Make time to get in touch
BY lee H. eisenstaedt
10 reasons to talk to your clients from January to April
Sound like your firm? Then busy season
is exactly the right time for you to focus on a
client feedback program.
Simply put, your success depends upon
paying attention to your most important clients, all year long. Strike up a conversation
with them from January through April — and
listen. You just might be surprised at what
Here are 10 reasons why:
1. It’s your busy season, not your clients’.
Your clients don’t have the same pressures
from January to April that you do. They will
most likely have the time to meet with representatives from your firm. And, in case it
escapes your notice, they’ll also have time to
meet with your competition, too.
2. You’ve got their attention. Clients are
more aware of your services when they’re in
the middle of using them. This makes January to April the perfect time to engage them
in meaningful conversations, reconfirming
what’s most important to them and demon-
Beginning in January and continuing for the ensuing four
months, accounting firms all over the country will be keeping
their lights on late. throughout the busy season, peek into any
accounting firm’s offices and you’ll find heads down, thoughts
absorbed in 15-hour days, seven days a week, as everyone tries
to beat the clock and get their clients’ work completed ahead
of the deadline.
Lee Eisenstaedt is the founder and
managing director of L. Harris & Associates
LLC ( www.lharrisloyalty.com). Reach him
at email@example.com or (262) 412-
strating how much you value your relationship with them.
3. Your weaknesses are exposed. During
busy season, your clients are experiencing
your services and service levels while they
are being stretched to their design limits.
Weaknesses and cracks in the foundation
may begin to appear. Proactively asking for
feedback during January to April allows you
to identify issues and fix them before they
become major problems.
4. Not everyone is tied up with work. Not
everyone within your firm is consumed with
serving clients during busy season. Someone
— your marketing director, chief financial officer, the partner leading your management
services practice, etc. — can find the time to
visit your top clients from January to April.
5. The process can be outsourced. Most
client feedback initiatives can be outsourced
without compromising their quality. In fact,
an independent third party will reduce the
risk of positive bias in the feedback, will result
in more billable hours by partners and staff,
and will demonstrate to your clients your
commitment to the process.
6. Maintain your momentum. You’ll
maintain the growth focus you had going
into busy season. You won’t have to re-ignite
your business development initiatives — or
worse, start them over from scratch in May,
June or July.
STARTING SALARIES TO RISE IN
ACCOUNTING AND FINANCE
MENLO PARK, CALIF. — Starting salaries in
the accounting and finance fields are expected to rise an average of 3. 1 percent
in the coming year.
Business analysts, tax accountants
and financial analysts are among the
professionals projected to see notable
increases, according to staffing company
Robert Half International’s 2011 Salary
Guide. The data in the guide are national
average starting salaries based on an
analysis of the thousands of job placements managed by the company’s U.S.
offices. The guide is accompanied by
the Robert Half Salary Center, featuring
additional analysis on hiring and compensation trends and the Robert Half Salary
Calculator, which allows users to quickly
determine the starting salary range for
their specific position and location.
“Companies seek experienced profes-
sionals who can improve efficiencies,
facilitate business growth and manage
rising business volume, yet many employ-
ers continue to report challenges finding
the precise talent they need,” said Robert
Half International chairman and CEO Max
Messmer in a statement. “In response,
some firms are improving their com-
pensation packages to attract the best
candidates for high-demand roles.”
Salaries for most specialties are ex-
pected to rise 1 to 3 percent next year.
Senior business analysts are expected to
see the largest boost in base pay in 2011,
with their average starting salary rising
5 percent to the range of $66,500 to
$85,500. The projected base pay for tax
accounting managers at midsized compa-
nies ($25 million to $250 million in sales)
is $69,500 to $92,500, up 4. 9 percent.
Base pay for senior auditors at midsized public accounting firms is expected
to range between $62,000 and $81,750,
up 3. 8 percent over 2010 levels. Within
financial services, compliance managers
can anticipate a 4. 4 percent gain in base
pay, to a range of $64,500 to $89,000.
Starting salaries for financial analysis
managers at both large (more than $250
million in sales) and midsized companies
are predicted to climb 4. 8 percent. Senior
financial analysts at midsized companies
are predicted to see their base compensation rise to $60,000 to $78,000, a 4. 7