How to Get More Out of Your Accounting Relationship– April 08, 2015

At Cohen & Company, we aim to have as many “raving fans” as we possibly can. We want our clients, employees, alumni and business acquaintances to feel a part of something great, something truly unique. We always want to provide more.

So how can businesses and their owners get more when it comes to their relationship with their accountant?

It’s a fair question, and one we ask ourselves regularly as we try to identify ways to improve our client service. The answer is simple: collaboration. Ongoing collaboration between client and advisor opens up a whole new world for business owners, providing them with a team of specialists that not only performs tax and accounting compliance, but that also helps lead the quarterly strategy session with the executive management team, or brainstorms with the CEO over a Saturday-morning breakfast to find innovative ways to finance a new project.

Sounds simple, yet, the difficult (and sometimes scary) part is how that extra value translates to your bill. Hands down, one of the best tools we have been able to offer our clients is our Fixed Price Agreement (FPA). In most cases, this pricing structure provides immeasurable value. Having one, all-inclusive fixed price allows for continual collaboration without the fear of unknown costs or “running up the bill.” Our clients experience a true partnership with us, which allows us to anticipate their needs, consult in other business areas, and help them to continue moving forward.

For example, under an FPA agreement, I meet frequently with a business owner of a distribution business to discuss ways he can grow his business. We talk about everything from generating strategic business ideas and making key personnel hires, to adjusting bank covenants and fostering new business connections. Because we understand his business so intimately, our team was also able to make a key introduction that led to more than $3.5 million of new business for our client.

Of course, there are many ways to maximize the value you receive for the accounting fees you pay. But, “stopping the clock” is the first step to jumpstarting a true advisor-client relationship.

Cohen & Company is not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice. Any action taken based on information in this blog should be taken only after a detailed review of the specific facts and circumstances.