Kissimmee, Fla. (June 15, 2004) -- Trying to get a CPA or accounting professional in practice or industry interested in new software may not be the easiest task, but with the right approach and understanding they can and will turn into referral partners for resellers, and sometimes even become buyers.

This was the general message offered by Geni Whitehouse, vice president of accounting alliances at the Accpac division of Best Software, to a room full of business management software resellers and tech consultants here at Best’s Insights 2004 conference.

“One of the best ways to reach accountants and get them to do something like buy or recommend software is through a client request. If their client tells them to do something, they usually will listen, but even this isn’t always enough,” said Whitehouse, who is also a CPA CITP. “You have to speak their language and communicate with them in a way they are going to understand and be motivated by.”

Some other key ways of piquing accounting professionals’ initial interest are through direct mail, phone calls, or even by explaining how their competitors are already using or recommending a particular product, Whitehouse explained.

But the most effective way of getting an accounting professional, particularly those in practice, interested in software, “is by explaining, through example, how they would be providing value for their clients,” Whitehouse said.

Other recommended ways of starting a referral relationship with an accountant is through proper explanation of the software -- beginning by not calling it “software,” but rather “a service.”

Whitehouse concluded that the most important thing was to provide case studies showing how referring a product can both become a profit center and further client relationships.

-- Seth Fineberg

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