The Payroll Blog

News, tips, and advice for small business owners

The One-Stop-Shop Appeal: Becoming a Trusted Advisor

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Anne Perisho

Running a small business comes with a variety of challenges, most of which are financial.

Two people sitting down with an accountant.

Since small business owners go into business for their passions and personal goals, the chances are high that they don’t understand everything they should when it comes to small business finances. Because of this, trusted advisors can be highly beneficial to small business owners. A trusted advisor can offer advice on financial markets, tax laws, and other complex subject matters that most small business owners don’t have the time to delve into. However, acting as a trusted advisor involves going a step beyond becoming a typical accountant. A true trusted advisor is committed to their client’s success. They are in the relationship for the long haul and put their client’s interest in front of their own. When accountants and CPAs expand their offerings to more than just basic financial services, it tips them into this new trusted advisor status. Here are the key things you should know about being a trusted advisor:

Anticipate Client’s Needs

A trusted advisor needs to anticipate their clients’ needs and offer additional services beyond simple tax preparation and bookkeeping. There are now more avenues for growth than ever, including payroll solutions, financial and succession planning, and business model consulting. Offering additional services like payroll can be a great way to simplify small business owners’ day while assuring them that the task will be completed accurately. The process can be mutually beneficial – the small business owner has one less thing to worry about, while the accountant can secure their position as a trusted advisor and offer a service that is needed by nearly every business.

Now I know what you’re thinking; How am I supposed to expand my offerings when I’m already maxing out my timesheet every week? This is where technology can be your best friend. There are a variety of payroll solutions for accountants that require next to no training or time commitment to master and can help you increase your bottom line.

With SurePayroll, we operate with small business owners in mind and want to make their lives simpler. Because of this, we offer benefits such as flexible payroll options including same-day, next-day, and auto payroll, a free mobile payroll app to process payroll on the go, and all of the guarantee that taxes will be paid and filed accurately. While there are plenty of online payroll options for accountants, not all payroll software is created equally, so you want to read over everything before making a decision. 

Make the Most of a Symbiotic Relationship

In a recent survey of more than 500 small businesses who reported working with an accountant over the past year, 88% said they were ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ satisfied with the accounting services they had received. From this data, we can infer that these clients trust that their accountant is acting in their best interest, and therefore, that they’ll make positive suggestions to assist them with their business. With this information, you have the opportunity to think outside the box: what else could your client find beneficial that they might not already know about? 

Respondents were also asked what they looked for in an accountant. As expected, some were less of a surprise than others – 78% of respondents marked it ‘very important’ that an accountant ‘act as a trusted advisor to me’ – but others were a surprise to see. Other qualities that respondents found important included clear communication (the ability to explain things to non-accountants), offering a wide range of services, being tech-savvy, and providing referrals to other services. These insights open up ample opportunities for accountants to broach the subject of additional services they may be able to provide, or at the very least, provide referrals to clients.

Act as a Resource

Your typical small business owner has a lot on their mind. While tax laws and regulations are crucial to small business success, staying up to date on changes likely isn’t falling at the top of their to-do list. It’s an accountant’s responsibility to be transparent and thorough in explaining their full range of services to clients because they may not be aware that an accountant can provide particular services, or understand how an accountant can benefit their business. For example, tax audits are a huge concern to small businesses – a small violation can mean big fines. Small business owners are particularly interested in keeping as much of their hard-earned income in their wallets, so suggesting easy to use solutions to streamline their finances is key. Suggesting an accounting software to your clients that will make their lives easier and reduce the chance of errors in their daily tasks.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to grow your accounting offerings, becoming a trusted advisor could be the right step for you. By partnering with SurePayroll’s Reseller Program, you have the opportunity to offer our online payroll software to your clients. It’s a benefit for you as a business owner because this is an additional service you can offer to clients that will increase your revenue, and it’s also strengthening the relationships with your clients because they know that somebody who is truly invested in their business is behind them for support and advice.

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This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. SurePayroll is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, SurePayroll. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. If you require legal or accounting advice or need other professional assistance, you should always consult your licensed attorney, accountant or other tax professional to discuss your particular facts, circumstances and business needs.