Proven tactics to attract new clients for your accountancy firm

  • Person icon Mercia Group
  • Calendar icon 1 July 2022 15:57
Two people shaking hands.

Many accountants would like to grow their business but finding new prospects takes time and effort. So, it is important that you target your efforts for maximum impact while trying to find clients, whether they are small businesses or larger businesses.

Using proven tactics to attract new clients to accounting firms is therefore vital.

In this article we look at some of the tried and tested tactics accountants can use.

Key Highlights:

  • Identify who your ideal clients are and create strategies to target them.
  • Upselling more profitable packages to the business owners already using your expertise.
  • Position yourself as a thought leader and give more value to clients.
  • Take advantage of the latest technology and save money for firms by embracing cloud accounting.
  • Don't ignore your existing clients. Excellent customer service is an effective tool in brand awareness.


On this page:

Identify your target clients

Upsell complementary services

Position yourself as a thought leader

Embrace cloud technology

Deliver excellent customer service


Identify your target clients

Identifying your target clients will take a bit of research but there are plenty of strategies and tools that you can use.

Your best opportunities for future business may be among your current clients. But which clients do you help the most and who has the best potential? After examining your client list, you will likely identify commonalities either by business sector or accounting specialism.

If you first acquired those clients through referrals or advertising it will be worth revisiting that strategy.

The next step is to recall how you originally acquired those clients. If you got them through referrals or advertising you might consider going back to that strategy.

There are also online and social media marketing tools that can help. Google Analytics and Facebook Insights both provide a wealth of information about who is looking at your business online or via social media channels.

Get involved with social media groups. LinkedIn and Facebook both have strong group page dynamics. Ask to join groups on social channels and then search for relevant topics or questions. Start answering members’ accounting questions and offering additional help offline.

Target start-up businesses. New businesses often don’t have accountants yet and are often looking for networking opportunities. Look for business start-ups by volunteering on mentoring and development schemes and answering their questions.

You can also attend networking events or take on speaking engagements to raise your profile.


Upsell complementary services

Upselling is a sales and marketing technique that can be used to convince clients to spend more money with your business.  When you upsell, you typically promote more profitable services, bundle products together or package deals. 

The capital and time cost of acquiring new customers is higher than selling to the customer base you already have. For this reason, upselling to existing customers makes sense because it’s a cost-effective way to increase business revenues.

Providing pricing discounts to current and potential clients can entice them to sign on to multiple services within your accounting practice. At the same time, it can provide incentives to individuals who are on the fence about using your services.

If they can bundle their accounting, tax, and payroll into one well-priced package via a fixed-fee model, they will be more likely to sign a contract with you.

Consider establishing an annual or semi-annual check-up with your clients. As you go over the accounting services you’re currently providing to them, you can then identify their particular needs and suggest other services that you offer.

For instance, if you do taxes for a client that’s growing, you might suggest that regular audits would be a good idea.


Position yourself as a thought leader

Becoming a thought leader can pay dividends with both new clients and existing accounting clients. Not only does it differentiate you from your competition, but it positions you as an expert in your field.

Accounting firms locate thought leaders primarily online. They also use industry events, recommendations and publications.

You will need to determine what you are ultimately hoping to achieve and set a strategy accordingly. Do you want to attract new clients? Do you want to build the brand of your accounting firm?

LinkedIn is a great way to position yourself as a thought leader.

  • Make sure that your profile is consistent with your messaging and brand.
  • Start a group, or actively participate in one.
  • Generate discussions that hit on areas of common concern.
  • Always be professional and informative.

Get the most out of your website by including a range of media, such as podcasts, industry updates and a blog. A blog is an effective means of becoming an online thought leader. The key to success, however, lies in knowing how to promote your blog.

Understanding a little bit about search engine optimisation, therefore, can be a huge advantage. Aim to blog once a week to keep your website content fresh and topical. Always share your blog posts on social media.

Areas to consider writing about:

  • Industry trends
  • Upcoming events
  • Common questions or misunderstandings

There are lots of people who are trying to be thought leaders in big, general topics. Instead, look for a niche area or specialist topic to help you stand out from the crowd. Quality content can also help your firm gain traction on social media by increasing engagement.

And creating content helps your firm build a relationship with your audience. You can answer their questions and interact with clients and other professionals.

When you create value without taking anything in return, your audience is more likely to trust you. Content marketing will also help build your authority online.

If your practice is established as a credible place to get information, you are more likely to rank higher in search engines.


Embrace cloud technology

It vital that a modern accounting firm embraces cloud technology, especially as HMRC’s rollout of Making Tax Digital (MTD) continues.

Cloud accounting is the simple way of enabling software to be stored and accessed online.

There are many benefits of making use of cloud accounting. Its ease of access is one of the primary advantages associated with cloud-based accounting.

These services allow your accounting clients, and their employees, to access essential data anywhere at any time. Data is securely stored and backed-up in the cloud. Cloud accounting services utilise real time information, meaning that your client’s data will always be up to date and current.

From April 2022, the VAT MTD project was extended to all VAT-registered businesses with turnover below the VAT threshold (£85,000).

From April 2023, the MTD project will be massively extended into the world of income tax to taxpayers who file income tax self-assessment tax returns for business or property income over £10,000 annually. This will open up a new pool of potential clients for your accounting firm to focus on.

Cloud accounting is the way forward for a cutting edge accountancy.

Its ease of use, accessibility and cost effectiveness ensures that it will be a popular choice for many businesses, including prospective clients.


Deliver excellent customer service

All accountancy firms want happy clients. Providing great customer service is a prerequisite for keeping accounting clients happy, regardless of their size.

Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that you can take to help sharpen up your customer service skills to help you keep your existing client base happy as well as attract potential clients.

Firstly, it is imperative that you get the basics right to attract clients. Your core services must be executed perfectly before clients will trust you with extended services and specialisms. It is always a good idea to under promise and overdeliver.

Beating your own self-imposed deadlines with high-quality work will not only keep existing clients happy but lead to referrals for more clients.

Discounts for regular clients may incur a cost in the short term it will keep those clients coming back as well as talking to potential clients about their positive experiences.

Finally, be passionate about what you do. If you and your team have a genuine, deep-seated passion for your products and services, that rubs off on clients.


Final thoughts

The process of finding a potential client may be time consuming but it will be ultimately worth the effort so you can find new business and grow your accountancy firm.

We have suggested a number of proven tactics finding clients and some will be more suitable for your business than others.

Whichever tactics your firm uses, it will be key that you can show business owners that you can reduce their tax burden, improve their business structure and save them money.

You might also be interested in these articles…