Advisory? Hang on, isn’t AM just for compliance stuff?

27th May 2021
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Accountancy Manager
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AccountancyManager automatically reminds your clients to provide information at key points through the year. It organises your internal workflow and to-do lists and acts as a shared document portal for you and your client. Although AM was designed for compliance work, some users are now relying on AM to support their move to advice-based services.

The shift to advisory - driven by technology

We’ve spotted a theme emerging from our recent interviews with AM users. Now that technology is able to do a lot of the heavy lifting behind compliance activities, practices are stretching their wings and adding extra value for their clients in the form of advice.

Technology is providing most of the compliance work now. So the only bolt-on really is advisory because computers can't do it.”

Ben Thexton, owner of TAC Accountancy, made this point when we spoke to him earlier this year. “The way the accountancy industry is going, it's all tech based. You can do everything through AccountancyManager onboarding wise and keeping up to date with the client. With accounting software and bank feeds, everything's already done.” 

Using AccountancyManager, we are able to direct how we produce our work and give them financial advice and timely information.”

“Accountants have lots of information inside their heads and it's all about making sure that you give the correct information to clients that they can actually use. With compliance it's too late, it's already happened, we’re reporting in the past. But using AccountancyManager, we can control how and when we produce our work - to give clients financial advice and timely information. That’s where the added value comes from.”

How AccountancyManager supports your advisory services

Exactly how you use AM in your advisory process is up to you. We’ll just show you how Anna, Ben and Kyham are doing it.

List different services to list on your proposal and control automations

First, let’s look at how services work in AM, before showing how adding your own services works. When you first start using AM, you’ll see that we’ve already included services you probably provide, like VAT, payroll etc. When you add a new client, you tick the services they need - this kicks off a few things... 

AM connects with Companies House to pull through your clients accounting dates and deadlines for each service. This means AM will automatically request and chase records on the exact days you add to the system, for example, on days 7, 14, 21 and 28 after or before a date or deadline. The services will be listed in your initial proposal to your client and these ‘switched on’ services and dates also control how AccountancyManager generates an ongoing automatic to-do list for every staff member. 

Anna’s custom service: 10 months account review

Anna Nikolovska, owner of Digital Accountancy has customised AM to organise and automate her advisory emails and tasks. “One of the new services we introduced about a year ago, we call it ‘10 months accounts review’. The idea is that I review the company accounts with clients at the tenth month of their company year. This is really the point when we can build the relationship, because clients really see added value.”

It's really amazing how we could just create this additional service in AccountancyManager.”

“So in AccountancyManager I created a task called 10 Months Accounts Review, where the deadline is always two months before the year end. As soon as the task should start in AM, my clients get an email saying please get in touch. Then we won't forget about doing it because we've got the task. It's really amazing how we could just create this additional service in AccountancyManager.”

Ben shows how much goes on behind the scenes - on his letters of engagement

Ben Thexton has also discovered custom services, but uses them in a different way. “We've added five or six different services to the standard service list. So when we send out letters of engagement and proposals we put in loads of things.”

“We also put in general advice and ad hoc support and put that in as a service with ‘Xero’ next to it. That just shows the client the extra things they get. You've got all the standard things... accounts, CT600, payroll, VAT, CIS, which they'd expect anyway, but then underneath you're getting all of the additional services which we're providing free of charge. So the client knows that it's not just the basics, they're getting a full rounded package.”

“Looking back, the business has done really well, but I think having AccountancyManager there in the background gives us so much comfort. It really does, and it's backed up by key deadlines and an audit trail of all the information, it just allows you to be able to speak to the clients and you've got it on screen exactly where they're up to with stuff.”

Going down the certified advisor route - with Khyam Chudhry

While technology may have given Khyam the competitive edge six years ago, like many accountants he’s now looking beyond compliance to provide advice to his clients. But this isn’t just advice, this is certified, 360 degree advice - on all areas of small business. 

“Xero is great, QuickBooks is great, but what about the accountant's skills and their involvement in the whole business? In the past, I would’ve thought ‘I'm an accountant. I need to just look at your numbers and advise you accordingly’ and that's what we called ‘business advice’. But that isn't the case, we need to look at business as a whole.” 

...What do you want to achieve? What are your plans? Do you want a Lamborghini…? And then we plan accordingly.”

“We partnered up with a great consultancy firm who have trained us and now there are very specific procedures to follow. We’ll be delivering on the key KPIs across the business. So if a client needs a 5, 10, 15, 20 year plan, we’re there to help with the marketing, finance, operations or people management - all the key elements of the business.”

“Every discussion that happens with every client reflects those questions from day one: What do you want to achieve? What are your plans? Where do you want your business to go? Where do you want to be? What are your lifestyle goals? Do you want to have a Lamborghini in a couple of years? And then we plan accordingly.”

Sign up for a free 30-day trial.

AccountancyManager has no doubt revolutionised the accounting industry by automating time-consuming administrative tasks. AM alleviates the stress of compliance work, allowing your business to have better capacity to take on more advisory work. We invite you to see it for yourself. Sign up for a 30-day free trial by clicking here, and let us assist your business.