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The rise of the advisory accountant

29th Jun 2020
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During these difficult times, accountants have adapted to provide more advisory services by building colder relationships with their clients. Going forward, how can accountants turn these closer relationships into profitable new advisory services?

Value added services

Advisory services reflect value added services for your clients. Not only do clients get help with the day-to-day aspects of keeping accounting records for their businesses, but they also get the advice they need to make sure they are making the best decisions for their finances. The scope of advisory services is broad, ranging from compliance like financial statements and tax, to more strategic goals like growing their business or making investments.

Financial compliance

Traditional accounting services usually involve helping clients with financial compliance, which they are unable to do on their own. For example, year end accounts and and tax reports. These reports require more complex skills and need to be right to ensure no penalties are incurred, so it’s much safer for your clients to put these in your capable hands. 

As these traditional services are taking less time due to automation and technology, this frees up time for accountants to help their clients with advice.

Tailored advice and opinions

The option to offer your clients tailored advice and opinions on their business will make you their trusted advisor. 

Some common examples of what you could help your clients with include:

  • Investment advice
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Succession planning
  • Tax advice
  • Software advice

Including these in your offering will ensure you can support your clients as their business grows.

Software advice

There are now many cloud accounting programmes on the market as well as add-ons that connect to accounting software. Now that workloads are often being split between accountants and business owners, it is important that a suitable software is chosen that is both understandable and the most efficient for both an accountant and their clients. 

Dan Stopp, accounting manager at Bokio, says “Many accountants take the attitude that one software fits all. I however, do not feel this is true at all. There’s such a difference in the price of software, as well as functionality and efficiency. It’s very important that an accountant is able to save clients time and money, whilst being able to help them prepare correct finances and present them in an understandable manner.”

Help business owners understand their finances

For smaller clients, simply helping them understand their finances can be profitable. Let them know where they can save money, create more liquidity and opportunities to grow their business for a stable future. This could be through offering customised reporting, or a more personal approach by talking through their options.

Offer coaching and contact regularly

Keeping regular contact with your clients is important, especially during these difficult times. This leaves open the opportunity to offer your clients coaching to help them understand their financial situation at a deeper level, and work together to plan for the future.

Collaborating with online accounting

Online accounting software is a great way of collaborating with your client. When your client has access to their financial information, and can contribute by providing all their documentation in real time, they develop a more active relationship with their finances. It also makes your job easier!

Bokio is a great free solution for smaller clients, like small businesses and sole traders. You can collaborate with your clients on their bookkeeping, invoicing, expenses, and Making Tax Digital VAT Returns. You’ll also have access to their documents as soon as they upload them, saving you time on day-to-day accounting tasks, so you can focus on offering advisory services.