Accountants are increasingly seen as trusted advisers to their clients, their businesses and their families. You may already be providing tax planning and estate accounts services to clients. Facilitating non-contentious probate work for clients is therefore a very natural extension of this existing service.
From a client’s point of view, it is far less risky and more beneficial to use their trusted accountant, who they see regularly, to carry out the probate work than enlisting the services of someone they may have never met before. The process of probate is also likely to be quicker, easier and less stressful for the client.
How do I become accredited for probate?
To become accredited for probate, you will first need to undertake relevant training and pass an assessment (unless exempt) before submitting an application form to ICAEW or ACCA and paying the appropriate fee. Fee scales for accreditation are calculated on: The type of accreditation a firm is seeking (authorisation or licence); the number of principals, authorised individuals and affiliates; and the number of offices registered.
Both the ICAEW website and ACCA website provide a wealth of information for firms considering applying for accreditation, including full details of the application process, qualifications criteria and fees.
For more details of the probate training course and assessment, click here
Promoting your probate services
Once you have been accredited, you will need to consider how to promote this new service to your client base. This is a great opportunity to get your administration staff involved. They will likely have some ideas for promoting this new service and by doing so, you are educating your staff about this new service at the same time.
Here are some initial marketing suggestions you may wish to consider:
- Website articles / adverts
- Information / adverts in your client newsletter (on a regular basis)
- Write to all your existing clients to notify them about this new service offering
- Advertisements in the local press and other relevant media
- Consider setting up alliances with local organisations who could act as a source of referrals for you (such as funeral directors or local firms of solicitors who don’t offer probate services)
Ultimately, how you decide to promote this new service is up to you, but the key is to do something! Your clients won’t know you can offer this new service unless you tell them about it.
Your clients rely on your services to help support them with their financial affairs. Providing probate services is simply another way you can achieve this, that benefits both you and your clients.
For more details of how we can help your firm provide probate services, click here.