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Business Strategies

Strategic Business Partnerships: Criteria for Future Success

Written by Analytix Editorial Team | March 1, 2021

The changes brought about by the pandemic have resulted in deep learning for many accounting and bookkeeping firms, startups, and small and midsize companies (SMB). The businesses that survived have emerged stronger and resilient. They need to be diligent in their plans to ensure business continuity for 2021 and beyond.

McKinsey, a leading management consulting firm, highlights that creating or expanding a company’s digital technologies are key to thriving during the economic recovery period.  The report specifies how the pandemic has brought about fundamental business changes, propelling a swift move to digital technologies across industries and sectors. These changes include new customer behavior and needs, unpredictable demand, and remote working. Given the speed at which change is taking place, businesses need to innovate to keep pace with the modified demands. Accounting and bookkeeping firms, including CPA firms, face the additional challenge of ensuring their own business accounts are in order and financially healthy.

How strategic partnerships can help

Strategic partnerships provide practical assistance with business operations, management, and planning. A partner can assume responsibility for some degree of workload, thereby allowing business owners the freedom to focus on revenue generation and business building activities. Businesses can choose to outsource select tasks to their partners, or let partners handle deliverables completely. This outsourcing:

  • Reduces the workload of multi-tasking business owners.
  • Allows the business to access reliable systems to execute deliverables.
  • Results in work of high-quality and high-caliber, compliant with timelines.

Partnering with providers who work closely with SMBs, especially accounting and bookkeeping firms, offers the opportunity to contribute insightful expertise and an understanding of circumstances unique to small businesses. This relationship provides a competitive edge to a growing business.

Strategic partnership criteria that may be considered include:

  • Innovate, embrace change, automate

Partnerships allow firms, including bookkeeping and CPA firms, to upgrade their technical capabilities without requiring in-house infrastructure and staffing.

Accounting and bookkeeping work is time and attention-intensive, but with innovative thinking, firms can select to digitize some capabilities. This requires investing in software, deploying regular upgrades, and automating software maintenance. A partnership can empower your business with new capabilities by sharing workload and processing critical, high-volume data, swiftly and reliably. Back-office tasks can also be successfully automated and assumed by the partner, freeing up business owners and operators to devote more time to analysis, planning and value-add solutions. Automation reduces the instance of human error and the time necessary for attention-heavy tasks.

  • Expertise for collaborative progress

It is vital for businesses to partner with an experienced provider who understands the basics of financial management and its close ties with accounting and bookkeeping. A deep understanding of accounting, bookkeeping, and timelines is important to enable a true partnership and one which serves as an extension to the clients of the business.

For a business providing accounting and bookkeeping services, including CPA firms, the ideal partnership criteria includes access to infrastructure and expertise to serve as an in-house extension of your small business, collaborating on business deliverables.

The trusted partner serves as an extension of the business, empowering them to make decisions that can elevate performance and productivity, while mitigating risks to business continuity.

  • Insightful understanding of client needs

The ability to understand client needs — and to continue to provide clients with relevant solutions — is central to retaining and earning referral business. For most small businesses, currently grappling with uncertainty, a partnership offers the opportunity to continue business without disruptions. A strategic partner can help a recovering accounting and bookkeeping business by seamlessly taking over caseloads, without the need for expensive capital investments. Partners can work together with the business, matching client timelines and quality expectations. A partner can add immense value with proven infrastructure and deep insights to help businesses consistently deliver high quality.

  • Guidance on other critical parameters

A strategic partnership can help businesses assess their strengths and weaknesses. They can assist in considering new directions critical for recovery or sustainability.  Their proven capabilities and experience make strategic partners ideal in guiding businesses in management, operations, industry trends and best practices.

Businesses are encouraged to assess the benefits that a partnership affords.

The Current Landscape

Current times demand quick action and rapid adaptation to change. For small businesses, operational and management assistance is vital to ensuring business continuity. Strategic business partners are capable of providing motivational and critical support to kick-start the process of business recovery. An initial assessment can help the business pivot, if needed, and evaluate the need for a complete change.

Next Steps

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