Tony Bates, FTP Wealth director, believes accountants have access to vast and detailed client data but he doesn’t think practitioners are making very good use of it. He says accounting practices can do a much better job analysing this data to identify client needs – and provide better, more individual service.
While some accountants do use the available client data for those purposes, Bates thinks mostly it’s coincidental and not consistent, and that practitioners need to learn how to use the latest technology, so they can better extract client information from numbers.
He believes all this data can at least lead to a conversation – if you interpret the data, it will help you ask the right questions, which might lead to upselling opportunities. Questions like “why is profit down this year in a business sense?” or “how much interest are you paying relative to salary?" might help you shape a better service package for them. If a client has children, a lot of debt or if you notice they’re reaching a certain age – you can talk to them about insurance options, retirement income stream transitions and so on.
There is a lot of opportunity out there, Mr. Bates says, accountants just need to learn where to look for it.