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Accountants Tool Up & Invest In New Client Retention Strategies

Leigh DunsfordLeigh Dunsford


This post is a follow-on from: The Emerging Role Of Accounting Advisers & Business Lending

Digging into accountants and bookkeeping websites there is what’s expected, a core focus on compliance, auditing, BAS, GST etc.

Progressive accounting and bookkeeping firms are starting to realise that providing existing legacy services is simply not enough to prevent clients from moving on. With the popularity of cloud-based computing with accounting at its core here, advisors are tooling up to offer integration/migration skills and recommend valuable add-ons or complimentary technologies to improve business efficiencies, not only for their clients, but also in return it provides improved ROI’s for the advisor by running a more efficient practice by requiring less friction between advisor and client.

One client retention strategy

Some firms we speak with are even employing new team members dedicated to packaging up services for existing clients to provide advisory on the impact of business activity if certain services were added or fully integrated with each other to ensure each new technology seamlessly works together and can scale with ease in line with growth. The amount of add-ons and complementary cloud services from payments to inventory management is now running way into the hundreds and providing expertise into what services are right for retailers, manufacturers etc is becoming a very valuable service.

What’s been missing from the advisors tool box?

There’s a new term going around dubbed the “financial web” which relates directly to the data stored by cloud accounting providers to be leveraged by lenders and financial service companies to give businesses faster access to working capital. There is one critical roadblock for business owners and lenders that is, having clean up-to-date data, which is where another new term called “continues certification” has been pushed by Xero’s Rod Drury in a recent interview with Sholto Macpherson “Continuous Certification is a new concept Xero is championing. Not a full audit, Continuous Certification would be a new status of reporting where Accountants are comfortable saying the numbers are accurate to a level that banks (and Non-Banks) are happy with.”

Everything in accounting is financially related, up until now advisors have had no real continuous opportunity in front of them to deliver a service to become or remain “Lender Ready”, recommending financial products that specifically relate to their clients. Advisors have a 360-degree view of their clients’ financial accounts and can now experience greater customer interaction and engagement, offering a more meaningful and personalized holistic advice driving opportunities for revenue growth by offering greater access to financial products. Approaching banks directly or using finance brokers could be impacted if accountants begin to understand the opportunity in front of them. Knowing their clients intimately and understanding working capital products such as revolving credit lines or fixed term loans can be recommended as advisors will already know if their client is or help them to become “lender ready” before beginning any search for new facilities.

What’s the opportunity with Waddle?

Waddle offers a lending product that provides accountants and bookkeepers with the opportunity to stay continuously engaged with their clients. Being a 100% online automated lending facility, it requires a direct link into cloud accounting provider’s data and bank feeds. Once a potential borrower links their accounts they are provided with a loan offer and access to funding through an almost purely “touch-free” experience with some advisors commenting that the service is “set and forget”. At the core of the offering is the revolving nature of the funding which continuously assesses data on-going in real-time to provide a fluid or floating credit limit that seamlessly changes with business conditions, which is where advisors are critical to removing any delays in the lending processes developed by Waddle.

"It’s really a frictionless lending option for business owners that understand how to leverage technology to remove the time it costs them to run their business, by eliminating the administration involved in applying for or accessing on-going funding our tool helps them to achieve this"
— Team Waddle

Waddle adds value back with data feeds

When the product was developed it was done with advisors in mind. To provide a “touch-free” experience and to embed Waddle directly into the accounting ecosystem, we developed the “Waddle Feed” which seamlessly syncs loan data back into accounting application for simple reconciliations. Advisors and business owners will never be required to download manual statements, allowing them to always maintain an accurate real-time position of the business, which includes debt facilities, interest charges, fees and even current funding available all visible right within their live accounting applications.

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