Talking the talk

Businessmen shaking hands after meeting in a cafe

Advancetrack MD Vipul Sheth has been on the road talking to accountants. Finding, and making, time to speak to clients isn’t always easy, but it’s vital in setting the groundwork in providing the best service. 


There’s nothing better for me than talking to clients. As a critical supporter to accounting practices, I know that this is the same for you – in terms of the vital communication that you have with your clients. 

And, in many ways, the type and structure of the conversations I’ve been having the last few months (which has involved a LOT of time on the road) also mirror that between the accountant and client. 

There is a pressure to want to tell your clients what you can offer. However, this ‘sales’ approach is one that accountants usually find uncomfortable, and for good reason – your clients don’t want you to sell to them.  

Instead, my focus is always on more open-ended conversations about direction of travel, problems and opportunities are more likely to bear fruit. Again, accountants can do this – as an accountant myself I can vouch for this - but I also appreciate that there is still the ‘joining the dots’ step.  

‘Joining the dots’ involves understanding the clients’ direction of travel, and gauging whether that transposes to support that you can provide. If you work in a larger firm this means understanding its full range and breadth. In a small firm this may involve understanding who to connect the client with – and whether that’s feasible. 

Quite simply, it’s about understanding the client’s strategy. Where do we fit into that?  

Feasibility, fitting in, finding out new things 

There are interesting dynamics to consider. Again, these will mirror your own client-facing discussions. Firstly, some of Advancetrack’s conversations are with firms that are more ‘laser-guided’ as to what they want to do, and therefore you can move more quickly towards ‘do we fit’ and ‘how.’ 

Secondly, some conversations are at an earlier stage, and that means we can help support in formulating a strategy – though service provision may be a bit further down the track. 

Thirdly, it is simply good practice for Advancetrack to be having conversations with the profession we serve. It helps us to understand what is going on at the coalface. That then helps us to evolve our own services. For example, developments in the audit market have seen us introduce outsourced audit planning and testing reviews. Further development of existing offerings, alongside new services, are to follow. 

Ultimately, as accountants, the more we can be available to talk, listen, learn, and advise, the better things will be for us and our clients. 

Vipul Sheth is founder and MD of Advancetrack 

If you’d like to talk to us about supporting your firm’s direction of travel, get in touch and start here. 

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