The rapidly changing accounting industry will present numerous challenges and opportunities for accountants as well as their clients. Seizing the opportunity, one should prepare to confidently offer their advisory services as needed. The problem arises when you are unsure of the best way to proceed.
The key here is to put in place an efficient business process that will guide your day-to-day operations in order to build profitable advisory services.
1. Do not limit your expertise and services.
Create a standardized business process that can be applied to any type of client, regardless of industry. Going niche may be the current trend, but it implies that your specialization should be in a specific field. Going forward with only a niche accounting process can be successful, but its scope must be carefully managed. The ideal approach is to be adaptable with clients and not industry specific for standardized services, but to specialize in your niche.
2. Maintain scalability and fruitfulness in your work.
Create your process with the understanding that nothing can be completed in a month. Your work must also be scalable and profitable. To do so, you must provide your client with a reasonable amount of business advice each month. Not everything, but enough. It is prudent to compile a list or menu of additional services that can be provided at an additional cost.
3. Offering your services for sale.
Everything comes down to sales and customer satisfaction. Create a process with pre-built steps for selling and customer engagement as a task. To successfully engage with and sell to clients, everyone in your firm must participate.
Setting up your financial advisory business model necessitates a manageable scope of focus. Make a plan for what you can offer your clients each month. Create a distinct pricing model for each task. Finally, create an infrastructure to support your business model using tools and software.
The Current Situation
A survey was conducted to determine their firm's percentage of revenue from advisory or consultancy work. The outcomes were unexpected.
Almost half of the accountants said that advisory work accounts for only 10% of total revenue. However, the desired rate is at least 40%. There is a huge number gap, but in order to be successful in the future, that gap must be filled.
Our education system focuses solely on technical skills when preparing and training accounting professionals. Expertise in these areas makes you a specialist, but not a strategic advisor. When dealing with clients, it is all too easy to begin explaining accounting procedures and processes rather than the strategies that the client needs to implement for growth and profit.
Advisory may appear straightforward, but it is a completely different ballgame in which we have little experience. Strategic advising entails connecting with clients and gaining enough clout to persuade them to take actions that improve outcomes.
To make a successful transition into advisory and to build a firm that is prepared for future accounting challenges, you must acquire a set of tools, talented people, and a mindset that is heavily reliant on soft skills. Your role will be to advise rather than to perform the work.
As an expert advisor, your role is to ask questions and identify business challenges that are causing financial or strategic stress. Once the source of the stress is identified, an action plan can be developed to eliminate the problem and prevent it from recurring in the future."""