One of the questions many accountants and bookkeepers ask themselves is if their firm will get more value from specializing or finding a “niche.” When talking to our partners, we’ve discovered that as firms modernize and transition to cloud accounting, they seek out the unique benefits of serving a specific type of client. Of course, what this looks like differs from firm to firm but specializing in one particular niche allows for some commonly overlooked efficiencies and benefits that may enable your firm to reach the next level of success.
When looking at accounting niche’s people usually specialize in one of the following areas.
5. Business Management
Industry-based specialization is the most common form of specialization we see. When working with clients within the same industry, you immediately unlock the benefit of gaining a deep understanding of best practices that apply across the industry.
Things such as contracts, payment schedules, and even standard suppliers allow you to better serve your clients by building a solid foundation that will make your firm attractive to similar businesses. In addition to creating internal efficiency and powering workflows, having a strong presence within a specific industry allows you to build a strong referral network and open the door to new revenue opportunities.
Service-based specialization is a more internal-focused specialization and requires you to determine what domain you want to offer when it comes to service lines. These can cover a wide array of things for traditional bookkeeping, auditing, internal control, taxation, financial planning, valuation, and the list goes on and on.
Building a service-based specialization allows you to master the tools and create a more effective workflow for conquering the specific tasks within that area. Doing so will also allow you to build a wide array of specialized case studies that showcase your expertise when attracting new clients.
Firm Size Specialization
Firm size specialization refers to the size of the client’s business. Although every business is different, some common trends and factors impact businesses appear differently based on their size. Being a specialist for a specific sized client will allow you to become more versed in the issues that impact them. Whether it’s startups, small businesses, and larger firms, becoming a subject matter expert in clients of a specific size unlocks unique opportunities for your firm to solve unique issues.
Many Dext partners focus on various sizes of clients, but we know that many of our partners help the small and medium businesses that make up our communities. To help accountants and bookkeepers prepare to help these businesses thrive, we produced the “Future Needs of Small and Medium Businesses” report to provide insights on what your firm can do now to prepare to solve the next challenges for businesses. Check out the report here to unlock more insights.
Geographic location is an often overlooked specialization, but regional differences in taxes and business practices can make a big difference for accountants and bookkeepers managing an expanding business portfolio.
With the advent of more cloud technologies having a regional physical presence is no longer a factor as tools allow you to provide your services digitally. As the industry progresses, serving a specific area can help your firm make a local community impact and provide services to underserved communities.
Business management or Client Advisory is a newer focus for accountants and bookkeepers as more businesses look for committed partners to help them achieve their business goals. In addition, fewer businesses want stale reporting that provides a recap of what happens and want their accountants and bookkeeping professionals to provide real-time insights to power their decisions. As a result, more partners are moving to this advisory area of specialization. It opens the opportunity to make a more significant impact on their client’s success and provides additional opportunities for more revenue from both current and future clients.
No matter which method you choose, there is undoubtedly a benefit for specializing and finding the accounting niche your firm needs to carve out your firm’s space in the industry. Discovering an accounting niche can be the next thing your firm needs to achieve new levels of success.