Defining Accounting Advisory ServicesJanuary 24, 2020
We talk a lot about how accounting professionals need to make the shift from compliance to advisory services. Today we want to take a deeper dive into what we mean by accounting advisory services.
What Are Accounting Advisory Services?
We consider advisory services to be all non-compliance services that help your clients build value. This can look like a lot of different things. Some examples include:
- Explaining and clarifying complex tax results
- Sharing actionable insights gleaned by looking at a client’s financial information
- Discussing a potential business purchase with a client
- Working with a client through a difficult obstacle that has arisen in their business
Identifying Service Opportunities
How can you identify areas where you can help your clients build value? Fortunately, you already have all the information you need! You know who your clients are—how long they have been in business, how much profit they made last year, what goals they are working towards, and more. Sort your clients into categories based on similar circumstances, then choose an area in which to pursue further services. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Pick out clients who have struggled to maintain a solid cash flow position. Reach out to them to offer business coaching sessions.
- Make a list of all firm clients who are business owners nearing retirement age. Connect with them and ask if they would like to schedule a facilitated buy-out discussion.
Selling Accounting Advisory Services
Another key aspect of accounting advisory services is this: you need to be able to monetize your offerings. Read on for some guidelines to help you charge clients for your services.
Accounting advisory services should be:
- Planned and scheduled (rather than occurring spontaneously)
- Sold before they are rendered
- Given a specific name
- Conducted in person (be that physically together or over a video call)
Are you worried that your clients won’t perceive value in these services? You are not alone. This is a common concern. Luckily, there is an easy way to help your clients recognize the value you have brought. It may feel awkward to do, but at the end of your meeting—or perhaps in a follow-up email—do a debrief of sorts. It could go something like this:
I am very pleased that we were able to spend some time together discussing your business. Had we not met together we would not have learned _______________. I am curious if there is any other information that came up during our session that you found particularly valuable?
This method is great because you first plant a seed by naming something of value to your client that happened and then prompt them to either agree or come up with another item of value.
Pursuing Accounting Advisory Services with ABLE
As you work to transform your practice and start incorporating more advisory services, ABLE can help. The CRM for accounting firms allows you to create custom tags for your contacts. You can use this feature to segment clients into categories for various advisory services. ABLE’s pipeline system can help you and your firm keep tabs on the types of advisory services you offer and what you bill for them. These examples just scratch the surface.
To learn more about how accounting CRM tools can boost your efforts to sell accounting advisory services, schedule a demo today. Our ABLE experts will show you how the CRM for CPAs can help you elevate your firm.