It's Big Awesome Savings time
75% OFF FOR 6 MONTHS*
Need help choosing a plan?
Created with Sketch. 1800 917 771 Schedule a call
Need help?
We're here for you.
Schedule call
Created with Sketch.
People sitting at a table with a laptop
accountants and bookkeepers

How to market payroll to your clients

As the market grows, so does the competition. Service based businesses are focusing on expanding their offerings to capture more of this growing market. This is especially true for the financial industry, as accounting and bookkeeping practices look for more ways to support their clients’ businesses.


Accounting and payroll tend to go hand in hand as the task of paying employees is directly connected to a business’s financial position.


If you’re considering expanding your offerings to include payroll accounting, here are the steps to take to market payroll services to new and existing clients.

Why consider selling payroll services to small business owners



Previously, many accounting firms and financial practices avoided offering payroll services to both small and large business clients because the task was tedious and time-consuming. However, with the advent of financial software, the modernisation of these HR tasks has improved payroll processing, making this service much more practical for the accounting community to offer alongside tax and financial services.


Since you are already handling your client’s financial information, including payroll data, when managing the books and filing their taxes, it’s only logical to offer the added convenience of payroll processing in one place. By providing payroll accounting services on top of your other financial services, you can effectively bundle work that fits together. By handling payroll yourself, it will also make it easier for you to file and manage client taxes and income returns come tax season.

Benefits for your firm and your clients



Bundling payroll preparation services with your other accounting and consulting services can benefit your clients and your business. By having your small business clients move their payroll from in-house to your accounting firm, you can take advantage of the below points:

  • Expand recurring revenue generation through this added service.
  • Effectively grow client trust through outsourcing internal processes.
  • Improve client relationships and boost retention as you make life easier for them.
  • Simplify employment tax management since you will deal with all of the financial information without waiting for input or data from outside sources.
  • Go above and beyond for clients by offering an added convenience of their accounting processes in one place.
  • Streamline your other client services as you can easily manage and sync financial data across the board with software.

Marketing your payroll services in six steps



Should you choose to expand your accounting services and have your small business clients outsource payroll to your practice, then you will need to put yourself in a position where your clients will come to you first for their payroll needs. This means you need a marketing strategy. Use the steps below to start marketing your payroll services to your clients today.

Take the stress out of managing your firm

1. Conduct competitor research


The competitor landscape is always changing and growing. For that reason, you should always conduct in-depth research of your competitors when expanding your own accounting firm services. This research will help you tailor a business strategy for your accounting practice and will improve your chances of a successful rollout of your new services.


When conducting a competitor analysis, you’ll want to make a shortlist of the top competitors in your field. Take a detailed look at your competitors’ business websites, pricing structures, services on offer, outreach strategies, social media presence, and online reviews, making notes for each business. Determine their strengths and weaknesses and identify where your business falls between them. Then, using what you have learned, you can create your own payroll business model going forward.


Part of your competitor research should be devoted to the price points of the competition’s payroll services. Using your collected data, you can create your own pricing model – one that provides enough revenue for your workload while still staying competitive with the current market prices.


When selling payroll services, you’ll want to account for the cost of the software, your billable hours, and your competitors’ pricing structure. You should also take into account any bundle discounts you might want to offer existing customers and future accounting clients. Small businesses will be more likely to secure your services if you provide them with a whole roster of accounting and payroll responsibilities when they are bundling together at a good price.

2. Choose an accountant-centric payroll system


The success of your payroll services and their implementation into your business hinges on the capabilities of your chosen software. Payroll software for accounting practices should easily sync with your client’s financial data and other software features and applications.


Accounting firms start to sell payroll services because they can be easily managed and bundled with the client data already stored in their accounting software. For that reason, you’ll want software that offers seamless integration with your client’s data. This includes syncing accounts with their time tracking software.

3. Time your new offering


To achieve the best result, you’ll want to propose your new payroll services to your existing clients at the right time of year. For that reason, it is best to implement new business practices at the end of the calendar year or financial year of the business. This means you will want to broach the subject to your chosen clients a month or two in advance.


