What SME’s Really Want From Their Accountant By Anonymous on Mar 2, 2017
I’ll give you a hint… it’s not “how much tax do I owe?”
Today’s Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are looking for more from us… their accountant. With the explosion of cloud-based accounting solutions our clients have better access to data and information than they ever have before. They don’t need us to tell them how much money they have (or don’t have)…they know!
They know how much money they have, how much they are making and how much they are spending. So then, other than compliance, why does our client need us?
Because it’s one thing to know the numbers, it’s another thing to understand them. It’s this knowing what to do about the numbers that our clients are crying out for. It’s what they are looking to us to answer.
To manage the numbers, business owners need an accountant who is more an advisor and can offer a comprehensive advisory service.
The opportunity here is understanding our client and showing them the financial impact of key business decisions before they are made. They need;
- Direction on improving their profitability, cash flow and return
- Reassurance that the financial future of their enterprise is healthy and ready for future growth
- A loyal trusted business partner that can help them drive their business successfully
- So, what does this mean for your firm?
The ways of old, are not the ways of the future. Reporting and compliance is not what the future accountant will be. You are not their watchdog but their trusted advisor, their confidant.
The good news is that if you rework your practice to offer business advisory services, this opens up a whole new unique client proposition (USP) – not to mention a new lucrative revenue stream. It’s a chance to re-align your practice for a new evolving market.
By offering client focussed business advisory services you can:
- Expand your services – a holistic approach for business advice is attractive to existing and new clients
- Innovate and create brand new offerings – advance your firm by offering new, beneficial and lucrative services
- Educate staff and develop their business skills, in particular soft skills – broadening the talents of your team is good for their and the firm’s development
- Build deeper, more proactive relationships with clients – as their most trusted adviser, most business owners will come to you first for guidance
- Create new revenue streams – offering different packages of fixed fee advisory services can increase your potential income from each client well above the existing compliance fee
- So, where do you start the evolution process?
You need to review your practice and decide if you are ready to offer business advisory services. Be as composed as possible and frankly work through every area of the practice, its processes and its systems to see where development is needed – or even where change might be the better answer.
Here are a few questions to ask – do we have;
- The right structure in the firm to offer business advisory services?
- The services you can offer successfully to clients to get them engaged?
- The right clients to start with to create success?
- The ideal staff to recruit or develop with the appropriate skill set to offer this service?
- The right systems, processes and procedures?
- The investment in business advisory software and how to achieve a return on that investment?
- A fast track system to develop your business advisory services using a structured process of accountability?
To accelerate your firm’s ability to offer advisory services, come along to our Young Guns Workshop on March 30 and 31 at the Hilton Hotel Surfers Paradise. Earlybird pricing ends 10 March. Click here for further details and to register.
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