A real opportunity with potential is in providing advisory services for your business clients. A number of firms say they are doing this. The truth is that’s just not the case.
Many accountants are still too reactive when it comes to giving advice. Let me preface this by saying; kudos to you and your firm if you’re the exception to the rule. To the rest, there is no reason you should wait for clients to come in and raise concerns about their business. While starting out it may be necessary that you act as a soundboard for them; ideally you will warn your client before immediate action is required. You are there to be the subject matter expert for them. Tackle the tough issues facing your client and make them aware of potential threats or opportunities looming. Be that proverbial ‘light’ who can proactively guide their business to long term fiscal growth and stability.
Typically, small business owners do not have someone they feel comfortable talking openly and honestly with about their financials. Invest time in your client to learn more about their particular industry, find out what goals they have, and gain an idea of how they plan on getting there. Other investments involved in transitioning towards proactive advisory services could be hiring additional staff to fill certain roles, or an upgrade in software/technology. It may be that your staff is able to develop some of those soft skills to fill certain roles in your effort to gain new business, therefore eliminating the need for hires. As cloud accounting software evolves and becomes more efficient, adopting new innovative solutions can free up traditional tax and compliance work allowing you to devote more time in offering advisory services.
This is a recent shift, surely, but it is one that is also here to stay. The benefits of investing in providing powerful and proactive solutions to SMEs are exponential and can have a long-lasting impact. It is a great way to increase client retention and build strong relationships with clients. Besdes the financial benefit, there is something fulfilling about watching your client grow while working together. This type of business partnership makes you really feel part of that success they’ve enjoyed due in part to your advice. Be proactive. Your clients will not only thank you with words, but also their wallets.
Read the full article here by Lara Bullock