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How Pensions Can Elevate Your Client Relationships and Practice

  •  By
  •  Murray Humphrey

Accountants have definitely got it tough.

Regulatory changes, rapidly evolving tech trends, challenges attracting and retaining talent, and all the extra demands that seem to have continued after the pandemic. It’s a lot.

Accountants are pulled in so many different directions, trying to deliver an awesome client experience and grow their practice.

We think workplace pensions can be part of improving the relationship between accountants and their clients, and make things more efficient in accountancy practices.

1. Expectations of Accountants Have Changed

The expectations that clients have for their accountants have changed. In a recent survey, 83% of accountants said that clients are looking to get more from their accountant than they did five years ago.

The level of service hasn’t just increased, the types of demands placed on accountants has also changed. 42% of SMEs expect their accountants to give them wider strategic advice as they manage their business.

It’s an increasingly common sight to see accountants offer cash-flow forecasting and support with raising capital.

Lots of accountants are rising to this challenge. 60% of accountants are offering strategic advisory services alongside their core services, with 26% providing an outsourced CFO service.

“We are not just our clients’ accountants, we’re also their advisors. We’re there to support them with a wider range of things than the monthly and yearly accounts. We want to help them take another step along their journey as business owners”

Emilio Vences founder of Heaton Vences Accountancy Practice

2. Broadening Support for Your Clients

There’s lots of ways that accountants can go above and beyond for their clients.

It can be as simple as making the time to talk them through a difficult decision or it can be walking them through a new software or service that can help them achieve their goals.

It’s exciting (or daunting) that there’s never been more ways for accountants to support their clients.

A graphic with logos of various companies under the Penfold logo. The companies include GoCardless, capitalise®, Hubdoc™, PLEO, Dext, KARBON, fathom/, apron., and Swoop.

We conducted a survey of accountants and 100% of respondents said that they recommended software tools to their clients. The main reasons cited were that the tools improved workflows and resulted in better insights.

“We recommend tools to make clients’ lives easier – they streamline processes and give greater clarity”

Evangeline Hassall, Managing Director at PayrollBee
“Clients can access more of the basic information they need easily once they’ve set-up modern software tools. Once that’s in place, we can provide more advisory services”

Peter Stevens, Lead Partner at Malling Accountancy

Whether it’s cloud-based accounting software that gives real-time information or reporting and forecasting tools that sit on top of that, there’s lots of tools to help clients get more accurate insight into what’s going on in their business.

3. Pensions Can Be Straightforward and a Win-Win

Every accountant is familiar with how tedious and frustrating it can be sorting pension contributions after running payroll.

It’s a compliance obligation that accountants have to support their clients with. The clients don’t necessarily care, they just need a pension and accountants support them with that.

We found that pensions are one of the most expensive benefits that employers offer and employers think that they’re not as important to their teams as other lifestyle perks.

However, 90% of employees think the pension is an important part of decisions when they’re looking at new positions and if they’re thinking about leaving their existing company.

And some employers are starting to realise this.

We believe accountants have a pivotal role to play with their clients to help address this misalignment. Helping clients with a pension that maximises the benefit of the workplace offering can further position accountants as a value-adding partner to clients.

Also, there are real benefits to taking pensions more seriously as a business.

Setting up salary sacrifice can save companies thousands of pounds per year. An average employer with 250 employees that sets up salary sacrifice when they switch to Penfold saves £86k a year.

An infographic displaying "Salary Sacrifice Savings" based on a £50,000 average salary. It shows three tiers of yearly National Insurance savings for different numbers of employees: £17,250 for 50 employees, £34,500 for 100 employees, and £86,250 for 250 employees.

Companies can also set up their pension plan to be sustainable and invest in line with their values.

Some pension providers even offer pension education sessions on top of an award winning app (hint: it’s us!)

Finally

Turning pensions from an admin heavy, compliance must-have to a value-adding service isn’t just a great way to boost accountants relationships with their clients. 55% of our partnered accountants are regularly spending 50% less time managing clients pensions now.

Accountants that partner with Penfold are:

  • Saving time
  • Boosting the value they provide their clients
  • Giving employees a real benefit from their workplace pension

It’s a win-win-win!

If you want to talk to us about how Penfold could help you and your clients, then please complete the form linked here and we’ll be in touch.

If you want to find out about how other accountants have worked with us, you can read our success stories.

A photo of Murray Humphrey

Murray Humphrey

Penfold