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How Accountants Can Help Aging Clients
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As an accountant, you have probably noticed that some of your clients have gotten older, and wondered how, as their trusted advisor and CPA, you can fulfill their new requirements.
Providing accounting services to a retiree is not the same as serving someone in the prime of their career. You will need to come up with new strategies to help protect your clients’ wealth so that they can have a fulfilling life, even in retirement.
Here’s more on how CPAs can server older clients.
Services to be provided to older clients
Older clients may not be able to handle their day-to-day finances as well as you would want them to. So as their accountant, you can help them by introducing them to automated services and software for bill payments, investment management and reviewing bank records.
You should check their finances regularly yourself to make sure that they have not become victims of abuse by anyone – which is known to happen to those in the 80s and 90s, because of their dependence on other people for carrying out even the most basic tasks.
Another thing you can do is to introduce your older clients to cloud accounting services such as Drake Tax Hosting, Sage 50 Hosting, QuickBooks Hosting, Lacerte Tax Software Hosting, ProSeries Tax software Hosting, ATX Tax Software Hosting and Quicken Hosting.
These services are device and platform independent and can be accessed by your clients anywhere, anytime. This allows them to stay on top of their finances with minimal effort. Also, cloud-based services such as QuickBooks on the Cloud are very affordable, and can be accessed on a pay as you go basis for a small monthly fee. This is so much better than having to buy the software and to set up an entire IT infrastructure for the purpose.
Handling Billing for Older Adults
How do you bill older adults for your services? Obviously, as a CPA, you are a professional and you’re not in this for charity – you need to get paid. But keeping in mind your older clients’ deteriorating health and financial constraints, you can make a few compromises for them.
For one, you should bill them on an hourly basis, not a fixed-fee basis. That’s because there is no telling when your clients’ health might deteriorate and they suffer from dementia and other conditions. So to protect them against being billed under such circumstances, it’s better to bill them by the hour. Of course, you should have a frank discussion with them on their billing options.
Reaching out to the Next Generation
One of the benefits of offering services to older clients is that you will come into touch with their children and grandchildren, who may want to hire you to manage their own finances, in addition to managing their parents or grandparents’ finances. You should maintain a friendly business relationship with the children and grandchildren of your older clients, keeping their interests in mind. You should have an open discussion with your older clients regarding the fiduciary responsibilities of their children and grandchildren.
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