I’ve been involved with the accountancy sector since 1996 – Yes, the introduction of Self-Assessment. In that time, the trade press has been full of articles from consultants, advisers and training companies that you can no longer just produce compliance work, you need to offer greater value to your clients.
The topic was grasped most succinctly for me, by Paul Meades of Meades & Company in Watford, who asked himself the question “If compliance was removed overnight by all the Government departments, how many of my clients would stay with me.” For Paul, the answer was a big, round zero, so he started to build a different practice, a task that he has accomplished very successfully. www.meadesco.co.uk
The path from number crunching accountant to trusted adviser does not happen overnight – it’s probably a three year plan to deliver, whilst you are running your own business at the same time. There have been many companies that have been willing to help accountants along that path – some more successful than others. Many have failed because the programmes have been built around the personality delivering the program – as soon as the personality leaves the stage, the programme wilts.
In order for a client to trust their accountant to help them with their business advisory, research from Bstar Business has found that the accountant needs to prove to their clients that:
The accountant has to prove that they understand the client’s business?
The accountant has to be able to value the client’s business accurately.
The accountant has to show how they can improve the business value and that the advice that is delivered is good value for money.
The good point for Accountants is that the 2009 Paper Advice to SME’s by PJ Care states that “SME’s who purchase business advice exhibit superior performance.”
If you would like to find out how the integrated advice process; Value Improvement Benchmarking Advice, can help change your practice, then contact me at [email protected] to discuss the programme further. In 2014 I’m looking for 25 UK based accountancy firms, that are looking to transform the way that they deliver services to clients.