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Maximise Your Earnings: Adding Value through Technology and Advisory Services

28th May 2024
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Client relationships are built on mutual value—your earnings depend on your ability to deliver tangible impact for their performance and peace of mind. Many firms have built successful business models focusing on compliance, taking the burden of managing day-to-day financials off of clients' plates so they can focus on their core activities. Today, there is a chance to go further. This article explores the potential for new services.

Adding Value through Services and Tech
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Modern cloud bookkeeping tools like Receipt Bot open the door to significant time savings on manual processes such as gathering invoices, data entry and reconciliation – the question then arises: what to do with the available time and collated data? An increasingly popular option is advisory – using your experience, relationships and insights to provide practical insights into how your clients can go further. 

The Advisory-Led Practice

By shifting from reporting data to actively shaping your clients' future performance, accountants can become value-driving business partners for clients. If implemented correctly, advisory can be a real game changer:

  • Stand Out From The Crowd: In a sea of competitors, advisory services make you indispensable, attracting high-value clients who crave more than just number crunching.
  • Build Stronger Connections: Strategic advice makes a tangible difference for your clients, builds trust and deepens relationships, turning clients into loyal advocates.
  • Boost Your Bottom Line: Advisory services offer premium fees, unlocking a significant new revenue stream for your practice.

The exact services that your clients need – or are willing to pay for – will vary from firm to firm. The journey to advisory doesn’t start with simply buying new software – it grows from a deeper understanding of your clients and the struggles they’re facing and creating systems that support them.

The Power of Technology: Freeing Up Your Time

The challenge for firms looking to offer these services is that advisory is, by nature, a majorly different proposition to the standard accounting service list.

Instead of running a checklist of processes for each compliance client, for example, firms need to work out how to scale in-depth, personalised advice on a customer-by-customer basis. The foundation for this service is always reliable information. However, many firms struggle to build momentum here since clients either provide incomplete, inaccurate or late financial information.

To understand your clients in the level of detail required to support them, firms need access to regular, reliable and clean data, without chasing or manual review. That’s where tools such as Receipt Bot can be a game changer.

  • Our AI-enabled platform automates the data entry of bills and receipts, accelerating the process and reducing the likelihood of human error. 
  • Calculate payables in real-time, providing businesses and accountants with up-to-date information for financial decision-making.
  • Receipt Bot's ability to extract data from PDFs, including supplier statements, significantly enhances the reconciliation process to maintain financial reporting and compliance accuracy.

Building Your Advisory Services Portfolio

With the right data and processes, accountants can decide where the opportunity to support clients lies. Advisory is as flexible as your clients themselves, and it’s essential to match the right services to their pain points.

  • Financial Analysis & Forecasting: Analyse trends, forecast future performance and help clients make informed decisions about budgeting, pricing, and investments.
  • Business Performance Optimisation: Identify areas of improvement in operations, cash flow management, and profitability.
  • Strategic Planning: Assist clients in developing comprehensive business plans, setting achievable goals, and creating strategies for growth.
  • Tax Planning & Optimisation: Proactively identify tax-saving opportunities, ensuring clients pay the right amount – no more, no less.
  • Technology Consulting:  Recommend and implement technology solutions that streamline operations, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.
  • Succession Planning:  Help business owners create strategies for a smooth transition when it's time to pass the torch.

Don't feel obligated to offer everything at once. Start by identifying your strengths and your clients' needs and gradually expand your offerings as you gain experience and expertise. Firms can test different ways to offer these solutions to find product-market fit:

  • One-off services for specific scenarios, such as strategic planning for a particular project
  • Retainer services for ambitious clients, such as monthly reporting packages for high-growth businesses
  • ‘Taster’ solutions, such as offering clients simple management accounts with an option to upgrade to in-depth forecasting

Crafting Your Advisory Services Package

Adding advisory services to your accounting practice isn't just about increasing revenue – it's about evolving your role into a true partner for your clients. With the support of tools like Receipt Bot, you can expand your role as a trusted advisor, helping businesses thrive while growing per client revenue and deepening your relationships.

To find out how Receipt Bot can help you build a foundation for advisory success, book your own free trial.