Brought to you by
Futrli by Sage logo
Futrli by Sage offer prediction software solutions for both small businesses and accountants. Let...
Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.

Why compliance isn't enough

17th Aug 2023
Brought to you by
Futrli by Sage logo
Futrli by Sage offer prediction software solutions for both small businesses and accountants. Let...
Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.

Compliance is the foundation for accounting services – it’s a complex, evolving and specialised, field, with changes in tax, employment and ESG obligations creating new challenges for businesses. However, with the number of firms on the market growing rapidly, the need to stand out is pushing firms to innovate in the services they offer to clients. 

Why compliance isn't enough | Futrli by Sage | Image of an accountant and businessowner having a conversation
Futrli by Sage

While compliance remains an essential service for many businesses, it also offers the opportunity for accountants to go further, using the data and processes they manage to provide additional value to customers, at a time when they most need support. 

The Challenges of Solely Relying on Compliance Work

Compliance is traditionally viewed as the cornerstone of accounting practice, dealing with reviewing historical accounts, reporting and preparing tax returns. However, when it comes to building a high-growth, successful firm, there are significant challenges to relying solely on compliance work:

  1.  The Automation Shift: With advancements in technology, basic compliance services such as data entry, document management and payment scheduling are becoming increasingly automated, leading to squeezed margins and commoditisation of these core services. 
  2.  Evolving Client Expectations: In a digital era driven by integrated cloud systems where information is readily available, clients are often turning to online platforms for visibility, even preparing their own accounts. Unless firms can truly stand out as experts, they risk losing relevance in their local business communities.
  3.  Limited Growth Opportunities: Solely offering compliance may also limit income streams and opportunities for growth. With more competition for basic services, and firms competing to offer core compliance at the most effective rate possible, adding revenue can require a larger client base and a laser-focus on internal efficiency.
  4. Scaling Challenges: Given the high degree of manual work require in some compliance work, adding new clients on a purely compliance basis can require adding additional headcount, increasing internal costs.

Visit Futrli

Embracing Advisory: Opportunities and Myths

Advisory services open up new avenues for firms to diversify their offerings, providing targeted, data-driven insights and reporting that can help business owners take advantage of the financial data available to make better decisions and improve outcomes. 

However, some firms have been slow to embrace advisory due to an outdated perception of these services.

  1.  Advisory isn’t just for big firms

While the advisory professional services conjure images of Big-Four boardrooms and vast teams, the reality of modern advisory is much more personal. The ability to store, analyse and share information digitally has radically reduced the resources required to offer advisory services, enabling smaller firms to offer in-depth, consultative value at a price point that small businesses can afford. 

  1.  Advisory isn’t a one-and-done proposition

While some compliance services are offered on a rolling basis and others, such as tax returns, are based around the financial calendar, advisory is based around a deepening of the client relationship. 

By working with real-time information and reliable forecasting, accountants can build on the conversations they already have with clients to offer strategic advice and guidance that makes a tangible difference to their success. Many small businesses lack the teams and systems to integrate this kind of planning into their existing structure, but accountants working at scale with the right tools have the chance to build value-driven relationships built on expertise, advice, and support.

  1. Clients don’t always know what they need

Given how established compliance services are within the profession, it falls to accountants themselves to proactively show the value of this kind of service. By working with forecasting and analysis tools such as Futrli, advisors can show their clients new ways they could be working together, with automated insights based on the clients’ own data.

  1. Advisory doesn't replace traditional services

Advisory is a valuable service, but it doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Compliance work remains crucial – up-to-date data, and strong client relationships are foundational to providing the best advice. Advisory services enhance traditional offerings rather than replace them, providing the opportunity to increase per client revenue and deepend your relationships.

The future of advisory

With clients facing an increasingly volatile commercial landscape, firms have a golden opportunity to position themselves as trusted partners to drive growth and success. This starts with robust, efficient compliance, while advisory services offer a pathway to greater profitability and growth.

By integrating the right data, tools and processes in their practice, firms can adapt and stand out as true experts in their field. This takes a certain shift in mindset, reflecting the innovative, empathetic, and trustworthy traits that clients already trust, backed up with new approaches. 

Futrli by Sage is an integrated forecasting and modelling platform trusted by hundreds of firms to help clients get more out of their financial data. Building on your existing compliance practice, Futrli helps firms uncover new insights, improve client visibility and control and prepare for a changing market. 

Start a free trial of Futrli today