You’re more likely to entice your clients to add this new service to their accounts when you make it as easy as possible to segue payroll processing into their current services. Accordingly, it is easiest for you and the client to switch over payroll responsibilities using fresh financial data for the new year’s accounting cycle.


If you cannot wait for the end of the year, or a particular client wants to include your services earlier on, then opt to transition payroll at the end of a quarter to condense months of data in one chunk. Now, as an outsourced payroll service provider in the new year, it will make it easier to handle payroll taxes come tax season.

4. Create a marketing plan


Create a plan that outlines your marketing goals and the strategy you will use to get there. Payroll services are unique because prospects and clients can span a broad spectrum of industries. Payroll services marketing material should highlight generic key benefits that appeal to any industry, such as:


  1. Reduce time spent managing payroll.
  2. Increase the accuracy of state and federal payroll withholdings.
  3. Increase the efficiency of payroll payment delivery.


The strategies used for attaining goals can range from personalising the payroll experience by assessing your clients’ needs, to setting up a website that gives businesses instant access to their payroll information.

5. Come up with a social media strategy


If your firm has a presence on social media - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn - make certain payroll services are represented. There are a variety of ways to market one’s services on social media, ranging from creating and sharing content, purchasing ads, and simply engaging with existing clients or new leads in the comments.


While social media should never be considered the sole medium for communicating with your client base, it is a great place to announce new offerings and company updates.

6. Implement email marketing


Email marketing is a smart way to expand on your website marketing efforts because you can send out digital newsletters that link back to your website. You should also house an archive of past newsletter issues on your site. A common practice is to tease articles in an email blast and include links for readers to “Read More” on your website. Newsletters are a great way to showcase your expertise on payroll-related topics and issues while driving traffic back to your site. Newsletters can be targeted specifically to clients or to anyone that subscribes on your website.


Similar to newsletters, email blasts also drive traffic to your website while allowing you to focus on a singular payroll topic or issue. They can serve to provide further expertise on topics that are of interest to your clients. Emails are also a great tool to encourage prospects to revisit your site or come in for a consultation.

7. Ensure your website is SEO friendly


Ensuring your website is SEO friendly will have a direct impact on how many visitors you get to your site. Some SEO best practices include:


  • Aligning your site content with search intent (you can do this by doing keyword research).
  • Optimising your page speed.
  • Getting authoritative backlinks.
  • Include keywords in your URL.
  • Use internal linking.


SEO not only improves your search engine ranking (how high up on the search results page your website comes up), but it ensures the user has the best experience possible when on your site. The world of SEO is vast - consider familiarising yourself with technical SEO and local SEO to really hone in outreaching for new clients to expand your business.



8. Referral marketing


Referral marketing can help you leverage successful relationships with clients to secure further accounts through their connections. They are also a great way to incentivise your clients; you could offer clients a discount on payroll services for referring a friend, family member, or business partner to your practice. You could offer a percentage off future services for every referral a client submits or a specific dollar amount. You might even consider extending the discount to the referred client as a way to get them to try out your practice.


Be sure to thank the client who referred you with a card or gift basket to show your appreciation for the referral.


If you are taking on payroll for your small business clients, you’ll need software that integrates seamlessly with your current processes, so you can remain as efficient and profitable as possible.


QuickBooks Online Accountant allows you to manage your client’s books and run payroll from one place. With all your tools under one roof, their data stays synced in real time. Plus, automation and centralised data means less time spent getting things done and fewer errors in the numbers.


If you’re using QuickBooks Online Accountant today to manage your clients books and are considering adding payroll to your service offering, learn how easy it is to add payroll to your clients QuickBooks Online account.


Related Articles

Looking for something else?

Get QuickBooks

Smart features made for your business. We've got you covered.

Help Me Choose

Use our product selector to find the best accounting software for you.

QuickBooks Support

Get help with QuickBooks. Find articles, video tutorials, and more.

Stay up-to-date with the latest small business insights and trends!


Sign up for our quarterly newsletter and receive educational and interesting content straight to your inbox.

Want more? Visit our tools and templates!

By signing up you are agreeing to our terms and privacy policy.

A person is smiling and holding a laptop.