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End of financial year: increase your revenue, expand your client-base or trim the fat
5 mins 20 May 2019 by Brendan Allen
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With June 30th looming, it's important to take time to look at your own business to get a better understanding of your client-base and how you can improve your cashflow and workload alike.

Accountants and bookkeepers are presented with a unique opportunity each year in the form of client re-engagements. To some, this is a necessary evil and a pain to go through, whereas others see this process as an incredible opportunity to take a hard look at each of their clients and figure out if they are happy with the relationship over the past 12 months.

Let's take a look at eight opportunities that accountants and bookkeepers often overlook during EOFY.

1. Increasing your service fees

This may seem like an obvious one, but it's often something that gets left to the last minute and therefore never actioned.

Professional service providers are advised to raise their fees annually to account for inflation so it makes sense to have a process in place to manage this. Even if you don't feel your own services need an increase this year, you may not have taken into account the cost of running YOUR business.

Take some time to think about some of your costs; like software fees, insurance, staff wage increases etc.

2. Reviewing client profitability

With the increasing power of reporting even within your own ledger software, there's really no excuse these days for doing work for free. As more and more accountants and bookkeepers move to monthly fixed fee billing, it's even more important to make sure each and every one of your clients is paying your a fair price for your time.

We did a blog post recently on Overcoming Scope Creep which you should definitely check out.

Annual re-engagement time provides a great opportunity to make sure your clients are on the right service plan. If you have packages, and you have a client that has outgrown a smaller one, then it's a no-brainer to move them to the next tier.

If they have a problem with this then it's time to...

3. Trim the fat

If you have discovered a few clients that aren't as profitable as the rest of your client base, then it's time to have a serious think about whether you'd like to continue the relationship after 30 June.

Having unprofitable clients is a double whammy because not only are you not getting paid your fair share, you are also using time that could be spent on a much more profitable client.

So it's time to either bump their fees, or bump them out the door to make them someone else's problem.

4. Automating your whole engagement process

A big problem with annual re-engagements is how manual the whole process is. Finding your old contract, reading the terms + services, amending, sending the new agreement and waiting for a signature to come back. Not to mention setting up fee collection processes.

Here at Practice Ignition we see a lot of our users not only loving how easy EOFY is made by utilising the rollover feature, but we also get a lot of practices bring on additional legacy clients onto PI to ensure they are easily managing their proposals and review process not only at EOFY, but throughout the whole year too.

For tips on how to introduce Practice Ignition to your clients, you can read our blog post here.

5. Moving clients to Fixed Fee Billing

You might have your whole client base on fixed fee already which is great, but for those who are transitioning to fixed fee, EOFY provides a great opportunity to evaluate your client-base and shift them over to the new fee model.

As you likely already know, a fixed fee model is a great way to grow and scale your business as it provides a predictable revenue runway leading to improved capacity planning and visibility of client profitability.

6. Getting paid!

This is a big one, because there's really no excuse for any modern practice to have outstanding invoices when there's so many options for automated fee collection these days.

It comes back to good business processes, but if you've experienced the joy of chasing up month old debts, then you've likely explored ways to either get paid automatically, or at the very least secure commitment from your clients prior to work beginning.

Annual re-engagement time is another great opportunity to take a look at how long it takes you to get paid by your clients. The average time from invoice to paid in Professional Services is 22 days, but if you ask us, that's 22 days too long.

If you are re-engaging your client-base this year, make sure they are all engaged through Practice Ignition and you've made payments a requirement.

Imagine zero debtors from 1st July?

For more info on how to add payments to any proposal, check out our help article here.

7. Upselling your services

You've likely taken a look at your service offering over the last year and potentially even upskilled your staff to learn new skills, so it makes sense to offer these services to all your existing clients as well as new one.

Perhaps you've recently introduced some reporting software to your app stack? EOFY is a great time to have a conversation about the value of data and cashflow forecasting with your clients.

It might even be something as simple as adding your client's Xero or QBO subscription to your annual proposal because you've got a bulk discount on licences.

In any case, it's worth investigating running a marketing campaign in conjunction with an updated proposal to highlight these new service offerings for the new financial year.

8. Running an Individual Tax Return campaign

One thing that is often overlooked is the opportunity to re-engage with your individual clients when it comes to their ITRs.

An automated engagement process with a built in payment gateway is an ideal way to capture your client's tax return business this coming new financial year.

Simply send out an initial email to all your ITR clients followed up shortly after by a Practice Ignition proposal with your ITR service added and payments enabled to collect an upfront deposit.

We even have email templates available (see below) so you don't have to lift a finger!

Free Marketing Email Templates

If you'd like to run some email campaigns alongside any of the above scenarios (price increase, ITR campaign, up-sell opportunity etc.) then we've prepared some valuable resources in the form of templates that you can use in your own practice.

Email templates that convert - Re-engage your clients for the new financial year

Meet the author

Brendan Allen

Manager, Key Accounts Team  Ignition

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Published 20 May 2019 Last updated 21 Jul 2023