As far back as October 2019, half of Americans were already concerned a major recession was on the horizon and now that concern has become a reality, according to top economists. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the U.S. economy actually stopped growing in February this year, following an economic expansion that lasted more than 10 years. And, it all happened fairly quickly as the COVID-19 pandemic effectively shut down the economy and compounded unemployment.
So, it’s not at all surprising your accounting clients are worried about the recession. It’s up to you then to understand and persuade your clients why your accounting business is even more crucial to their company’s survival.
Watch Over and Protect Them
In times of economic stress, your clients need you more than ever. Although you may encounter some resistance from clients busy trying to keep their businesses afloat, it’s important your post COVID marketing efforts stress how vital accounting services are at this time.
Key points should include how accounting experts can help:
- Point out areas to cut costs
- Point out areas where costs should not be reduced
- Provide advice on employee benefits and employee tax deductions
- Create financial documents for possible loan applications
- Determine better sources of profits
- Manage working capital
- Consult on how clients can get paid faster
Some panicking business clients may start haphazardly cutting expenses and think accounting can be cut, but you need to show them why operating without the advice of an accountant or CPA is like driving blindly behind the wheel. You can provide vital resources, which is especially needed during a recession when every penny counts.
Solve Immediate Problems
As stated above, your clients are anxious and looking for immediate results. Help put them at ease by analyzing their financial situations looking for some expenses they can cut immediately. Suggest planned salary increases be postponed until the business improves. Some possible areas clients can cut back on:
- Recurring expenses. Every business has recurring expenses that have been forgotten, such as subscriptions and memberships that renew automatically.
- Insurance. From health insurance to business owner’s policies, your clients should assess their needs at least annually. In a year like this one, it pays to review their insurance needs and costs more often than that. Have they gone virtual or laid off employees? Do they no longer require certain types of insurance as a result?
- Staying virtual. If they have temporarily been operating remotely, can they save money by pivoting to becoming a virtual company permanently? Is it feasible to operate partially virtual, which could still save them money? Talk it over with your clients to see how to make it work.
While personalization is always key in your accounting business, it’s even more important now to show your clients you have their individual best interests at heart.
Offer Long-term Advice
Your clients want to look forward to happier days and your accounting firm can help them plan for that brighter future. In addition to offering advice on cutting expenses, show how your accounting firm recognizes the needs of a growing business by:
- Learning how their entire company operates so you can help your clients improve performance, reduce redundancy, and increase satisfaction. Suggest cross-training their employees to reduce the need to hire and to strengthen the company. A knowledgeable workforce makes companies more efficient, resilient, and productive.
- Bring your knowledge of the marketplace. Can your clients capitalize on market trends and create spin-off products or services? Is there enough capital to expand to a new location or create a new sales channel? See 4 Reasons Why a Recession Is a Good Time for Your Clients to Start a Business to learn more about excelling in uncertain times.
- Help your clients create long-term goals so they can be more proactive instead of reactive. Have regular meetings with clients (you don’t need to meet in person) to lay out the plans and steps they need to take to get their businesses through a possible recession.
Budgets, Taxes and More
Obviously, your accounting clients will need your insight and expertise even more now as they navigate the “new normal.” Some will need help navigating the government’s Economic Injury Disaster Relief (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding and forgiveness options, disaster tax deductions, and changing IRS requirements. Many will need advice beyond the realm of normal accounting firm services.
CorpNet we can help you help your clients with any of their corporation compliance questions or filing needs. Connect us by joining the CorpNet Partner Program and start offering your clients:
The program offers wholesale discounted pricing as a white label Reseller or become a Referral partner and refer your clients over to us and receive up to a 30% referral fee on each sale.