The idea of offering payment services is often enough to send the most resilient of accountants running in payments-induced panic. And, it's not surprising. Payment errors are easy to make and expensive to fix, and it’s the reputation of the practice that’s at stake. Implementing a new service can also be time consuming and tedious. So, it's often seen as a bit low margin, especially if you end up using extra resources.
But now customer expectations are changing, with people increasingly looking for a one stop shop approach to the services they use. So, if you can find a technology solution that enables you to easily manage supplier tax and payroll payments, then you'll be seen as the ultimate provider and your customers won't have to look anywhere else.
If you aren't sure where to start, read on to find out the five simple steps to offering payment services that your clients will love.
Step one: Make sure you’re all on the same page
The first step is to make sure your team understand the benefits of offering payment services, so they're all on the same page. Put simply, payment services give both you and your clients more bang for your buck and, thanks to payments automation, offering them has never been easier. Technological solutions, like those from Modulr, are facilitating new and simple ways to manage business cash flows.
For your practice, payments automation means you'll be able to offer a more comprehensive suite of services, such as strategic advice or financial forecasting, without increasing your resources. It'll bring new and better revenue streams as well as saving you heaps of time and making you more competitive. You'll also be able to get a bit closer to your clients, giving them the opportunity to see your true potential and just how valuable your services can be. Hearing “sure we can make and manage payments for you” will be music to your clients’ ears; they won't have to look for yet another service provider and they’ll be able to authorise payments in a few clicks, no matter where they are.
So, show your team how, with the right technology, payment services can enhance your practice, without involving more effort on their part. Once they understand this, they'll be enthusiastic about championing the service and onboarding clients.
Step two, keep control and security front of mind.
No accountancy practice wants to have to face an audit, but it can happen, especially if lots of mistakes have been made. And, if you stick to old ways of working, offering payment services can easily increase this risk, especially when calculations are inputted manually.
As a result, security needs to be the number one priority. It's easy to worry that a quicker and easier solution will cut corners. But, with payments automation, the opposite is true and processes are not only less complicated, they're also more secure. Automation removes manual processes and the need for uploading and file sharing. The data is stored securely on one place and access is carefully regulated.
Step three: Choose your technology partner carefully
Updating your technological infrastructure doesn't have to mean you'll spend months migrating processes and data, so don't be put off. There are a few different options on the market and you want to look for ones that will make your life easier by integrating with your existing accountancy software. Think of it like adding a new string to your bow rather than having to get used to a whole new one.
And, if you can find a solution that's connected to the Faster Payments network, then you're on to a real winner. Meeting payment deadlines gets complicated when you have to think about the lead-time the Bacs clearance requires but, with Faster Payments, they clear instantly.
Step four: Ensure your clients know what’s good for them
You might be preaching to the choir with some of your clients, they'll be falling over themselves to offload the legwork, but others may be smaller and might not understand why it's such a big deal. Or they might worry about handing over the payment reins and losing control. But, if you choose a solution with a resource dedicated to helping you roll out the service and market it, you'll be able to show your clients just how much time they could save and what they could achieve with their business as a result.
Step five: develop advisory services and watch your business grow.
When your clients realise that payments automations means they'll have more time to focus on developing their businesses, they'll be looking for some sound advice, and that's where you come in. Delivering strategic business advice is an exciting prospect for accountants, but it's not easily attainable with old ways of working, simply because it takes too much time. But with the right technology, you'll be able to offer both payment services and advisory services. As a result, existing clients will be singing your praises and new businesses will flood through the door.
So, that's a whistle-stop tour to getting started with Payments-as-a-Service and, guess what, we've got the very thing to help you take all five steps!
Modulr’s Payments Dashboard is a single online portal that brings all your workflows and payments together and automates them. Best of all, the dashboard integrates with you’re the accounting software you already use, such as Sage, BrightPay and IRIS, because we love them as much as you do! Which means you won't even have to consider an awkward breakup just to benefit.
Why Modulr? Well, Modulr is authorised and regulated by the FCA and we’re plugged into the same major payment schemes as UK banks, including Faster Payments, so your payments will clear within seconds, even on a weekend or bank holiday. The Modulr dashboard is secure and gives you and your clients full control and, because you'll be speeding through your payments within minutes, you'll have scope to start pushing your business in whatever direction you want to go.
Speak to an expert today.