Providing business advisory services
The role of accountants is changing as advances in technology and digital services such as cloud accounting platforms make it easier for clients to manage their accounting information in real-time.
To remain relevant accounts must adapt to deliver high-value proactive rather than reactive services to clients.
Three key areas of growth are:
- Monitoring cash flow and forecasting any future "pinch-points"
- Preparing projections based on real time accounting information – for example to support a loan application
- Monitoring and forecasting key performance indicators
Expanding a firm's business advisory (BA) offering is something that firms seeking growth could wish to pursue instead of attempting to grow client numbers. Below are some useful pointers and sources of information for those firms wishing to supply additional services in this area.
Don't I already provide these sorts of services to clients?
You may well do, but the trick is getting the client to appreciate the added value nature of the work and this is what turns it into a revenue earning opportunity. Examples of areas where clients may require some additional assistance include:
- Preparing business plans
- Key performance indicators preparation & analysis
- Retirement planning
- Wealth planning
- Estate planning
Useful business advisory links
- Accountingweb's 10 best ideas for accounting firms' business development
- Cloud accounting adoption – reflection
- American Institute's marketing toolkit for small businesses
- Social media – should accountants make more use of facebook?
- IFAC's Global Knowledge Gateway has a dedicated section covering business development