By Nadine Chetty
The pace of change in the accounting profession is breath taking, cloud accounting and digitisation are disrupting the sector. The automation that accompanies cloud accounting is impacting compliance work and putting pressure on fees and profitability.
The solution is to take advantage of the extra time you have and offer higher value services to your monthly retainer clients. Advisory is the answer. Your clients’ value your advice and I am quite sure that you are probably already giving them advice free of charge… Now it is time to charge for those services.
The service offerings
In any accounting firm there are three main levels of service offerings: compliance, performance and strategic. Most firms only focus on the compliance, but our roles are changing. Providing advice is easier than ever because thanks to cloud accounting the information we need is at our fingertips.
In our firm we use QuickBooks Online, it has a dashboard feature, cash flow planner and a range of other reports which are invaluable when providing advisory services. These services will help your clients’ to grow their businesses and improve profitability.
Before you move to advisory it is important to have mastered the compliance side of your practice, because transitioning will require change. You need to be geared up with the right processes and software that will help you to deliver timely information and services.
In order to get started I suggest you consider the following points:
- Identify the right team member to manage and head up the advisory team
- Create a client list of your existing clients that may be open to these services
- Develop a menu of services for each of your service offerings
- Implement Value-Pricing for the new services
- Define your reporting processes and build your cloud app stack
Examples of Add-on services that you can implement into your firm by using QuickBooks Online:
- Automated Debtor Management – by using the Automated Invoice reminder system, you can help your clients get paid faster
- Monthly cash flow planning
- Monthly Budget vs Actuals figures
- Income by Revenue Streams reporting – this will help to show the client where they are making the most money
- Customisable business performance reporting
- Managing your client’s profitability by project – using the Projects Centre
- Real time VAT cash flow planning – using the VAT centre
There are several other reports in the reports centre which can be beneficial and useful to your clients. These add-on services all help to start those conversations that lead to an advisory firm.
You ultimately want to become your client’s trusted advisor and not their technical advisor. Start building those client relationships and transform the way you do business, for yourself and your clients’. If you are interested to explore a cloud accounting platform that will support your transition to Advisor then I recommend QuickBooks Online Accountant, click here to try it. (link: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/za/accountants/)
This is the final article in the Transforming your Practice series. To help accountants transform their practices with cloud accounting Intuit QuickBooks will be holding a free information packed webinar on 1 December at 10:30 am. Nadine Chetty will be presenting the Key Note presentation. Click here to register https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6296714387304423182?source=saiba
About the author
Nadine Chetty is an Accountant and Cloud Accounting Specialist. She is also a QuickBooks Certified Advisor and a member of the QuickBooks Trainer/Writer Network. Nadine is based in Johannesburg and the co-founder of Ecomm Accounting Solutions. The practice provides clients with Accounting, Bookkeeping, Tax Preparation, Training, Payroll, Invoice Processing and Business Consulting Services.