Our industry is experiencing a period of innovation that will continue to radically shape the way CPAs service their clients. It is important to try and recognize what SMEs are looking for from their accountant or bookkeeper. No longer is it enough to provide only traditional basic tax and audit functions. They want fiscal stability, to increase profitability while driving growth, and a trusted advisor who will show them the fiscal impact of key decisions before they are enacted. Refusal or even resistance to these absolute and wide-ranging changes are not in the best interest of your firm’s long-term health.
Forewarned is forearmed. The days of acting as a watchdog are numbered; SMEs need you to be their confidant. With all of the cloud-based accounting solutions available, clients can easily access their data and information in real-time ensuring accuracy. “If they have all this readily available, why should they need me?” you may be asking. It is quite simple. Knowing your numbers is one thing; understanding them and the potential impact on your business is another. CPAs and business consultants who step up and fill this great need are developing deeper relationships and building trust with their clients.
In order to find out if your practice is ready to offer business advisory services you will need to conduct a review of your firm to decide if you currently have the necessary skill set and framework. Do some pieces need to be added? Are we willing and able to make an investment in expanding our offerings? Would this be helpful to any of our existing clients? Can we take on a heavier workload? All of these questions need to be answered before making a decision. It cannot be argued that there is a substantial amount of effort required in setup.
Keep in mind that once you have the right people, product, and procedures in place you will be able to retain clients and acquire new business with greater success due to increased efficiency. The benefits of creating an entirely new revenue stream for your firm by providing advisory services far outweigh the consequences. As almost an added bonus, your team will gain new skills and the confidence to achieve even more as a result of their newly enlarged roles. By becoming a trusted business advisor, CPAs can be seen as more than just a ‘bean counter’. Now wouldn’t that be nice?
Read the full article here by SmithInk.