automate your firm

Posted by & filed under Accountant, Bookkeeper, Growing Your Firm Podcast, Growth, Marketing, Marketing for Accountants.

 

Heather Pranitis isn’t just your average bookkeeper. She brings unique knowledge to the table to automate your accounting firm.

She believes you should figure out how to make processes go much smoother and quicker even if you spend a few extra dollars to do so.

In accounting, so much attention is spent on “how much time” you spend on your work and firm. Heather preaches the exact opposite. Spend less time on menial tasks and automate your accounting and bookkeeper firm.

On this episode of Grow Your Firm Podcast, David Cristello and Heather Pranitis discuss:

  1. How to automate your leads to weed out poor prospects
  2. Apps to use to better automate your firm
  3. Steps to go through with new clients to start off the relationship correctly

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ADDITIONAL LINKS:

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How to Automate your Firm — On-boarding New Clients:

Heather Pranitis, founder of Number Nerd Bookkeeping Solutions, spent 21 years working in the accounting profession for multiple companies.

At one point, she realized: “Hey, I have enough experience, I could go out and do this on my own.” With the support of family and friends, she jumped ship and started Number Nerd.

After a year, she had 2 dedicated clients she worked with. Now, she is at close to 30.

A 1500% growth in just ONE Year!

What does she attribute the rapid growth to?

Stacy Kildal, one of our past guests here at Grow Your Firm Podcast, helped Heather understand the importance of automation and going through the process with setting up clients and seeing if they’re a right fit.

Stacy calls it the “dating game” process. 

**Stacy’s process in her course was designed by her and Heather follows her practice. “Dating game” is a term Stacy digs into more deeply in her StacyK Academy course.

The Dating Game Process:

  • When a new prospect is being vetted to on board, start with Heather’s $300 “date.”
  • Meet with the client and get a good look at their books
  • Make notes and outline step-by-step what needs to be done to get the books back on track
  • Prepare the report and let the prospect know they can start the relationship or they can take the report and go elsewhere

Doing it this way is very foreign to any accounting firm. Most firms start with many phone calls and meetings with a prospect, try to butter them up, and then hope the deal goes through.

Heather cuts through this “dance” with her approach.

“It allows you to get things done ahead of time.”

TIP: Rather than spend time going back and forth meeting with a client, do a bit of work upfront to see how you and the prospect work together. This lays the foundation for a trustworthy, enjoyable relationship.

Getting Tech-y:

Another unique approach Heather takes is digging into a prospect’s business (outside of just the books).

She will ask “How do you handle leads that come in?” With that information, she can recommend certain products or apps to make it go much smoother.

She’s recommended many 3rd party applications with Quickbooks Online, plus such tools as Zapier, Google Docs, Evernote and other software.

Heather believes you are not just a bookkeeper or CPA for them, you are a business consultant. Having these different knowledge points allows you to justify and charge more for your work.

If you aren’t a techie person, perhaps find a 3rd party support team to help you with this not just for the prospect but for your firm.

How to Automate Your Firm — Leads:

One area Heather sees CPA firms wasting their time on is bad leads. You probably get these — They call you up wanting to know your price and then wanting to meet.

After you spend hours discussing and perhaps consulting, you never hear from the prospect again.  These are commonly referred to as “tire-kickers.”

Heather believes you need to be spending most of your time on client activities. Wasting time with low quality prospects is a time suck for you.

Here is what Heather recommends:

The Automation Lead Machine:

Through your website or through email/telephone, wherever you get a lead, send them to a special page on your site.

On this special page, set up a 10 minute questionnaire the prospect can go through. This questionnaire has questions about the business, the struggles, what they hope to achieve and more.

Heather realized: “If someone isn’t willing to fill out a quick questionnaire, they probably weren’t going to buy anywhere.”

Serious prospects fill out the questionnaire.

She recommends a variety of different tools to accomplish this:

With the questionnaire, you are “prepping” the client for your meeting. In the meeting, rather than talking about yourself, you are able to go through their answers and find the pain they are struggling with.

Once you find the pain, you can make a more personalized, and faster diagnosis.

With all this new software and handful of apps to try, Heather recommends making sure you take advantage of the free trial offers; however, don’t start them until you are ready to sit down and play with it.

You shouldn’t be spending your time on regular admin tasks. Clients need your attention and the way to build loyalty, is through great client work and interaction.

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