Bundle me – moving accounting from an annual fee to a monthly fee
The bundling of client fees among accountants is starting to become more mainstream. I started using bundles with my clients almost 10 years ago. With Xero it makes it so much easier to be connected to your client because there is no data transfer and you have limitless access to your client’s main business productivity tool, their accounting system.
As an accountant if you use Xero as a ‘Single Ledger’ you’ll be saving time on core compliance work because there is no data friction. In a nutshell the Single Ledger is the same ledger used by business owners to run their business and it’s the same ledger used by accountants to prepare Management Reports and Annual Reports. So if you stay on the old time and cost model, it makes sense that you would bill for less. The solution is to move to an agreed fee base from the outset. This way clients know upfront exactly what they’re up for. It’s also an opportunity to be able offer services beyond compliance and give real business advice.
A bundle is like a shopping list, which your client can chose from. You charge a monthly fee for the provision of these services. Great examples of accounting practices that offer bundles successfully include Cloud Accountants and Interactive Accountants.
The main benefit to your client is fee certainty, which is the number one reason why your client avoids calling you now – they’re afraid how much this might cost. If you introduce an agreed monthly fee to your clients they will respond positively to it. Every accountant I have even spoken to who has done this, says clients love it.
So how do you make it happen?
Create your bundles (tailored selections of services), plus your terms of agreement and a proposal document.
When you do end-of-year reports, decide which bundle would best suit each client and create a proposal for them.
At the year-end meeting with your client, present the bundle and explain why you think it is best for them. Also show them the full list of services you offer and another couple of bundle options. Talk them through how the new service would work and answer any questions.
The client agrees for you to deliver the new service bundle to them.
If you follow these steps you should have all your clients on bundles within a year. We’d be keen to hear what’s worked for you when offering bundles to clients.
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