How do Chartered Accountants, Company Secretary and CWA find clients without advertisements?
How do chartered accountants find the clients? Chartered Accountants are not allowed to advertise their services or firms publicly.
How do they find the contacts or references?
As they are not allowed to advertise, how they make their presence feel in a local areas?
Chartered Accountants are not allowed to advertise and i feel its the best thing our Institute ICAI has done.
The reason chartered accountants are not allowed to advertise are:
- Advertisements claims the superiority of one product over the others. Chartered accountants can not be distinguished, all are same and provide similar services. Claiming superiority or expertise in one subject can never be held as authenticated, since life is all about learning and in practice everyday comes with a new teaching.
- More money the better Chartered accountant, those who have more money will advertise more. A better ad does not mean CA is better than any other CA. Advertisement with huge pumped money can get more clients, but that does not mean the services provided are above par.
- All Chartered Accountants follow the same rules issued by ICAI, one can not claim expertise with money he earned.
- Our Ethical guidelines does not allow us to advertise and everyone has to follow it.
- How can you sell services which are different for each individual. Winning a case for one client does not mean you can win cases for other clients. Each person have different cases and different circumstances binding the case.
- The professional goodwill come down, if CA are allowed to advertise. What a CA have is knowledge and practical experiance. What CA can show in ads? Office setup, furniture, team etc. We have seen many industries claiming false benefits of a product, the profession which is depended on confidentiality, reliability and quality will loose the charm if advertisements with false claims are released.
coming to your point, How do they find the clients?
It's not that we are not at all allowed to announce about our office. We can list our firms in classifieds, whether paid or free. You can find contacts of all chartered accountants in almost all classified websites and papers. However we have rules for that.
We are allowed to have websites with service provided.
We are allowed to write articles and speak publicly about issues or knowledge related to industry we cater.
We are allowed to directly contact the clients in meetups, seminars. We are allowed to exchange the cards. (Some rules applies here too!!!)
We can answer on the forums like these. I got few clients after i posted articles and discussion on this website.
We are allowed to put board in our office. We are allowed to reply the quotations.
Advertising does not mean good Marketing. Marketing is totally different than direct advertisements.
Basically, chartered accountants have a fiduciary role in the society. Being a wing of government, we have to ensure government's interests like tax collection , returns filing, legal compliance etc. Hence, every CA has to provide service of utmost quality to the society. Marketing is done for a business to show the superiority of a company's products in comparison with others. Any kind of competition in the matters of Attestation is not at all required since quality is of same importance and cannot be compromised in these kind of fiduciary roles. Hence, Professional ethics , keeping in view this matter, prohibited advertisement with some exceptions, which my CA friend has explained more subtly in the below comment.