Top 3 bookkeeper tips to build strong accounting referral partnerships

October 15, 2021

Driven to support our bookkeepers with the latest business growth strategies, First Class Accounts talks to Lisa D’Adderio, of Alto Accounting and Advisory, for her advice on how to build stronger accountancy referrals.

Long-time franchisee, Michelle Hart, of First Class Accounts, Robina, knows the value of a productive accounting practice partnership, and has shown her skill in forging these to secure new business referrals.

Here we interview Lisa D’Adderio, Accountant at mid-sized accounting firm Alto Accounting and Advisory. Lisa shares her insights about why she saw such value in outsourcing work to Michelle and what is important when selecting a new bookkeeper to work with.

First Class Accounts are committed to supporting our bookkeepers with the very best advice. Considering new research released from the Australian Bookkeepers Network (ABN) that reminds us that the top referral source for new business are accountants, it seems timely to share these insights now.

  1. Experience, testimonials, and a referral from a mutual client is important

It’s difficult to see the quality of a new bookkeeper’s service until you see what they can do for a client. That makes it tricky to refer a new bookkeeper because my own reputation is on the line.

When I meet bookkeepers at an industry function or receive an introductory email from a bookkeeper, I look for cues that demonstrate their expertise.

I seek to find out:

  • Years of experience.
  • Industry experience and clients they’ve represented.
  • Specialist expertise in technology or capability, like payroll.
  • Software preferences and knowledge.
  1. Accountants mix and match on industry specialty and technical expertise 

Alto Accounting and Advisory has a team of seven business Accountants plus a Superannuation Specialist. Together we have a panel of experienced bookkeepers with whom we collaborate.

Every time we’re on the lookout for a bookkeeper we’ll go to that list and lean on each other for advice on what we know each bookkeeper is good at and if they’re the right fit for our new clients.

“We try to make the best decision based on our client needs and personality fit.”

Lisa D’Adderio, Accountant, Alto Accounting and Advisory

If, for example, I have a doctor, I’ll try to find a bookkeeper with medical experience. If I have a restaurateur, I’ll look for a bookkeeper who is excellent at payroll management. Software preferences can also help to guide our referred bookkeeper.

  1. A can-do attitude goes a long way

Michelle of First Class Accounts, Robina is outstanding. I have most appreciated her attitude.

To Michelle, no software is too hard. No client is too big or small. No job too messy.

Michelle is happy to consult to the client directly or happy not to, depending on what I need. I can pick up the phone anytime and she’s willing to give it a go.

 If you want to assure your bookkeeping business future with the most supportive industry experts to guide your next steps, contact First Class Accounts today.

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