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The financial landscape continues to shift across the globe in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis. Markets are increasingly interconnected, with events like Brexit and the United States presidential election having ripple effects as far afield as China and South Africa. In this era of uncertainty and change, audit and accounting firms need to adapt and adjust in order to ensure their ongoing success. Here are five ways in which you can grow your firm and ensure that it remains relevant and profitable in the modern age.

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Invest in technology

The world today is more technology-oriented than ever before, and for businesses looking to strengthen their position and ensure growth, technology plays a key role. It can help you to meet your clients’ needs with greater speed and ease, as well as accuracy. Financial auditing software can give your firm an efficiency boost, with improved processing time and superior performance to traditional spreadsheet-based platforms, as well as reduced risk of error. Built-in features also ensure compliance with updated regulations, giving your clients peace of mind. This kind of technology can be scaled to suit the needs of your firm, and expanded as your work expands. Cloud-based and affordable, it streamlines work processes and centralises operations, freeing up staff time and saving costs substantially.

Network, network, network

The old adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” still rings true today – with a modern twist. These days it’s all about making sure that the people you know are aware of what you know – your expertise and services. Relationships are key to the success of a firm, so they need to be nurtured and your reputation developed. Industry leaders recommend staying in touch with former colleagues and just about everyone else you meet in business. Connections may provide a contact or referral – and so might clients. Ensure that they are more than satisfied with the service they have received and they may recommend you to others. Networking can also open up opportunities for partnership with other firms – and future growth as a result.

Differentiate and diversify

The audit and accounting industry is rapidly changing, with differentiation and diversification coming to the fore as crucial survival strategies for firms. To get ahead and ensure healthy margins, it is necessary to offer services that go beyond the traditional scope. Many firms are positioning themselves as industry specialists by targeting market niches, such as construction or forensic companies, and offering tailor-made services to them with value-added options like updates on regulations. This sets them apart from general auditing firms and gives them a competitive edge.

Use branding and marketing

It is important to consider who your ideal client is, and then assess your current strategies in order to engage with them. Explore ways in which you can better interact with your client through marketing and communications. Branding is very important to establish yourself in the industry – particularly if you are operating in a unique niche like the ones mentioned above. Think about how you can raise your brand profile and leverage existing clients to source new ones. Tap into online marketing to make your firm more competitive and rank higher in internet searches.

Prioritise your staff

Your firm is only as good as the people who run it. To ensure that your practice sees growth, it is important to hire and retain staff of a high calibre, even if that means paying top dollar for their expertise. You can consider it a long-term investment in the success of your business. It isn’t just salaries that need consideration, however: staff members need to be up-skilled regularly to be able to do the required jobs efficiently. Develop the staff you need to execute your firm’s strategies and you will be rewarded with growth.

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