Websites are so much more than online brochures. Sure, accounting firms still offer a mission statement, a list of services, a roster of staff, and an overall description of who they are, but modern firms go well beyond this basic information. Modern firm leaders offer clients more than a website—they offer an interactive place to do business.
But what does this mean, really?
It’s pretty straightforward. ‘A place to do business’ provides clients with an advanced platform—where they can collaborate with firm staff, exchange files, receive timely communications, access fresh (and educational) content, pay their invoices, schedule appointments. You get the idea.
A modern accounting firm website is dynamic. Unlike many firms’ sites, which are flat and static, leading firms host website platforms that offer clients real-time access to cloud-based applications required to run their small businesses (e.g., QuickBooks Online, Bill.com, client portals). They’re providing fresh content, pushed out consistently, that answers key business questions and addresses timely trends. They’re offering tools to easily communicate and collaborate with firm staff, such as Zoom for video conferencing and online scheduling apps.
Modern sites also offer more in the area of design and layout than you typically get with standard accounting firm website templates. Progressive firms are represented by sites that are beautifully designed and highly intuitive. Don’t underestimate the power of simple navigation and imagery over dense copy. When sites are easily scannable and things are easy to find, clients (and potential clients visiting your site) will have a far richer and friction-free online experience.
Dynamic. Interactive. Intuitive. These are the core elements of a modern accounting firm website. Read on for more detail on the must-haves of a modern firm site.
Simple is better
Accounting firm website design is not typically at the top of a firm owner’s list of priorities. After all, you didn’t go to school for design. But, nonetheless, it is a must-have.
Good website design is critical for two reasons:
- Ease of navigation—When your site is simple to navigate, clients and prospects can find what they need quickly. The days of jammed-packed navigation bars and endless paragraphs of copy are over. A well-designed business website typically offers 3-4 main navigation options and more imagery with less text. When a website is designed properly, it makes fast and simple work of finding what’s needed.
- Competitive advantage—Many firms are still using staid and clunky accounting website templates. These types of sites are often flat, copy-chaotic, and messy overall. Older templated sites also tend to be light on the dynamic factor—offering little more than standard contact forms for communication. A beautiful, modern design is what will set you apart from the competition. Intentional design around functionality, engaging imagery and simple navigation are key to attracting prospects and keeping clients happy.
You can quickly move your firm to the vanguard of the tax and accounting profession and snag the attention of online-savvy small businesses with an engaging, well-designed website.
Offer a client center
Clients want immediate access to the solutions required to run their businesses. This includes core client accounting systems like QuickBooks Online or top A/P solutions like Bill.com. It also includes communication tools like Zoom for video meetings and client portals for document exchange.
Accounting websites that offer a convenient client center provide clients with a place to do business. Simply clicking the client center button (presented front and center on the home page navigation) offers clients quick access to apps at any time, from anywhere and from the device of their choice (laptop, tablet or smartphone).
When you provide clients with 24/7 access to cloud-based technologies required for daily operations, you put your firm a huge step in front of the competition.
Also, notice that this modern website offers a Pay Bill button, which enables clients to pay your firm’s invoices online. Envelopes? Stamps? Forget about it. It’s all about making it easier for clients.
Finally, the Get In Touch button offers an easy way to schedule an appointment with select staff members. No more phone calls and emails back and forth—which we all know can be a major time sucker.
Push out fresh, educational content
The value of good content cannot be overstated. Firms that are launching timely, helpful content on their websites are those that will attract qualified prospects and retain existing clients.
Top-notch content not only emphasizes that your firm is in the know, but also shows you care enough to synthesize key news, insights and information for your visitors. Content should resonate with your audience, so be sure to cover topics that your clients and prospects care about, such as:
- Tips and insights for improving business operations—everything from the best technologies to adopt and how to automate processes.
- Advice on retirement packages and college savings funds.
- Industry-specific key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor and why.
- Tactics for ensuring healthy cash flow.
- Tax code updates and new regulations.
- And any other sound business insights that will benefit clients and prospects.
- You can offer up content in a variety of ways within your website:
- Develop eBooks and offer them as free downloads (or gated content so you can collect prospect contact data).
- Write short-form business-related articles to offer quick-read content packed with good, timely information (usually a 2-3 minute read).
- Develop posts for your social media channels that act as teasers and drive viewers back to your site to see the full copy (i.e., eBooks or short-form business articles).
- Create a client magazine or newsletter with the latest updates on your firm, an intro note from the owner(s) and a variety of engaging articles.
The goal with content is to entice people to stay on your website and keep them coming back. And bonus! Unique content also helps boost your search engine rankings.
Crush the competition online
Everyone is online researching… well, just about everything. And that includes professional service providers. When they locate your firm’s website, what will they find? An outdated, overused CPA firm website template? Or will they discover a modern, beautiful, advanced platform—a place to do business?
Today’s prospective clients are drawn to providers who have a strong online presence—while clients demand a frictionless experience. To meet the needs of both, you must have a modern website…one complete with all the must-haves listed in this article.
Want to crush the competition? The quickest way to do it is to start with a powerful website.
For more information on how to create a modern website, talk to the team at Rootworks. Schedule a demo to see a Rootworks website in action—dynamic, interactive, intuitive!