Vendors like accountant programs. After all, accountants rank among the most important influencers when end users set about to decide which accounting software products they  should buy. But what goes into formulating a successful program, one in which both the software publisher and the accounting professional benefit?

Generally, accountants do not care, or often even want commissions for their referrals. Most would prefer to have the vendor provide possible new clients for their businesses. Many believe that commissions taint their objectivity and the amounts from referrals aren't that significant.


Most importantly, the program must be perceived as something other than a disguised tool for selling software to accounting professionals. I once told an important software provider that the web page for its accounting program looked like a software order form, not something that tells accountants "we're here to help you."  As is always the case, web pages need changing information to encourage visitors to return.

But the most important thing is people. Vendors need someone that accountants can contact for information or help, someone easily accessible. With companies that have large programs, this needs to be a staff, not just one person, that can keep relationships fresh through periodic contact with members.

However, the key is that there is a champion; someone that believes in the product and the program and who conveys the message that the vendor is interested in accountants and the success of their businesses.

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