3 Ways Software Can Improve CPA-Client Communication
CPAs are adept at analyzing financial data and determining its impact on the clients they serve. While this financial prowess is a valuable tool for businesses, effective communication is an equally important skill. Communication is so critical that 97% of employers said soft skills such as communication were as important or more important than hard skills.
Although good communication is a key skill for CPAs, it doesn’t always come naturally. It is often something that needs to be developed and worked on consistently. Fortunately, nowadays there is often a technological tool to help you. In addition to working on interpersonal communication tactics, CPAs can take advantage of software to improve communication with clients.
Be more approachable
Sometimes the biggest barrier to communication is the availability of a CPA when a client calls. CPAs can use technology to ensure that they are accessible to their clients and that their relationship of trust is not compromised by being hard to reach. CPAs do not need to listen to a client and call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. However, making the effort to speak to clients regularly, even outside of normal hours visits, lets them know that their CPA is a trusted member of their team.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a sudden need to communicate remotely and introduced technology that makes it possible. CPAs can use video conferencing software to host virtual meetings from anywhere in the world. Businesses can also use Voice Over Internet Protocol software, allowing CPAs to use a secure phone line from anywhere to communicate with customers while protecting their data. Using these software options ensures that CPAs can be there for their clients when they need it most.
Give instant feedback
When clients have questions or concerns, they want to know that their CPA is listening and ready to help. Good communicators are quick to respond and provide feedback, reassuring customers that they are in good hands. Step into cloud-based software that can deliver near-instant results and act as a middleman between clients and their CPAs. Recent research has shown that companies exclusively using cloud accounting software saw 15% year-over-year growth. Better communication with customers is no small part of this success.
Using cloud-based software allows CPAs to be more responsive to their clients and communicate quickly and accurately. Using the cloud to capture data and provide analytics to clients gives them immediate answers, and dashboards allow clients to see their financial performance in real time. Often, when clients have questions for their CPA, dashboards can be set up on-site to show them what they need to know. CPAs can communicate fast responses and accurate results to their clients with cloud-based software.
Provide clearer information
Have you ever had a conversation with a client and then felt like your ideas and advice had fallen on deaf ears? It’s quite possible that your analysis of the client’s financial data didn’t have the impact you were hoping for, but it may not be because your client didn’t want to hear it. It’s important to talk with customers, but people don’t always fully retain the information they hear. A study found that up to 80% of people are visual learners, compared to auditory learners. Your customers are much more likely to latch on to your every word when your advice is accompanied by visuals.
CPAs provide their clients with valuable financial information, and good communication means making sure clients understand that information. Visual reporting software allows CPAs to communicate more effectively with clients. CPAs can show businesses in detail their financial position and direction. This software allows CPAs to more clearly explain their analysis, while clients are also more likely to retain and use the data for the benefit of their business.
CPAs must be good communicators as they build relationships with their clients and provide invaluable financial analysis and advice. This software and others can help CPAs improve their communication with clients as trusted advisors.
Justin Hatch is CEO of Reach Reporting.