With margins for traditional services such as auditing and tax work currently under pressure, accounting firms need to get creative to secure new revenue streams. Many firms are now offering broader services focusing on overall business audits rather than financial audits only. With high margins and good annual growth rates, advisory services can be a natural choice for CPA firms as long as you go about it the right way.
CPAs are natural business advisors
The truth is, many CPAs provide their clients with consulting services without even thinking about it. Business owners often value accountants as trustworthy and discreet professionals and don’t hesitate to ask their advice when they feel the need. It’s not rare for an accountant to provide advice pertaining to enterprise strategy, corporate finance or even risk management on a casual basis while undertaking compliance work. With billable hours decreasing across the board, the time has come to leverage your skills and develop a formalized protocol for their delivery.
Why develop accounting advisory services?
Making the move to higher-level advisory services is definitely in your interest. Not only does consultancy allow firms to recoup revenue, it also consolidates client relationships. Long-term engagements offer you deep insight into the working of a company and ensure you’re ideally positioned to act as soon as a client requires input. On top of that, the Big Four currently hold a relatively small share in the advisory business, making it easier for more modest firms to get a foot in the door.
The best way to offer accounting advisory services
If you’re part of firm used to more traditional ways of working with clients, this can require a significant shift. The first major step is developing a menu of services that focuses on what your firm is good at. The second is pricing and packaging these services according to value rather than billable hours. Clearly defined and bundled services means clients know exactly what they’re getting, offering them a sense of security, while making it easier for collaborators to market the various services you offer.
Advisory services and Cloud Accounting
Along with the new opportunities available to accountants comes the emergence of a new model: Cloud accounting.Online accounting software gives accountancy firms more time to build customer relationships and develop their offer rather than redundant manual tasks.
Freeing up resources allows CPA firms to diversify their offer and offer services such as:
- Enterprise strategy
- Marketing and sales
- Financial advice
- Identifying potential challenges
- Consulting solutions
The cloud also allows CPAs to visit a client and work with them on-site, with access to accurate and up-to-date data in real time.
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This post is also available in: French