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Why Visible Experts℠ Could Be the Difference-Maker Your Accounting Firm Needs

Today’s accounting and financial services firms are facing many unique challenges that drive their marketing and business decisions. As the baby boomer generation gears up for retirement, the accounting industry is experiencing a period of transition in leadership and organization.

To determine how these changes are affecting the top challenges and priorities of accounting and financial firms, the Hinge Research Institute studied over 530 professional services firms and segmented our results by industry. Here’s what we determined based on the responses from accounting and financial services firms.

  • 70.5% of respondents identified “Attracting and Developing New Business” as their top business challenge.
  • The next most popular response was “Finding and Keeping Good People” at 51.1%.

Compared to other professional services industries, accounting and financial services firms place a higher premium on finding and keeping good people, which could be in response to the wave of baby boomers retiring. Suddenly, having leadership and a staff you can count on is more important than ever.

Next, we asked these same firms which marketing initiatives they would be using to overcome their top challenges. Here’s how accounting and financial services firms responded:

  • 50 percent plan to “Try to Generate More Referrals.”
  • 42.5 percent plan to “Increase the Visibility of Firm Experts.”

Even though generating more referrals was named as the top priority for accounting and financial services firms, the development of high-visibility experts can have a positive impact on nearly every single challenge the accounting industry is facing today. Since the goal of our research was to give accounting firms deeper, research-based insight into their industry, we would be remiss not to then explain how employing Visible ExpertsSM can help firms overcome their biggest obstacles.

So, what kind of difference can high visibility experts make for your accounting and finance firm?Download VE report on Accounting and Finance

The Impact of Visible Experts

Improved Client Satisfaction

We asked purchasers of accounting services what benefits they found from working with a Visible Expert and the results pointed to a significant improvement in client satisfaction. Clients reported experiencing quicker and more effective problem solving (31.7 percent) and learning new ideas or solutions they otherwise wouldn’t have considered (27.3 percent).

Higher Billing Rates

Visible Experts are able to command substantially higher billing rates than the average professional. We used a baseline hourly rate of $100 and found that buyers were willing to pay over 14 times more than that for a top level Visible Expert.

While all Visible Experts in all industries tend to command higher billing rates, the results for accounting and financial service firms Experts were among the highest across all professional services industries.

How Do Visible Experts Market Themselves?

We asked experts which marketing tools had the biggest impact on their brand. Accounting and finance experts ranked keynote addresses and other speaking engagements as their top two. The other top marketing tools Visible Experts identified were:

  • Research Reports
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Email marketing

The combination of these strategies suggest that Visible Experts are most effective in the accounting and financial services industry when they are appealing to a wide audience and asserting their credibility.

In addition to learning about their impact and discovering how to achieve Visible Expert status, the research report also includes a profile of CPA Blake Christian, or “The Tax Man.” As an expert in corporate tax planning, Christian actively uses content marketing to build his status as a Visible Expert.

Check out the Visible ExpertSM Research Study: Accounting & Financial Services Edition for a more in-depth look at our research into these experts.

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Visible Expert Research Study: Accounting and Financial Services Edition

Lee Frederiksen, Ph.D. Who wears the boots in our office? That would be Lee, our managing partner, who suits up in a pair of cowboy boots every day and drives strategy and research for our clients. With a Ph.D. in behavioral psychology, Lee is a former researcher and tenured professor at Virginia Tech, where he became a national authority on organizational behavior management and marketing. He left academia to start up and run three high-growth companies, including an $80 million runaway success story.

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