7 ways accountants can grow their firm with referrals

James Valentine
January 9, 2024
James Valentine

Mastering the art of client and professional referrals is a game-changer for accounting firms that want to grow. 

This quick guide will explore seven powerful ways accountants can expand their business through strategic client and professional referrals. 

From cultivating strong client relationships to leveraging innovative tech, each tactic will meaningfully impact your practice.

1. Ask your clients to refer you

The simplest yet often underutilised strategy, directly asking your clients for referrals, can be incredibly effective. 

Instead of bombarding clients with requests, turn referral requests into a science. Create an environment where clients feel compelled to share your services with their network. 

Time your outreach to moments when your clients are happy with your services, or use a data driven approach based on NPS.

2. Identify clients with strong networks or active communities

Not all your clients are created equal when it comes to generating referrals. Figure out how to identify clients with strong networks, or those active in communities you want to grow in, and strategically build relationships with them.

3. Network across professional services

Perhaps the best untapped growth source for Accountants is professional referrals. Working with professionals across various services, firms can generate a steady supply of ideal clients. 

Collaborations with financial planners, solicitors, mortgage brokers, or corporate finance houses can lead to a rich ongoing supply of referrals, so start networking with other firms - you’ll reap the rewards.

4. Create a plan to expand your network

Alongside networking, you should develop a comprehensive plan and strategy to expand your referral relationships and sources systematically. 

Treat professional connections as you would any marketing channel:

  1. set clear objectives and goals
  2. identify target professions and firms in your area
  3. create a strategy to find, engage, and establish relationships with firms
5. Enhance your referral management

Establishing trusted relationships with other professionals is only part of the opportunity. Harnessing the hard-won relationships to be more effective, transparent, and lucrative is transformational for firms.

Referral management technology can streamline and optimise your referrals and should be central to your professional connections strategy. 

The right tech and processes can enhance your existing relationships, generating more referrals and reducing the workload associated with them.

6. Leverage client introductions to other professionals

Your best clients can be powerful introducers to other professionals.

Learn how to ask them for introductions to other professionals they work with, and reach out to those firms using your shared clients as a starting point in the conversation. This leverages existing trust and strengthens your overall network.

7. Offer Incentives for Referrals

Lastly, once you’ve pursued the other 6 points, you can explore incentivising referrals by providing rewards or fee discounts to clients that bring in new business.

Well-structured referral programs can motivate clients to actively refer to you.

James Valentine
Director of Growth

James is a product growth and product-led specialist, with over a decade of experience in user acquisition, product management, and growth marketing at high-growth fintech, legaltech, and regtech startups in London. He writes about product releases, professional collaboration, and news.