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How to Create Sustainable Opportunities By Mark Holton on Oct 6, 2022


Accountants are fortunate (although not all may agree).

Legislation dictates the annual demand for accounting services. This, along with the inconvenience of moving accountants, has provided some degree of disincentive for clients to shift from their incumbent accountant.

However, the impact of this disincentive is diminishing. With compliance services increasingly commoditised, a reduced fee is attractive enough for many to shift. Loyalty is no longer protection for a service that may be perceived to be overpriced and/or under delivered. Clients have an expectation of more.

With this trend gaining momentum, more and more accountants are searching for a new client engagement model, a model that delivers perceived and measurable value, efficiently and at a profitable price.

The critical step is identifying the needs and issues that clients are willing to pay for. The challenge is discovering this information. Further, the dilemma is that many business advisers are not clear on what a client engagement conversation that encourages clients to “open up” on these issues looks like.

What I believe is that clients value advisers (and advice) who address their emotional state (feelings) in the process of giving them control over their business, its direction and performance.

It is no surprise that the fastest growing firms have reconstructed their engagement model and conversation, discovering the needs that clients are willing to pay to have addressed.

Addressing these challenges requires:

  • A systematic and consistent approach to engaging and communicating with clients and prospects
  • A defined way of doing business with a clear methodology that inspires client confidence in their advisers and the rest of the team
  • A mechanism for pricing accurately the value of the service/s being offered
  • A process for identifying/discovering client needs
  • An efficient means of collecting, packaging, reporting and contracting clients to specific agreements
  • A solution that is easy to access and administer
  • A solution that is efficient and cost effective

Many would be very familiar with the Enabler 7 Steps to Success process we have discussed and presented at conferences and workshops. The “Enabler” model provides a step-by-step methodology for securing results for clients and building sustainable advisory services in your firm.

To get the best outcomes from the “Enabler” model we have introduced firms to a number of systems, processes, and tools to address different steps in the process. The critical engagement strategy is contained in Step 2 – “Unlocking the client needs” and discovering what is important to the client. This step drives the remaining steps 3 to 7.

To explore client engagement further why not undertake a complementary Business Advisory Service Review? In this digital 45-minute session we will discuss among other items:

  • Does your firm have the right structure in place to offer business advisory services?
  • Do you know what services you can offer successfully to clients?
  • Do you currently have the ideal staff with the appropriate skill set?
  • Do you have the right engagement systems and processes in place?

Mark is an expert in helping accounting firms streamline Business Advisory Services. If you would like to set up a complimentary 45-minute business advisory assessment, please contact us.


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