Smaller accounting firms can benefit immensely from partnerships. Pooling your resources allows you to expand your reach, discover new tools, and access new demographics. However, it can be difficult to identify the right prospects to establish a beneficial partnership.
In this article, we’ll help you identify potential accounting partners and provide advice on establishing an effective accounting partnership through an assessment of your partner’s capabilities.
Identifying a potential accounting partner
The key to a successful accounting partnership is teaming up with the right firm. But how do you figure out which firm will make the best partner? There are a few factors you can analyse to help you make an informed decision.
The first factor is the market your potential partner is targeting. It’s generally unwise to partner with direct competitors, unless there’s something you can only achieve by working together. Otherwise, you’ll simply be sharing clients that you would otherwise be profiting from on your own.
Instead, consider partnering with an accounting specialist. A specialist might be a firm that focuses on accounting for a particular industry (e.g. construction or medicine) or a specific facet of accounting (such as audits or international accounting practices). Partnering with a specialist firm means extending your audience, as you’ll be able to assist clients you may not otherwise have been able to take on.
Another key factor for identifying an accounting partner is their software usage. What accounting automation do they use? How reliant on it are they? You’ll likely have to utilise the same software in order to have an effective accounting partnership with them, so identifying the tools a prospective partner uses is crucial
Planning your accounting partnership
Once you’ve identified a suitable firm, and they’ve agreed to work with you, your next step is to set out clear goals for your new accounting partnership. You (and your partner firm) might gather information by asking questions to stakeholders or performing market research, but either way, your core aim is to work out what you want to achieve together.
A common aim for many accounting partnerships is simply to grow as a joint venture, helping each other maintain a market share and directing clients towards your partner when you can. Partnerships also allow you to expand your suite of services — as we’ve discussed above, partnering with an accounting specialist allows you to assist clients you would not otherwise have the ability to help.
Alternatively, you may be forming a partnership to deal with competition. If a larger firm poses a threat to both you and your partner firm, you might join forces to ensure both businesses survive.
Whatever your goals, your partner firm must be well aware of what you’re hoping to achieve from the partnership, and what’s in it for them. Teamwork is key to ensuring a positive outcome from your new accounting partnership.
Find partnerships easily with INAA
Joining INAA means having access to over 140 accounting firms in over 50 countries. It’s an incredible opportunity to share knowledge and resources, as well as form long-lasting and effective accounting partnerships.