From anonymously processing pay slips to advising on changing government schemes, accountants have been the right hand of their clients as they were thrown into this complicated mix of pandemic and global crisis.
Today, accountants are considered more dependable than ever. The pandemic has highlighted their advisory and crisis management skills, strengthening their role as trusted advisors. Earlier regarded as mere number crunchers, accountants have become a one-stop solution for solving business and accounting problems.
So, keeping in mind the changes in the accounting industry and the newly evolved role of accountants, here is a blog post about the massive spike in demand for advisory services and how accountants can make the most of this opportunity.
What Led to the Quick Upsurge in Accounting Advisory Services?
The onset of the pandemic pushed the entire profession to move to the cloud. Even though technology and software made processes efficient, it was still a steep learning curve for clients.
At that time, clients desperately sought new advice, which led to a sudden spike in the demand for advisory services.
Do Clients Require Advice?
Yes! Clients need advice, but the concern is if they need it from their accountants. Here are a couple of problems we could spot as a cause of this specific advisory service gap.
Are Accounting Advisory Services Worthy for Money
Offering advisory services as a billable product has been difficult for accountants because giving away free advice has been a part of the job for a long time.
There may be reluctance from clients who now must pay for something they believe they used to get for free. Now, the tricky part for accountants is to position themselves as an advisor who is worth the monthly bill themselves.
The issue is an awkward wedge for both parties. For many business practices, it often gets stimulating and challenging to promote advisory services as many accountants find it tough to suddenly initiate charging for their advice. They have been already accustomed to giving out suggestions informally in meetings and calls. This even adds to the danger of losing that customer.
You are a Versatile Accounting Advisor, But Do Your Customers Know That?
The necessity to market your advisory services is significant. Your role as an advisor requires you be promoted well to your current and likely customers. The key here is to showcase your expertise and position yourself uniquely, which helps you stand out from the rest of the crowd selling the same service.
The initiative to position your accounting company in the market is a one-time investment. You reap years of organic growth, brand name, and a spike in client retention. So, where do you initiate your marketing?
Let us begin with branding. Branding is crucial to creating a unique identity that helps your clients identify you as an entity different from the rest. When every accountant makes the same noise, creating a USP and voicing it out is essential.
Your messaging should clearly define ‘your differentiating factor’ and how it can boost your client growth.
Lack of Precise Accounting Advisory Services Understanding
Accountants may sometimes overlook the client’s perspective and assume they may already comprehend methodical topics such as cash flow statements or financial reporting. This results in both missing out on the opportunity to receive sound advice and step up as an advisor.
To bridge this gap, the accountant requires to make the foremost move. Numbers are your strength, but as advisors, it is your job to draw a comprehensive analysis from those numbers, considering the many factors affecting them.
A good start would be to speak your client’s language and produce business health check reports with your insights and analysis.
Do not have Time for Advisory? It is the Right Time to Outsource!
The act of balance gets critical when accountants must take care of both – accounting and advisory services.
Being a new service, Advisory is more time-consuming as it involves frequent client meetings. In such a scenario, hiring outsourced accounting services providers and sharing your workload of low-margin compliance functions is ideal.
Not only do you get your job done, but you also achieve cost-effectiveness and better efficiency. So, in this scenario, your outsourcing partner turns up as your team member, enabling your non-core compliance activities while you can completely concentrate on delivering the precise value-added solutions. And that is how the benefits of accounting outsourcing help to restore the balance.
Moving Forward: It is the Smart Ones Who Survive Successfully
It is time to evolve into a new breed of intelligent accountants.
Unlike the traditional accountant, it is time to work smarter and show the value of your work. Free up your time to focus on providing insights your clients value.
All of this occurs when you smartly engage with your clients. So, do not hesitate to share your practiced knowledge because that aids you and your clients in winning in the long run.