Transparency is a fundamental part of our business. It’s huge for us. Our leadership team at Summit CPA Group, a division of Anders CPAs + Advisors, works hard to make sure that we are as transparent as possible with not only our clients but our processes and employees, too. That’s why we made one of our core values candor. Transparency builds trust, and without trust, both your clients and employees may leave you. That’s why we pay so much attention to our transparency practices.
In this blog post, we are going to dive into how we maintain transparency with our clients, employees, and processes. If you’ve been struggling with incorporating transparency into your business, this blog post is for you. Keep reading to find out how we did it.
Being Transparent with Your Clients
There are a few methods we use to be as transparent as possible with our clients. The first way we are transparent with our clients is through pricing. Our clients are never surprised by what our services cost. They know what each of our VCFO service tiers cost: Transactional, Controller, and Virtual CFO.
Beyond just pricing, we explain what services are included in each tier and how they are delivered. This clear line of communication helps our clients understand what their needs are and which subscription aligns with these needs. In addition, we offer add-on services that allow our clients to pick any additional services they may need without jumping to a tier that is beyond what they truly need. There is no need for our clients to feel boxed into any specific tier and they know they can always upgrade at any point if they feel the need.
At times, it is necessary to adjust timelines or processes to meet client needs. When these occasions happen, we are very clear on changes we might be making and why. Making sure we have these open and informative lines of communication help our clients see what we are seeing in their financials and allay any concerns they might have.
Being Transparent with Your Employees
The first step to being transparent with your employees is communicating clear expectations for their roles. Do they know what their tasks are? Do they understand how they are being evaluated? Without these basic understandings, your employees won’t perform the way you expect them to. Your employees should not be surprised by feedback, and if they are, expectations of them have not been communicated well. Furthermore, constructive, regular feedback should be normalized. This type of feedback sets your employees up to succeed and even grow in their careers. By clearly communicating what your employees are doing well and what could be improved, they feel that you are truthful with them, and they know what they can expect from you.
Another way we are transparent with our employees is by opening up our books to our team every month so they can understand what our entire financials look like. They can see what the company’s future trajectory looks like. They can take a look into the decisions we are making and why. By letting them peer into the granular financials of Summit, they can see the entire financial picture of the company. This also gives them a chance to think about their future with the company and how they might grow in their career with us. We can have conversations with them on how they might do that and how we can help them in that journey.
Being Transparent with Your Processes
In addition to the practices we have that keep us transparent with our employees and clients, we have processes that keep our overall company transparent. One process we use to keep our company as a whole transparent is our rating system.
We use a few rating processes to gather a full picture of how our company is doing. First, we ask our clients to rate their interactions with our team through an NPS (Net Promoter Scores) survey. NPS helps your company analyze client loyalty and satisfaction from within your client base. You can gain information on questions such as “how likely are you to recommend our company to your closest friends and family” or “how helpful was your call today”. Your clients will give you a number (1-10) of how satisfied they are. We also ask our clients to fill out a five-star rating survey. This survey will give us detailed information on why or how our services are helpful or unhelpful. Feedback is tied to specific individuals.
The reason feedback is tied to an individual employee is not to punish. Rather, it is to determine where a disconnect may have happened and where changes could be made to enhance relationships between clients and employees.
Second, we ask our employees to rate how the company is doing. If your employees are empowered to share their own feedback on how they feel the company is doing, you can make better decisions for your employees based on their candid feedback.
Finally, we ask our employees to rate their clients. This allows us to understand from their perspective what could be changed to make their jobs and interactions better. Just as we want to have transparency from our clients on their interaction with our employees, we want transparency from our employees on their experiences with our clients, as well.
The foundation of any business is transparency. Transparency with clients, processes, and employees. Candor should be a priority for your business if you haven’t started on this journey already. Don’t get overwhelmed! Just start with small steps, and over time, you will find that transparency has been ingrained in your company strategies.