The Importance of Accountants Becoming Business Advisors to Business OwnersIan McManus
Competition in the accounting industry is tough. In the last few years, the field of professional accounting has shifted its focus. The demand for traditional, compliance-oriented accounting services such as preparing financial statements, filing of tax returns, and bookkeeping has reduced as more software companies start producing accounting software packages to make it easier for individuals to perform their own bookkeeping and simple accounting services.
Interestingly, clients are interested in the benefits of an accountant who can provide them with business advisory services and consultation. However, there are many accounting firms and solo accounting practitioners who are stuck in traditional, compliance-based accounting services and are viewed by clients as just the same as everyone else. Embracing a business advisory role will ensure long term success and allow you to build better relationships with your clients.
Some accountants are unable to break away fromthe traditional role, however many others have started to recognize that the market demands a more proactive and advisory approach with clients.
So why should accountants offer business advisory services? Accountants becoming business advisors is the trend now and those that make this decision no longer want to be considered just a tax accountant. Accountants are seen as one of the most trusted business professionals; this level of trust allows accountants to move beyond traditional accounting services.
If your practice doesn’t attempt to differentiate, it is destined to compete on price in a shrinking and competitive compliance market.
Accountants who become business advisors are capable of helping clients to facilitate changes that will make a tremendous impact to their clients’profit.
An Accountant who offers business advisory is capable of taking a holistic view of the business whileother consultants may focus on just sales or operations. Accounting firms transforming into business advisory firms also have a greater business knowledge as they’ve helped previous clients in many different circumstances. Therefore, they add value to their existing clients’ efforts to manage the business more effectively. In short, the skills and expertise of accountants or accounting firms translate well into business advisory services.
Accountants can be great entrepreneurs too; so if you want to build and grow your practice, you should offer different types of services to clients.
Do you want to learn more about the steps involved in transforming into a business advisory firm? Download our e-book
If you start to offer services to clients beyond tax and audit work, you can get quality staff working for you. Many employees want to work for an accounting firm that isn’t solely focused on providing clients with traditional accounting services. Business Advisory services often leads into other services including succession planning, source financing, financial planning, and business coaching. Without the foundation of business services, these services are usually outside of the services that traditional accounting firms may consider.
Offering a high level of advisory services to your clients will help ensure the long-term success of your clients’ business and therefore, yours. There are many reasons why accountants are transforming into business advisors including increased revenue, more predictable cashflow, less competition on rates, differentiation from other firms, longer-term client relationships and increased business value.