How to Offer Payment Services to your Clients
Pre-COVID, digital transformation was a high priority for many accountants, but most had no formal strategy or owners for the projects within their business.
As we enter the new normal, the impact of technology within accountancy has become critical as client demands are changing.
The evolution of tech – accelerated by COVID-19 – is transforming all aspects of business, which means there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to servicing clients.
Clients now expect more from the services, but luckily open banking and payments automation are bringing new ways of managing business cashflow, providing many benefits for making and managing payments on behalf of your client.
Adding payments means a fuller suite of financial services, and with enhanced or new services comes extra revenue streams.
The 5 pillars to embedding payments within your practice:
1) Automate to Innovate
Payments automation makes it easy to innovate on services, giving you the flexibility to adapt your business model, whatever the circumstances.
Additionally, payments automation also ensures service continuity as clients can authorise their payroll in just a few clicks no matter where they are.
This new technology opens up opportunities for both accountancy firms and their clients.
From an advisory perspective, accountants that are proactive in adopting technology to drive their business can pass on their learning and experience to clients who are on the same journey, maximising their investment.
2) Eliminate inefficiencies
Payments automation helps eliminate inefficiencies that exist in your current services, such as:
Removing manual processes
Payroll is labour-intensive – downloads, uploads and file sharing – by completely automating the process, you can reduce workload from days to minutes.
Reduce the impact of late payments
Research from BACS found that almost 80% of businesses were waiting for one month or longer beyond their agreed payment terms.
3) Automate to advise
Automated payments play a critical role as accountants move from offering traditional services to more advisory roles.
Adopting more efficient payment processes doesn’t only speed up accounting, but they also give accountants a much more accurate view of their clients’ cashflow.
This view provides immediate and decision-ready data for accountants to offer a richer insight into a client’s true financial picture.
4) Payments for profitability
Many Accountants don’t proactively offer payroll services to their clients as it’s often viewed as admin-heavy, time-consuming and with a major risk of error.
But payment automation removes the complexity and risk from the entire payroll workflow, saving you hours of valuable time by eliminating the need to manually enter information.
5) Offering a first-class customer experience
Payments automation creates a slicker and easier experience for your clients as it removes their manual processes, freeing them up so they can focus on their business.
Client pain points such as sharing information across payroll/bookkeeping workflows are also reduced thanks to automation.
Payments as the competitive advantage
In summary, embedding automated payment workflows within your client services presents exciting opportunities.
Payment automation can improve your practice’s profitability and dramatically optimise your services:
- Significantly reducing the time or effort needed for an accountant to deliver
- Eliminating any duplication of effort for you or your client
- No need for manual CSV exports or Bacs file uploads across different systems
- Removing any risk of error or the need for manual checking or re-checking
- Unlocking a richer level of customer service
The addition of making and managing payments ultimately makes your practice proposition stickier.
You can offer more services and have more interaction with your clients, which means you are providing more value, helping you become an embedded and essential resource.
By offering more, your practice can attract and retain more clients – ultimately beating the competition.
Payments provide an inexpensive and low-risk addition to your practice, and now thanks to IRIS, it’s never been easier to offer payment services to your clients.
Introducing payroll synced payments
We’ve teamed up with Modulr to offer a payments account that gives you a fast, secure and easy way to make payments from IRIS, enabling you to provide your clients with seamless payroll workflows.
The single and secure online portal allows you to make payroll payments at the same time as running client payrolls, saving time, removing manual processes, and eliminating costly errors.