How accountants add value with SaaS referral partnerships

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By Ryan Hendrie | 3rd May 2023 | 5 min read

With the new financial year here, it’s a good time to explore the power of Software as a Service (SaaS) referral partnerships and the amazing difference they can make to your clients and your accountancy practice.

But what exactly is a referral program? Chances are you’ve encountered them in one form or another.

Take Google’s Workspace referral program, where businesses share a link with customers to Google’s online productivity tools; this gets the referred clients a discount and earns the referring business money.

Meanwhile, Airbnb owed a lot of its early success to giving people discounts on future breaks if they persuaded their friends to use the service.

How SaaS referrals work in (your) practice

Imagine when you’re helping a customer.

You’re explaining the great things your accountancy practice can do for them, and they’re interested; not only that, but you know you can make their day better – and on some occasions, you can earn more money – by mentioning one more thing.

This “one more thing”, in this case, is software.

You don’t “own” the software as a business, and none of your staff had a hand in creating it, but still, you will get the benefit of offering more services, maybe earning more money and making a real difference when it comes to winning/keeping clients.

Creating a strategic advantage with SaaS referral partnerships

As accountants, the work you do, the solutions you provide and the client pitches you make all ensure that you are well-placed to make the most of SaaS referral partnerships.

SaaS partnerships work particularly well because accountants are problem solvers; clients come to you for help with things they don’t want to worry about.

But how many things are your clients worried about just beyond the scope of your accountancy work?

The last thing you want them to do is to walk out your door still panicking that they don’t have the right tools, for example.

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What would you need to do in a SaaS referral partnership?

A referral partnership is different from one based on reselling – there is no transaction you need to process.

Instead, you recommend software to your client (or prospect), and if it sounds good to them, you link them to your referral partner.

The best SaaS referral partners will make this easy for you.

They will ensure you have lots of information to hand so you can talk with genuine authority to clients who put their trust in you.

What pitfalls should you watch out for?

Referral partnerships can be lucrative, but they always need to add value as far as your client is concerned.

If what you are offering doesn’t add value, it adds an element of risk instead; anything bad about your referred services will reflect on you.

Always sense-check your potential referral partner: is this software something you would use yourself? Is the business reliable to work with? Is the aftercare they give second to none?

If in doubt, don’t risk your reputation, your relationship with your client and your recurring billing potential.

Are you ready to add extra value?

If you’re an accountant that’s looking for new ways to help clients and prospects thrive, then the IRIS Affinity Partner Program is perfect for you!

You’d be partnering with a business that’s worked with accountants for more than 40 years and is trusted by 120,000 organisations, from FTSE 100 companies to micro-businesses.

Together, with your know-how and our solutions, we can create the ultimate work-winning team – one that always adds value to those we serve + if you recommend any of our software, you’ll get a referral fee for every business that uses them.

Once referred, we look after the entire process, from sale to implementation and lifetime support, meaning your clients and prospects get great software, and you have peace of mind knowing that they’re in good hands.

Click here and learn more about how the IRIS Affinity Partner Program for Accountants can help your clients drive digital transformation, enhance productivity and growth.