learning data analytics can go as high as Rs. 4 lakh. Hiring a data analytics professional can cost you Rs. 8 to 9 lakh a year. Today apart from having subject matter knowledge, being technically competent boosts your skills and establishes you as an 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.
3. Good liaison with clients
Your responsibility is to keep your clients regularly updated on the latest developments regarding government regulations and taxation laws in this dynamic economic environment. Have a checklist of what's to be done and how long it would take. Inform your clients about compliance and various economic policies that affect their finances. It's not always necessary to communicate with clients over the phone. You can do so through social media or blogs.
4. Quality customer service
Quality customer service is one of the core mantras of success for your chartered accountancy practice. Quality service involves:
- Keeping your clients aware of the prevailing accounting and taxation laws and helping them understand the basics
- Protecting your client’s sensitive data by implementing robust cyber security solutions
- Computational accuracy
- Attending tax and accounting queries promptly
- Understanding your client's business and improving their financial outcome
Using sophisticated tools and technology such as big data and analytics in your practice, you can enhance your customer service manifold. Hiring competent staff also helps you offer your clients quality services.
5. Genuine provision of services offered
It is important for you to define your services clearly. CAs usually offer the following services:
- GST consultation
- Business acquisition
- Transaction advisory services
If you don’t offer a particular service, make sure to inform your client beforehand. This builds trust and goodwill.
6. Charging competitive fees
To win clients, you must charge them a competitive fee based on the services you offered. Under-quoting puts pressure on your current finances. You may also lose clients when you hike your fees later. Incorrect billing can trap some practices in a vicious cycle of low fees. Charging low fees can lead to low staff remuneration, inadequate office infrastructure and low earnings, which pressurises your finances further. To compensate, CAs undertake a high volume of low-paid work, which keeps the practice from being technically up-to-date, leading to poor services and, ultimately, low fees. Hence, it is essential to charge a fee that is the right balance between profits and what your clients are willing to pay.
Avail Flexi loans so that irrespective of low fees, you can maintain healthy working capital and come out of this low-fee trap.
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