3 Reasons to Offer Business Advisory Services

By Shawn Moriarity

Your car's fuel gauge reads empty and you need to find a gas station. Despite BP's new ad campaign or the magazine article you recently read about ExxonMobil's efforts to "go green," you still stop at the station with the cheapest gas prices. This scenario illustrates how customers evaluate pure commodity products (like gasoline) and choose the service provider primarily on a price basis. Simply put, when the competitors offer the same product, lowest price almost always wins.
 
Just like the gas stations in the example above, accounting firms operate in a highly competitive market, and if your firm only offers commoditized services like tax preparation, payroll, and bookkeeping, you'll win (and lose) customers due to price competition. The good news is that you're in a unique position to offer value-added advisory services.  
 
According to USA Today/Gallup polls, accountants are considered the most trusted business professionals. That high level of trust enables you to move beyond traditional accounting services and position yourself as a trusted advisor. Offering quality advisory services will ensure the long-term success of your clients. 
 
What's in it for you?
 
Helping clients do better business is always a win-win situation, but in particular, there are three primary reasons why firms are shifting toward value-added advisory services:
 
1. Increase firm revenue. Business advisory engagements produce additional revenue streams and are more profitable than traditional, compliance-based accounting services.
 
2. Stop competing on price. Firms that bring more to the table can justify higher rates. Stop leaving money on the table, command the rates you deserve by offering a higher level of service, and land more "A-List" clients.
 
3. Deepen client relationships. Help a client do better business and you lock in a client for life. Quality advisory services help you forge deeper relationships with clients and also boost word-of-mouth referrals.
 
Related article:
 
About the author:
Shawn Moriarity is a senior consultant in the Accountant Services Group at Sageworks, a financial information company and provider of financial analysis software to accounting firms and private companies. Moriarity has worked with thousands of CPA firms to implement Sageworks' financial analysis software ProfitCents for standardizing and documenting regulatory requirements and adding value to client relationships while increasing revenue.
 

You may like these other stories...

With our recent coverage of the recent changes and complexities found in FATCA, we realized that regulations are just part of the story. Accounting professionals have to work with foreign financial professionals, and the...
Four years after the first iPad spreadsheet, users finally have a Microsoft-sanctioned solution. When I first installed Excel on my iPad, I immediately focused on its limitations, but upon reflection I see that Excel for...
Change. For some people, it can be a dirty word. Change means adjustment, re-thinking and perspective shifts—all daunting thoughts for an industry such as accounting that is based on mitigating risk and regulations...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 22
Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
Apr 30
During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.