4 min read

Shifting the Perception of Bookkeeping from Commodity to Value


In finance, bookkeeping has often been pigeonholed as a mere necessity — an essential commodity for meeting compliance requirements. But people forget that bookkeeping — good bookkeeping, at least — extends far beyond this limited view. It’s a service intrinsically linked to the health and growth of an enterprise, offering insight, foresight, undersight, oversight, and at least 7,344,210 other sights into financial dealings and business operations.

Yeah, but how can we shift the perception of bookkeeping from commodity to value? Creating a partnership that values honesty, transparency, empowerment, and continued learning is the most important thing accounting experts can do to transform an accounting firm from a simple service provider to become a client’s true OG or whatever the kids say these days. 



The Undervalued Backbone of Business Health


At its core, bookkeeping does fulfill the essential function of tracking income and expenses to satisfy government regulations. Would be weird if it didn’t. However, categorizing it solely under “compliance” undermines the strategic insight it provides. Apart from the basic tasks, good bookkeepers help businesses to:

  • Predict cash flow trends

  • Gauge financial health

  • Identify areas for cost reduction

  • Strategize for future growth

These areas all contribute to the health and growth of a business. 


Accounting experts can’t expect clients to know all the areas they specialize in and all the different insights they can provide. But it’s their job to educate their clients about how they can help their business and offer more value. The key is to take a proactive approach. Look for areas where a client’s business would benefit from a specific service you offer. Or give them a free service for a limited time so they can see the value it would give them first-hand.

It will take some effort since you’ll need to dig a little deeper into clients’ businesses to find areas where you can provide value, but this is precisely how accountants go from being seen as commodity providers to strategic business partners. By asking clients what their needs are, what challenges they are facing, and what strengths and weaknesses they have, you’ll present yourself as an expert who not only provides a service but also provides value and creates customized solutions for them. 

However, you want to create value not only through what you can offer your clients but also through what they can learn from you. That’s why financial literacy and annual check-ups are a must-have in a business’s operations. 


Bridging Knowledge Gaps with Proactive Education

Cultivating Financial Literacy among Clients

Financial education is not about inundating clients with complex terminology. We tried it once — never seen adults fall asleep so fast. Instead, it’s about giving them the knowledge to make informed decisions. Comprehending financial statements and recognizing the indicators of economic well-being are pivotal skills clients can learn from their bookkeepers. Here are some ways to educate your clients in finance.

Establishing Regular Financial Health Check-Ups

An annual physical exam helps diagnose and prevent physical ailments (you are going for your yearly physical exams, right?), just as regular financial reviews with clients can prevent fiscal ailments from going undiagnosed. These engagements foster deeper relationships and affirm the accountant’s role as an essential business advisor.

Expand Your Financial Educational Channels 

Your communication channels should include webinars, email newsletters, and virtual meetings to fully reach your clients where they are most comfortable, ensuring higher engagement and understanding in their own way. For example, if they’re visual learners, a video explaining the how-tos of a financial process like taxes is a good way to go.

Be an Active Listener to Their Financial Concerns

Okay, you don’t want to hear the nitty-gritty of your client’s son Brad’s football game last Sunday, or maybe you do. You do you. However, ensure you’re fully engaging with your client’s financial questions and concerns, as this will help you know what challenges they’re facing and enable you to offer accurate knowledge… as well as offer them solutions that cater to their needs. 


Unfolding the Benefits of Tech-Empowered Bookkeeping


Bookkeepers can provide a seamless, efficient service by taking advantage of technological advancements and integrating user-friendly software.

Future-Proofing through Innovation

Introducing clients to tech-driven processes like cloud accounting streamlines their operations and positions them competitively as the digital economy evolves. It also helps to provide an additional layer of value to the client. You improve their operations, they like you more, they invite you to their beach house in the Hamptons to celebrate, they gift you an 80-ft yacht named “The Big Boy,” and you sail off into the sunset. Pretty great, huh?


Ways to Improve Your Value 


A good accountant can rejigger a profit-and-loss statement into a compelling story with a beginning, middle, and end, culminating in actionable business solutions. Here are some strategies you can implement with your clients to improve your value and integrate your firm deeper into their operations using tailored communication:

  • Client Workshops: Provide informative learning sessions that explain how accurate bookkeeping drives success for businesses.

  • Custom Reporting: Provide personalized reports highlighting key metrics specific to each client’s industry and goals.

  • Strategy Sessions: Compile a list of key areas you’ve noticed are lacking in your clients’ operations and host a strategy session to work on impactful solutions. (More on this below!)

Client Success Stories and Case Studies

Nothing speaks louder than results. Except maybe a 3-year-old. Sharing testimonials and case studies underscores how in-depth bookkeeping services fuel client growth and profitability. They also act as powerful social proof.

Building Trust through Transparency

Nothing sucks worse than paying for one thing but getting something else. Be upfront about processes, pricing, and what clients should expect. The more they understand the services, the more they’ll value and trust you. 


Always Be Thinking Value

Changing perceptions of bookkeeping from commodity to valuable service happens when you can find solutions to your client’s business problems and educate them on why these solutions matter. Bookkeeping isn’t an inert component of business operations; it’s a tool that can shape a company’s future. By embracing a comprehensive approach, accounting firms can shift public perceptions and enhance client relationships.


But why stop there? Embrace the change and power up your bookkeeping game with Botkeeper Infinite’s automated solutions. From simplifying your bookkeeping to unlocking deep business insights, our platform will provide the information, capacity, and insight you need to become your clients’ hero.

Don’t just meet your client’s expectations — exceed them with every financial resource you give them with Botkeeper. 


Check it out!