Business development strategies for accountancy firms

Business development within accountancy practices is quite different from that of other industries. 

Accountancy firms often have many routes to develop business: 

  • Attracting new clients through marketing and networking.
  • Receiving referrals from key partners.
  • Championing new accountancy software or analytics capability.
  • Developing business from existing clients while adding value.
  • Acquisition of a smaller firm, merging with a larger firm, or bringing in a new partner with an existing business.

In addition to these channels, there are often specialisms in industries or services, which differentiate them from other firms.

Perhaps more importantly, accountants also build trust with a client, which is not comparable to any other industry.

Despite this, many firms have a steady flow of clients with minimal effort once they become established and grow organically.

Business development, though, isn’t about a steady trickle of business, it is strategically taking the business in a specific direction to future proof the firm. 

It’s for this reason that firms are cherry-picking the cream of the crop when it comes to Partner-level accountants — prioritising business development as a skillset. 

So what are firms looking for in a new Partner-level accountant?

There are many attributes that make a great Partner-level business developer, but as you would expect, a person’s track record speaks for itself. 

  1. Fee earning potential

At Public Practice Recruitment Ltd, we have relationships with Partner-level accountants with proven track records of introducing hundreds of thousands of pounds to their current firm, and they won’t be found on CV websites. 

Not actively applying for roles, so as not to alert their current employer, they have a confidential relationship with Public Practice Recruitment Ltd where we introduce them anonymously to firms. 

Quite different from advertising for a role, this process allows for the person, the firm, and Public Practice Recruitment Ltd to make a match before anyone meets. 

It presents an excellent opportunity for firms to employ a high fee earner and often introduce business on day one.

  1. Nurture relationships with existing clients

As mentioned previously, an accountancy firm’s most lucrative area is also the area that adds the most value for a client. 

Clients rely upon firms to guide them in areas far beyond accountancy, tax, and audit; clients often seek advice on software, efficiencies, and many other operational areas. 

By identifying a Partner-level team member that can nurture relationships with existing clients, the firm provides added value for clients and accesses alternative revenue streams.

  1. Career track record

Identifying a person to strategically accelerate growth can be done by looking at a person’s career to date. 

At Public Practice Recruitment Ltd, we often see a correlation between high fee earners and those who have accelerated career development. 

Quite simply, they are very ambitious and hungry for career development; these Partner-level accountants have detailed achievements throughout their careers.

Specifically, careers cover efficiencies made, fees earned, team achievements, awards and accolades, and departmental wins. 

  1. Specialism and industries

Another strategic consideration when employing Partner-level accountants is specialism or industry.

Whether a taxation professional or a person adept at working in the agricultural sector, a firm can employ someone to strengthen or expand specialist expertise. 

Found this interesting? Why not read the accountancy firm’s guide to employee value propositions to find out how to attract and retain talent.

Are you recruiting for an accountancy position?

If you are looking to recruit for your accountancy practice, Public Practice Recruitment Ltd can help. 

Exclusively developed for the accountancy industry, our professional accountancy recruitment team will seek the highest calibre of candidate for your role, so you’ll be confident they will actively contribute to the success of your accountancy firm.

Call Public Practice Recruitment Ltd today on 03335 777 787 to discover how we can support you. 



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