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COVID-19 and Your 2021 Business Advisory Plans By on Jan 8, 2021

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Well, the last ten months have certainly been a challenge….a somewhat unexpected challenge that is! Many firms I have spoken to tell me they have been extremely time poor and have been confronted by how to:

  • Manage staff working at home and associated workflow issues;
  • Deal with multiple client questions, demands and management issues around JobKeeper and other stimulus measures and;
  • Communicate with staff and clients using digital measures.
  • Manage culture in the firm during periods where remote work has been common practice.

Over this period several accounting firms have been offering “recovery like” business advisory services wrapped around COVID-19 demands including;

  • Business continuity planning;
  • Budgeting and cash flow management;
  • Strategic advice in a variety of business and funding disciplines and;
  • Stress testing client’s businesses through the Power of One concept and developing plans to manage future operations.

So, what happens next…? As we move forward in 2021, I believe there is a definite first up need to work on your key selected clients 2021 budget by considering the;

Best, worst and most probable case scenarios;

  • Type of services offered including ramping up other diversified income streams;
  • Likely people resources required and:
  • A suitable and realistic firm plan to get back to where they were before COVID-19.

Next your firm also needs to consider;

  • What advisory services do you want to offer?
  • How do we price and package advisory services?
  • Will my client’s pay?
  • Who will provide the services as well as many other issues?

Perhaps we need to be focussing more initially on recovery advisory services rather than growth services considering the environment and to substantiate the value proposition. Varying payments models may also need to be reviewed including fee funding and service and delivery packaging – nothing should be off the table at this point!

Further, some other points your firm needs to consider over the next few months is how to:

  • Promote your advisory services proactively to clients – do not wait for others to do it;
  • Track advisory services separately on your profit and loss and integrate into workflow management;
  • Develop budgets for advisory services with key KPI metrics and be accountable to them;
  • Not link in with compliance services unless the client specifically requests it or you know they prefer it that way;
  • Look forward not backwards – advisory services look towards tomorrow, not yesterday (leave that for compliance);
  • Not give it away for very little or nothing – take the leap, value your services and bill accordingly and;
  • Get a Business Advisory Implementation plan in place and follow and commit to it!

It is now time to get your firm moving with the right systems, processes, and people resources to build your Business Advisory division. 2021 needs to be the year when this happens and is not put off due to other priorities.

If you would like to set up a complimentary, no-obligation, 45-minute call with Mark and to assess where your firm is at with your business advisory plan please email to set up a time: [email protected].


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