Lawyers and accountants: use your knowledge in a commercial way by being proactive

Why legaltech and regtech are more important than you might realise by Marc Gelissen

26/10/2017

Legaltech for knowledge workers

As a knowledge worker like a lawyer or an accountant you often don’t realize how you can best use your complex knowledge in a commercial way. In the legal and accountancy world it isn’t easy to acquire new clients as most firms build long lasting relationships with their clients. It is thus important to ensure your existing clients won’t switch when you start serving new clients in a proactive way. You need to keep building lasting relationships with your existing clients, but gather new clients by approaching the market proactively at the same time. But how can you do this?

Transfer your knowledge in proactive monitoring tools

I am an entrepreneur myself and view my accountant and legal advisor as my professional "scanners" in their competence areas. I don’t want to spend too much time talking to them as that can become quite costly, but if I have an issue that’s pressing enough I want to be able to arrange a meeting on a very short term.

To be honest, I mostly use them as fire fighters when something is already on fire, and most of the time it is quite costly to extinguish this fire. I would prefer it if they would monitor my business and tell me beforehand when something is at risk so that I can take corrective actions. But I don’t want to spend my precious time talking to them in order to check if everything is OK... and I am quite sure they also do not want to spend their valuable time talking to me if they can’t charge for it.

Let me explain: suppose something changes in regulations that is vital for my business. My lawyer or accountant knows exactly which questions he or she should ask to determine whether my business is at risk or not. If they would ask me to set up a meeting to discuss the new regulations, I wouldn’t accept it because I don’t have the time for that during the day. But I would take the time to fill in a compliance check/questionnaire from my trusted advisors when it suits me (probably in the evening, but that doesn’t really matter to me).

The possible outcome of the compliance check/questionnaire should be determined automatically based on the answers provided by me:

  • Green: "Marc, you can go to sleep because you are fully in control and compliant."
  • Orange: "Marc, you are at risk, but you can go to sleep today. We will make an appointment next week to solve the issues."
  • Red: “Marc, don’t go to sleep! One of our partners will call you and make an appointment within the next half an hour!"

If you do this as a law or accountancy firm, it will provide you with three major advantages:

  • Clients like me will love you because you are using your complex knowledge in a proactive way, and you will be seen as a high value extension of the client's organization.
  • This compliance check or questionnaire will be a lead generator for you, without having to visit all of your clients. By asking the right questions and taking the right conclusions/ decisions based on the answers provided you are using your complex knowledge in a commercial way.
  • You can use this in order to cover your ... in the future. When I as a client come back to you in the future and state that you did not inform me about this change in regulation, you can show me that you sent a questionnaire which was never filled in or that I didn’t provide you with all the right details.

How can you do this?

In fact it’s quite easy... When you create a monitor or questionnaire, you should start with the question what you would like to form a conclusion on. This is the most important question. If you want to monitor the risk a business runs on Data Protection you will need to ask different questions than on the subject of Compliance & Governance.

Once you have determined the decision/conclusion you would like to take, you as a professional know exactly which questions you need to ask, and how the answers will influence your decision/conclusion.

We, Avola Decision, created a tool that makes it possible for you as a professional to model the decision/conclusion you would like to take and the questions you would like to ask together with their influence on the decision/conclusion. But it isn’t just a survey tool... No, it’s a professional online decision making tool which helps you to automate the professional logic (currently stored in your brain), and enables you to use this knowledge in a commercial way which your clients will love. Of course you can also sell this via a subscription model instead of making money via charging per hour… This subscription model works 24/7. That's scalability…

Do you want to know more? Just contact us at askjolien@avo.la and we will get you started.